Larry David Gjovig of Soldotna died Monday, Dec. 17, 2007, at Providence Hospital in Anchorage from complications following a diagnosis of cancer. He was 65.
There will be a celebration of Mr. Gjovig's life at the J-Bar-B Club on Saturday, Dec. 29, from 2 to 5 p.m. with a memorial service by Tony Cloud at 2 p.m. Bring memories, photos and a favorite dish and join Mr. Gjovig's family and friends. Another gathering will be held Jan. 12, 2008, in Crosby, N.D. The time and place will be announced later.
Mr. Gjovig was born Jan. 7, 1942, in Crosby, N.D., one of five children born to Ronald and Agnes Gjovig He graduated from Crosby High School in 1960, where he enjoyed playing football, hunting, stock car racing and general mechanics.
He drove a truck for Huddleston Trucking Co. and worked on several oil rigs in North Dakota and Montana before moving to the Kenai Peninsula in 1966, where he worked on offshore and onshore rigs. While on a rig, he broke his arm and leg in a fall. Returning to Crosby to recuperate, he met and married Mavis Imsland in 1967, whose brother had married his sister Ellen.
The couple returned to Alaska in 1967, where he continued rough-necking for several oil companies before becoming a production operator for Marathon, a career that lasted from 1972 to 1992. In the late '60s he, along with Milt Haugenoe, owned and operated L & M Drilling, drilling water wells in the area. The Gjovigs divorced in 1979. He married Karen Stark in 1980, and they divorced in 1985.
Mr. Gjovig bought the J-Bar-B Club and Restaurant in 1995.
"He loved to visit with friends and strangers alike who frequented his establishment. Larry was a warm 'Gentle Giant' who was always first to lend a hand to those in need. His establishment has become the gathering point of many in the community whose lives are joined by this location they refer to as 'The Office' or the 'Community Center,'" his family said.
Mr. Gjovig enjoyed fishing, hunting bear, moose, caribou and mountain sheep and taking care of his Arabian horses. His love of cars and going fast never subsided. He was active in the Peninsula Ice Racing Association and was recognizable in car number "00," a fire-engine red 1950 Chevy truck, since the early '80s.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother-in-law, Oscar Imsland; and 3-year-old son, Leo, who died in 1972.
Mr. Gjovig is survived by his son, Lyle Gjovig, of Stanley, N.D.; daughter, Lana Gjovig of Rapid City, S.D.; stepdaughter, Cindy (Stark) Lynch of Anchorage; stepson Tim (Heuer) of Noonan, N.D.; grandchildren, Ariel and Andrew Gjovig, of Gillette, Wyo.; brothers and sister-in-law, Russell and Gwen Gjovig of Kasilof and Bruce Gjovig of Grand Forks, N.D.; sisters and brothers-in-law, Nancy and John Dutchak of Great Falls, Mont., and Ellen and Erroll Shaw of Minot, N.D.; and numerous nieces and nephews.
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