Longtime Sterling resident Rodney Wayne Shamburger died Saturday, July 11, 2009, after a long battle with cancer. He was 71.
No services will be held, per his request. He will be cremated and his ashes strewn in the Kenai River.
Mr. Shamburger was born Dec. 05, 1937, to Signe Borgum Shamburger and Elston Wayne Shamburger, in Shreveport, La. He graduated from Byrd High School in Shreveport and attended Louisiana Polytechnic Institute in Ruston, La. There he met his future wife, Mary Lynette East.
He joined the United States Coast Guard in 1957, graduating from radio school in Connecticut, as a radio operator. He was stationed aboard the cutter, USS Sebago out of Biloxi, Miss. Later he was transferred to Gretna, La.
The couple were married in 1959 and upon his discharge from the Coast Guard, the two made their way up the Alaska Highway to Anchorage, arriving in early January 1960.
"It was a land they both came to love," his family said.
He was first employed by Pacific Finance and later, First National Bank of Anchorage, from where he retired in 1993, with the title Senior Vice President and Branch Administrator
"When the Saints go marching in, Rodney will be right there beside them, yelling 'hurry up, hurry up.' There was never a dull moment or a quiet time, when Rodney was around. He had to be doing something. Anybody lounging around, or sleeping in, was lazy. He was a repairman, and a mechanic. He loved to make things work again. He never read a book of instructions, but once rebuilt a Triumph Spitfire from the frame up. If he didn't have the right part, he improvised," his family said. "Rodney was a true outdoorsman, loving hunting and fishing. For many years, he raced snowmobiles to Nome, Fairbanks and Talkeetna. He fulfilled one of his life's dreams when he received his pilot's license in May 1978. He loved to fly. He was a ham radio operator, KL7DJO and sent messages for neighbors after the earthquake of 1964. He coached youth hockey, the Mites, the Squirts, and the Peewees in the Anchorage Hockey Assoc. He loved coaching T-Ball as all the kids got a good chance to hit the ball. He loved his family dearly, and had high expectations for each of his children. He will be greatly missed by those of us left behind."
Mr. Shamburger was preceded in death by his mother and his father.
He is survived by his wife of 50 years, of Sterling; children Debra L. Donahue, Michael W. Shamburger and Robert W. Shamburger and their spouses, Carri and Wendy; grandchildren, Jason and Christopher Donahue, Mikayla, Makenna and Noah Shamburger, Emma, Amy and Robert Jr. Shamburger, all of Anchorage; and sisters, Dorothy Perkins of Rembert, S.C. and Linda Shamburger of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
The family suggests that memorial donations be made to the donor's local The Salvation Army or ASPCA.
Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.
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