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Louis Osdather

Alaska pioneer Louis Osdather, 78, died Dec. 20 of cancer at his Wasilla residence.  A service will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday at First Presbyterian Church in Anchorage with Dr. Joe Bettridge officiating.

Mr. Osdather was born Dec. 19, 1911, in Ballard, Wash.  He attended high school in Enumclaw, Wash.  He had lived in Palmer from 1935 to 1939. From 1939 to 1976, he lived in Anchorage, then moved to Wasilla.  He was employed by Matanuska Colony Project in Palmer from 1935 to 1938 as a member of the board of directors for Alaska Rural Rehabilitation Corp. of which he was chairman for 13 years. He also served as manager of the Trading Post during this time.  He operated Lucky's Grocery in Anchorage from 1939 to 1950. The store was destroyed by fire in the mid1940s, but was rebuilt and became the first self-serve grocery in Alaska.  Mr. Osdather sold out of the grocery business in 1950 and bought an insurance business, which became Osdather-Simpson Insurance.

He retired in 1960 when he and his family moved to their summer home on Wasilla Lake in 1976.  He was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Wasilla.  Mr. Osdather was past exalted ruler the Elks Lodge No. 1351 and past territorial president and deputy director of the Alaska Territorial Elks Association in 1951, and past Grand Lodge officer of the Benevolent Protector Order of Elks. He was past president of Pioneers of Alaska Igloo No. 15 and past grand president of Pioneers of Alaska. He was a master mason of Anchorage Lodge No. 221 and a Member Emeritus of Red Cross of the Constantine.
He was an Anchorage councilman for two terms, and he and his wife were the king and queen regent of the 1976 Fur Rendezvous.  He was a member of the Pioneer Home Advisory Board from 1969 to 1989 and was chairman of Alaska Pioneer Home Advisory Board. He was also commissioner of Older Alaskans Commission and served six Alaska governors continuously since 1969.  He was given a National Civilian Leader of the Year Award from the Armed Services Department in 1979 for outstanding volunteer services with the YMCA to the armed services and their dependents in Alaska since World War II.

He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Estelle, of Wasilla; his daughter, Kathy, of San Francisco; his sons, Kenneth of Anchorage, and Richard of Fairbanks; his grandsons, Norman and Martin, of Anchorage; and Jon and Erik ,both of Fairbanks.

Source: Anchorage Daily News, December 23, 1989



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