Sonny Smith, 85, died peacefully at South Peninsula Hospital with his wife Nancy of 51 years at his side. He was born in Austin, Texas. He was a Korean War veteran. He graduated from Texas A&M University. He drove cattle trucks cross country and he loved to ride bulls. Sonny moved to Alaska 1972. He drove trucks in Alaska and worked on the pipeline, the water treatment plant and at the head of Kachemak Bay until he bought the Glacier Drive-In, where he and his wife owned/worked for 31 amazing years.
Paulie Marie Blankenship
May 18, 1950-Nov. 28, 2016
Paulie Marie Blankenship, 66, died early on Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. She died at home from a swift and sudden heart attack, with her husband Harvey Blankenship by her side. “She went home to be with her Lord and Savior,” her family said.
Ruth S. Gnad
June 17, 1917-Nov. 14, 2016
Mrs. Ruth S. Gnad, aged 99 of Homer, died Monday, Nov. 14, 2016, at South Peninsula Hospital.
Ruth was born on June 17, 1917, in Briggsdale, Colo.
Ruth graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in education. She moved to Anchorage in 1961 and then to Homer in 1964 to teach, retiring from the Kenai Peninsula School District in 1977.
Ellen L. Grouws
April 5, 1945-Nov. 3, 2016
Ellen Lorraine Grouws, 71, loving wife, mother, sister, aunt and grandmother, was born April 5, 1945, and died peacefully on Nov. 3, 2016.
Gary Michael Horrell
Feb. 28, 1949-Oct. 28, 2016
Gary Michael Horrell, 67, died Oct. 28, 2016, in Mill Creek, Wash. A long time Alaskan and former resident of Homer, he was born Feb. 28, 1949, in Anchorage. Gary relocated to Anacortes, Wash., where his grandparents lived and his mother grew up. He was a teacher, coach and education administrator before retiring in 1996, but spent several years coaching in Anacortes area schools, too. Coach Horrell was always inspired by various sports, and many young athletes benefitted from his energy and dedication to the field.
Nov. 29, 1930-Oct. 19, 2016
Fredric Earl Linder, aged 85 of Homer died on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016, at Providence Seward Mountain Haven in Seward.
Fredric was born Saturday, Nov. 29, 1930, to Adolph and Eileen (Champion) Linder in Spokane, Wash., where he later graduated high school. After graduation, he joined the Marine Corps, earning the rank of sergeant before his honorable discharge in February of 1950.
March 21, 1954-Oct. 13, 2016
Homer resident Deidre Ann Bottineau, 62, died suddenly Thursday morning, Oct. 13, 2016.
A celebration of life is 2-6 p.m. Saturday Oct. 22, 2016, at Wasabi’s Restaurant, 59217 East End Road, with a no-host bar.
March 4, 1960-Oct. 12, 2016
Homer resident Mr. James Patrick Nestor, 56, died Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016, at his home in Homer.
No services will be held at this time.
Mr. Nestor was born March 4, 1960, in Evergreen Park, Ill. He graduated from Oaklawn High School in 1978. He received an associate’s degree from Kalamazoo Valley Community College in 1987. In 1985 he worked for Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo, Mich., up until 1987. In 1987 he worked for West Shore Medical Center in Manistee, Mich.
Sept. 9, 1956-Oct. 3, 2016
Longtime Homer resident and Cook Inlet fisherman Paul Mackie died Oct. 3, 2016, in his home overlooking Kachemak Bay. His wife and brother were at his side. Paul was 60 years old.
Jimmie D. Watkins
Oct. 12, 1945 – Sept. 22, 2016
Longtime Homer resident Jimmie D. Watkins died Sept. 22, 2016 at Providence Hospital in Anchorage. He was 70.
He was born Oct. 12, 1945, in Marysville, Calif., and his early childhood was on a ranch/farm surrounded by fruit orchards near Sacramento. He had many adventures raising turkeys, chickens and other farm animals. So many of his great stories came from experiences there and throughout the orchards. His memory was awesome and most of the stories were true.
Oct. 12, 1945-Sept. 22, 2016
Homer resident Jimmie Watkins, 70, died Sept. 22, 2016, in Anchorage. A memorial service is 4-7 p.m. Oct. 12, 2016, at the American Legion Post 16, Mile 2 East End Road. A remembrance begins at 5:15 p.m. Hot dogs, hamburgers and fried chicken will be served; please bring a side dish to share.
