Longtime Homer resident, Frank Joseph Libal, 70, died peacefully on Jan. 3, 2014, after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was born to the late Joseph and Vernette Libal of Two Harbors, Minn., on Jan. 15, 1943. He attended Two Harbors area schools, including Two Harbors High School, where he graduated in 1961.
Frank married Donna Leigh Pagenkopf of Knife River, Minn., on April 4, 1964. After graduating from the University of Minnesota, Duluth, with a teaching degree in 1968, Frank and Donna moved to Hoonah, Alaska. Six years later they moved again with their three children to Homer, where they have made their home for the past 40 years.
Frank worked as a science teacher and basketball coach at Homer High School until he retired in 1991. Upon retiring, he began his second career as a charter boat captain and assistant hunting guide until 2002, when he could no longer work due to longterm effects of cancer. Throughout the following decade, Frank’s perseverance while enduring multiple treatments was inspirational to many who knew him.
He was a teacher both in profession and in life, and was known to his family as a caring son, brother, husband and parent.
Frank is survived by his wife, Donna; his three children and their spouses, Kathryn Libal and Scott Harding of West Hartford, Conn.; Joseph and Rebecca Libal of Anchorage; John and Angela Libal, of Anchorage; and five grandchildren. He is also survived by three brothers, John (Cheryl), Robert (Emmy), Gary (Sharon) all of Two Harbors, Minn.; and two sisters, Sandra (Joe) Roberts of Duluth, Minn., and Rose (Erless) Burgess of Homer.
Frank was a member of Faith Lutheran Church in Homer where he served as both an elder and trustee. Memorial services and a beach-side celebration of life will be conducted during the spring/summer of 2014. Frank requested that his ashes be spread in Alaska and Minnesota — close to his favorite fishing.