Longtime Kasilof resident Robert L. “Bob” also known as “Big” Vest died Thursday, Nov. 30, 2006, at Providence Seward Medical Center in Seward after a lengthy illness. He was 70.
A private family service will be held. Mr. Vest’s ashes will be scattered over Cook Inlet next summer.
Mr. Vest was born Oct. 24, 1936, to Charles and Evelyn (Lambka) Vest in New Orleans, where he graduated from Warren Easton High School. He called himself the “Ragin’ K-Jun.” Mr. Vest entered into the U.S. Air Force and served as an air traffic controller until he was honorably discharged.
He married Mary Nell Nesbitt and they raised three children. He traveled as a young man, then found his heart’s home in Alaska in 1966. He was a member of the Plumbers, Pipefitters and Steamfitters Union Local No. 367 from the mid -1970s until the mid-1990s.
He was a Baptist and a 32nd degree Mason, as well as a Shriner.
“Dad loved Alaska and more than anything, commercial fishing. He often said, ‘If I were a millionaire, I’d fish until I was broke.’ ‘Big’ never met a stranger. His door was always open for a visit, a meal or a game of cards. As his sister said, ‘Everyone loved Bob,’” his family said.
“He was a master at cribbage and pinochle. He had a sharp wit, loved a good joke and was a practical joker. ‘He was a lovable scoundrel,’ recalled his brother. Dad’s true legacy was his devotion to and his love of his family. He blessed us all with that legacy.”
Mr. Vest was preceded in death by his parents; and brother, Charles F. Vest.
He is survived by his former wife, Mary Nell Larson of Soldotna; daughter and son-in-law, Debbie and Dave Tressler of Soldotna; sons and daughters-in-law, Barry and Heather Vest of Soldotna and Robert E. Vest of Soldotna and Margie Vest of Orange Park, Fla.; brother, Steve Vest of Anaheim, Calif.; sister, Donna Sims of Baton Rouge, La.; grandchildren, Elyse Vest of Orange Park, Adam Tressler of Okinawa, Japan, and Kaleene Tressler, Forrest and Marshall Vest, all of Soldotna.
Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel in Kenai.
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