He was born Oct. 12, 1945, in Marysville, Calif., and worked as a mechanic for his business, Port Engineering. He is survived by his wife, Gwen Watkins. His ashes will be scattered later.
Feb. 20, 1941-Sept. 16, 2016
Mr. Virgil Wayne Englishbee Sr., 75, of Anchor Point, died from pulmonary fibrosis on Friday, Sept. 16, 2016, at St. Elias Speciality Hospital in Anchorage, after a day surrounded by family and friends. A service was held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016, at Chapman School in Anchor Point.
Pallbearers were Wayne Englishbee, Brian Dean, Dale LiaBraaten, Jim Toci, Bruce Hunting, Neil Kinney, Russell Chesser and Jim Anderson, with honorary pallbearers being Randy Pittman, Darin Matson, Frank Christensen and Jimmy Englishbee.
Walter R. Pudwill
May 25, 1955-Sept. 10, 2016
Walter Raymond Pudwill, 61, carpenter, gardener, prospector and fix-it-man extraordinaire, died Sept. 10, 2016, at home in Homer, Alaska, after living with cancer for nearly four years.
Kriss Dawn Swoboda
Oct. 8, 1965 – Sept. 13, 2016
Kriss Dawn Swoboda, 50, died Sept. 13, 2016. Her family said she passed away “after a lengthy and inspiring battle with cancer.”
Kriss was born Oct 8, 1965, on Kodiak Island to Don and Mary Mack. She grew up in Kodiak and started commercial fishing at an early age. She moved to College Station, Texas, in 1997. While there she managed the office of Swoboda Tile for 10 years while raising her family and making many new friends. She recently moved to Homer, where she continued to make new friends.
Virgil W. Englishbee
Feb. 20, 1941-Sept. 16, 2016
Mr. Virgil Wayne Englishbee, Sr., 75, of Anchor Point, died from pulmonary fibrosis on Friday, Sept. 16, 2016, at St. Elias Speciality Hospital in Anchorage, after a day surrounded by family and friends. A service is at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016, at Chapman School in Anchor Point.
Marjorie Gene Stephens
1928-Sept. 1, 2016
Former Homer resident Marjorie Gene Stephens, 88, died peacefully on Sept. 1, 2016, in Amarillo, Texas. She was born in Amarillo and spent her childhood and early adult years there. She married her high school sweetheart Del Stephens, attended the University of Texas with him, and accompanied him around the world for the next 50 plus years. He was a pilot in the U.S. Air Force and they enjoyed traveling together. They had a loving marriage.
Obituaries and Memorials
April 14, 1963 - May 31, 2016
Everyone is invited to celebrate the life of beloved Alaska naturalist and educator Carmen Field, who died May 31, 2016. A full obituary appeared in the Homer News on June 9, 2016.
May 13, 1931-Aug. 31, 2016
Former Homer resident, author, world renowned scientist and birder Dr. George Curtiss West, 84, died Aug. 31, 2016.
“My beloved husband passed away,” his wife, Ellen West, said.
Terry J. Greenwald
Jan. 17, 1953-Aug. 25, 2016
Terry James Greenwald, aged 63, of Homer died on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016, at South Peninsula Hospital.
Terry was born Saturday, Jan. 17, 1953, in Fairfield, Calif., to Harold Jacob and Wanda (DuBois) Greenwald.
His family stated, “Terry fell in love with Homer, Alaska, and spent 14 happy years living his dream. He often said that he was lucky to live in the most beautiful place on earth.”
Terry was an avid photographer and chef and spent his free time pursuing his hobbies.
James Ray Bills
Aug. 29, 1928 – Aug. 23, 2016
James Ray Bills, 87, died Aug. 23, 2016, in Fritz Creek surrounded by his family.
He was born in Independence, Mo., on Aug. 29, 1928. to Lillie Mae and Ray Bills. When he was 15-years-old he joined the U.S. Navy and saw action throughout the Pacific in World War II. On his 17th birthday, when he was of legal age to join the Navy, the ship he was on sailed into Tokyo Bay for the surrender of Japan. He spent 21 years serving in the Navy.