Edward Odin Strandberg


Posted: Sunday, November 03, 2002

Lifelong Alaska resident Edward Odin Strandberg died of cancer Oct. 29, 2002, at Valley Assisted Living in Palmer. He was 87.

A celebration of his life will be held Saturday at the Best Western Lake Lucille Inn in Wasilla. No funeral services will be held. His ashes will be scattered on the Upgrade Claim at Flat, on Candle Creek, and at Folger in the Cripple Creek Mountains, all in Interior Alaska.

Mr. Strandberg was born May 16, 1915, in Flat, in the Iditarod Mining District. He was the fifth of six children of David and Jenny Johanson Strandberg.

He attended grade school in Flat, walking 4 miles a day to and from the family camp on the Wildcat Association on Flat Creek. He graduated from Anchorage High School in 1932 after traveling by bush plane between Anchorage and Flat, Candle Creek and Folger to work in the family mining operations. While attending the University of Washington, he met Marie Dorothy Nordstrand. The two were married Aug. 16, 1939, in Anchor-age.

After gold mining was suspended by President Roosevelt's War Department following the 1942 mining season, Mr. Strandberg worked in the chromite strategic metal mine at Seldovia and later at Nenana for the U.S. Army, operating cranes moving military cargo across the Army docks.

He and his family restarted mining in 1946.

Mr. Strandberg was elected to the school board of the Anchorage Independent School District in 1954 and served as board treasurer.

With gold mining becoming economically difficult at the end of the 1950s, Mr. Strandberg completed his mining engineering degree at the University of Alaska in May 1959. After a final mining season in 1960, he initiated an engineering consulting business. He was instrumental in establishing an electric power generation facility on the Kenai Peninsula in the early 1960s, which produced electrical energy for the city of Kenai in the 1960s and early '70s.

Mr. Strandberg was employed as engineer for the city of Soldotna and subsequently appointed by Mayor George Sullivan as the building official of the Municipality of Anchorage. He retired in 1980.

After retirement, he obtained his U.S. Coast Guard masters vessel license. He purchased the 44-foot Blue Seas in Ilwaco, Wash., and, together with wife, brought the vessel up the Inside Passage and across the Gulf of Alaska to Whittier in Prince William Sound. After chartering, Odin operated a vessel in the Valdez oil spill response effort, then re-retired to the family residence in Wasilla.

Mr. Strandberg lived in Flat for eight years, Seldovia for one year, Anchorage for 46 years, Soldotna for eight years, Whittier for five years, Wasilla for 15 years, Fairbanks for two years and Nenana for two years.

He was a past member of the American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering and a member of Pioneers of Alaska. He served on the Board of Architects, Engineers and Land Surveyor Examiners.

"Odin was a person who devoted his life's energy to a wide array of fields -- mining, mining engineering and

mining consulting, electrical power generation, surveying, commercial charter vessel operation," his family said.

He was preceded in death by his son, Edward Odin Strandberg Jr.; brothers, William John Strandberg, Theodore Roosevelt Strandberg and Harold David Strandberg; sister, Olga Virginia Doheny; and his parents, David Strandberg and Jenny Johanson Strandberg.

Mr. Strandberg is survived by his wife of 63 years, Marie Dorothy Strandberg of Wasilla; sons and daughters-in-law, Sigvald John and Arlene Strandberg and daughter-in-law Karon Strandberg of Fairbanks, James Stephen and Emiko Strandberg of Anchorage and Baerent Rudolph and Yekaterina Strandberg of Anchorage; sister, Missy (Linnea Genevieve) Crawford of San Anselmo, Calif.; grandchildren, Edward Odin Strandberg III of Delta Junction, Heather Avaleen Hartman of Fairbanks, Sigvald John Strandberg Jr. and Neil Morgan Strandberg of Nome, Roy Takeo Strandberg of Fairbanks, Erica Sakura Strandberg of Corvallis, Ore., and Marcus Allen David Strandberg of Anchorage; great-grandchildren, Edward Odin Strandberg IV of Delta Junction, Sarah Hartman of Fairbanks, Robert Hartman of Fairbanks and Naomi Hartman of Fairbanks; sisters-in-law, Barbara Strandberg of Arizona and Margaret Strandberg of Mercer Island, Wash.; and nieces and nephews, Douglas Strandberg of Friday Harbor, Wash., Steven Strandberg of San Francisco, David Strandberg of Fallbrook, Calif., Gail Strandberg of Kirkland, Wash., Jenny Johanson of Palmer and Kathleen Hennessey of Dallas.

Arrangements were made by Valley Funeral Home.

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