Carl Frederick "Fred" Bannick Jr., 62, passed away in his home on Nov. 20, 2012, after a lengthy battle with diabetes and a blood disorder. He rarely let his late-in-life disability slow him down and was known for his determination and will to live life on his terms.
He was born Nov. 28, 1949, and raised on a dairy farm in Christiansburg, Va., graduating from Floyd County High School with four years of football letters. After high school he joined the Air Force and came to Alaska in 1971. He served as an airplane mechanic, attaining sergeant rank, and was honorably discharged March 15, 1973, with time spent in Indonesia, Korea and Vietnam. He lived in Eagle River tending bar before settling in Homer. The day he arrived in Homer he caught two king crab off the city dock and knew he was "home."
Fred worked his magic as a freelance mechanic on commercial diesel engines that led to 22 years of commercial fishing with 18 years on deck. After a back injury in the early 1980s the community rallied and helped him go to technical school for refrigeration that he brought to the fishing vessels as well as in transitioning back to port. He owned and operated Aurora Refrigeration for many years as well as a lucrative bait business serving the local fishing fleet.
He was known for his generosity towards others and was often the first in line to offer assistance at local benefits for people in need. He spent his free time in his garden tending to flowers and growing tomatoes in his greenhouse, and canning for winter months.
Fred was preceded in death by his mother, Effie (Reed) Bannick, and father, Carl Frederick Bannick, and Aunt Vashti Chandler of Virginia. He is survived by his daughters Jennifer Marie Crow (Pacillo-Reinhart), Petra Marie Pembroke (Bannick) and granddaughter Mackenzi Pembroke. He also had many dear friends in Homer whom he called "family," that have filled spaces in his heart and life over the years. A special thanks to those who provided ongoing love and support; including but not limited to Dennis Leach, Rondy Bossel, Carol Lau, Lisa Magnus and Melissa Joseph.
Fred had a wild appetite for adventure and his legend lives on in the stories to be told. His family requests any memories you may wish to share in writing to be mailed to 1105 E. Klatt Road, Anchorage, AK 99515, including your contact information. A memorial will be scheduled in the summer of 2013 with additional celebrations around town. Donations may be made in Fred's honor to the Homer Beautification Project at Public Works, 3573 Health Street, Homer, Alaska 99603.