Charles Dow Raymond

Posted: Friday, August 31, 2001

Kasilof resident Charles Dow Raymond died Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2001, at the family homestead. He was 87.

At his request there will be no funeral. An informal gathering of family and friends will be held at the family homestead in Kasilof on Sept. 16.

Mr. Raymond was born Feb. 27, 1914, in Astoria, Ore. He first came to Alaska in 1939 via steamship as a heavy equipment operator working at gold mines in the Ophir area and at the Golden Zone Mine near Broad Pass before World War II curtailed mining operations. In 1947, he towed a small house trailer north over the newly opened Alaska Highway.

He married Helen in 1949 in Oregon and immediately they ventured north together over the Alaska Highway to reside in Anchorage, where he worked as a bulldozer operator on a variety of military and civilian road and airfield construction projects. He cleared Grandview Gardens subdivision for the original homesteader and built a home there in the 1950s.

Dog mushing became a family winter pastime. An early member of the Alaska Sled Dog and Racing Association, he ran his first race in 1955.

He moved his family to Kasilof in 1960 to homestead 120 acres, working as a self-employed bulldozer operator and commercial drift fisherman. He later founded the Peninsula Sled Dog and Racing Association. He achieved widespread recognition for his craftsmanship and innovations in building dog sleds over four decades.

Mr. Raymond enjoyed clam digging at nearby Clam Gulch and hunting excursions to Tustumena Lake. After retirement from commercial fishing in the mid-1980s, he kept busy mending nets for others and took great pride in his bountiful garden which he shared with neighbors. He often chronicled family life and Alaska adventures through humorous poetry.

His family said, "Chuck embodied the spirit of Alaska in his rugged independence, love of the great outdoors, and willingness to always lend a hand to others."

Mr. Raymond is survived by his wife, Helen L. Raymond, of Kasilof; children Charles Raymond of Fiji, Gary Raymond of Cordova, Betty Dickenson of Anchorage, and Dr. Paul Raymond of Homer; 16 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.

Arrangements were made by the Peninsula Memorial Chapel.

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