Duncan Wilsack


Posted: Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Longtime Nikiski resident Duncan Wilsack died Saturday, July 24, 2004, at his home, with family members around him, after a long battle with Parkinson's disease and complications that arose from it. He was 73.

Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 29, at Peninsula Memorial Chapel, 5839 Kenai Spur Highway, in Kenai. A celebration of life will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 1, at Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church in Kenai. A gathering will follow the services at the church.

Mr. Wilsack was born May 17, 1931, in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada. On Feb. 1, 1961, Mr. Wilsack arrived in Alaska with the Reading and Bates Drilling Co. to begin oil drilling operations in the Swanson River Fields. He met Janice Walker on Valentine's Day in 1961 at Leo T. Oberts Insurance, and they were married March 3, 1962.

Throughout his years on the peninsula, Mr. Wilsack worked in the oil industry and was a member of the Labors Union Local No. 341, and volunteered as a firefighter for the Nikiski Fire Department. Due to his declining health, he retired from Tesoro Petroleum Refinery in 1996, after 13 years of employment.

"During summer months, our father's love was fishing, consequently the family also grew to love fishing. He always had a joke to tell, a song to sing, a mischievous sideways grin and sparkling eyes. After retirement, we heard many 'Seinfeld' quotes from episodes he watched. His sense of humor showed through right to the end. He was what we all strive to be: committed, hardworking, dedicated, honest and decent," his family said.

Mr. Wilsack was preceded in death by his father and mother, John and Mary Wilsack; brother, Andrew Wilsack; and sister, Alice Martin.

He is survived by his wife, Janice of Nikiski; daughters and their families, Teresa and John Hoops and daughters, Carrie and Nicole, of Soldotna, Kathleen and Larry Shue and daughter, Erin, of Chugiak, Debra Wilsack of Anchorage, Brenda and LeeMoyne Canady and sons, DeVon, Duncan and Deacon, of Arlington, Texas, and Jolanda Wilsack and son, Murak, of Seward; sister, Josie Copeland of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Teresa Barker of Hamilton, Ontario, and Helena McNern of Oklahoma City, Okla.; brothers, John Wilsack of Niagara Falls and Jim Wilsack of Grimsby, Ontario; and numerous nephews, nieces and cousins.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to Janice Wilsack, 47002 Kenai Spur Highway, Kenai, AK 99611. The donations will be distributed to various Parkinson's organizations.

Arrangements were by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.

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