PUBLISHED: 5:14 PM on Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Alf A. Skaflestad
A celebration of life for Alf A. Shaflestad will be held at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, at Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall in Hoonah. A dinner will follow.

Mr. Skaflestad, age 99, died Dec. 20, 2007, at the home of his son, Windy Skaflestad. The Hoonah resident was better known to friends and family as "Daddy Al" or "Papa."

He was born July 23, 1908, at the Skaflestad farm in Naustdal, Norway. He was the second son born to Andreas and Karolina (Melheim) Skaflestad.

He married Matilda Bertha "Tillie" Greenewald on August 22, 1933, in Hoonah. He worked as a logger and high-climber in the Tacoma, Wash. area before venturing to Alaska, not by the lure of gold, but with fishing fever. However, after an unsuccessful fishing season at Cape Omni with his cousin Ingoff, he went to work as a fish-trap watchman for the PAF Cannery of Excursion Inlet. It was during his tenure on the fish traps that he met his future wife Tillie, the daughter of Robert and Elsie Greenewald, at their farm in Spasski Bay.

  Mr. Skaflestad
Prior to the birth of his first child Erling, Alf worked as a foreman with the Alaska Railroad pioneering the railroad right-of-way and helping to lay the original track between Moose Pass and Anchorage. Upon his return to Hoonah, he started Skaflestad Logging which he owned and operated until the 1960's. After retiring from logging, Alf built a 6-unit apartment building which he and Tillie operated and then he was able to go commercial fishing, his real passion.

With his love of fishing and being out on the water it's not surprising that he was in the right spot at the right time and was able to rescue two men clinging to a capsized skiff, all this at the age of 93. He later, modestly, received a U.S. Coast Guard Medal of Commendation for his life-saving effort.

Alf's 70 foot boat the "Thomas E. Wilson" was originally purchased to tow his log rafts and float-house but in his later years he licensed it as a tender/packer so he could live aboard it while he was fishing his 24 foot skiff the "Kli-ana". At over 95 years of age his family was incredulous when he untied the Thomas E and steered it out of the Hoonah harbor with the Kli-ana in tow. He was going fishing and he was going to be comfortable.

Alf was a naturalized citizen and he loved his adopted country and especially the community of Hoonah.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Matilda "Tillie" Skaflestad, who died Aug. 6, 1993; parents, Andreas and Karolina Skaflestad; grandsons Al Peterson and Terry Skaflestad, and numerous siblings and relatives in the United States and Norway.

He is survived by his children, Erling Skaflestad and his wife, Bonnie; Alf "Windy" Skaflestad, his wife, Joyce and ex-wife, Vera; Caroline Peterson and her husband, Gerald "Jerry" Peterson; Kolbjorn "Faggen" Skaflestad and his wife, Janis; and Wendell "Goobin" Skaflestad and his friend, Nancy Van Weiringen; Skaflestad (wife of Faggen); 16 grandchildren; 29 great-grandchildren; one great-great-granddaughter; and several other relatives

A 100-year birthday tribute will also be held near to the time of his birthday, July 23, in the garden of his son Erling and daughter-in-law Bonnie of Hoonah. The birthday party has been an annual event where Alf looked forward to visiting with family from Norway, the U.S. and other parts of Alaska and to eating Harvey Hildre's smoked black-cod.