Kasilof resident John J. Springer died Sunday, Sept. 9, 2001, at Alaska Regional Hospital in Anchorage after a short battle with cancer. He was 78.
A celebration of his life will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday at the Lyle and Jessie Winter residence. For directions, call the Winters at 262-4259.
Mr. Springer was born May 18, 1923, in Potosi, Mo. After graduation from high school, he joined the Army Air Corps and served as an avionics technician on the European Front during World War II. He married Edith L. Cresswell Dec. 26, 1947. In April 1949 they headed to Anchorage over the Alaska Highway, driving a Willey's Jeep pulling a trailer. Alaska has been their home for the past 52 years.
Mr. Springer was employed by the Federal Aviation Administration, and he and Edith built three houses in the O'Malley Road area.
He retired in 1978 as an avionics technician supervisor, and they moved to the Kasilof area and built their dream home, where they have resided for the past 23 years. He always contended that after retirement he had no annual or sick leave and had to stay busy all the time, and he did.
During the summer, he enjoyed commercial salmon fishing in Kodiak and, in later years, tending his greenhouse, league bowling and spending time with family and friends. He spent his winters as a master wood worker, building beautiful furniture items for his family out of wood from his father's farm in Missouri.
"John was a generous, loving man whose greatest joy was his family. As a husband, father, grandfather and friend he touched all of our lives. He will be greatly missed but will live on in our hearts," his family said.
Mr. Springer was preceded in death by his parents, T.O. and Bessie Springer. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Edith L. Springer; his daughter and son-in-law, Cindy and Glen Smalley; son and daughter-in-law, Tom and Terri Springer; grandchildren Brian Smalley and his wife Monique, Trisha Smalley, Jonathan and Briana Springer; sister Trudy Carr; and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alaska Regional Hospital, Alaska House.
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