Gordon Harry Benedict, was born on September 19th, 1934, on a 64 acre farm in Sparta Wisconsin, to Harry and Frances Benedict. The youngest male of 6 siblings, Gordon had 2 older brothers, and 2 older sisters, all deceased, and a younger sister Mary, who had traveled to Alaska to be with him in his final days. Upon graduating from Sparta High School, Gordon enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1952 and completed his Basic Training at San Antonio, Texas. Gordon served his first year in the Air Force stationed in Utah, and was then shipped to Anchorage by boat for his next duty assignment at Elmendorf AFB, arriving in 1954. While stationed at Elmendorf AFB, Gordon was an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician, working to safely explode old bombs throughout Alaska. Alaska was still a Territory at the time, and the vast wilderness and opportunities attracted him to Alaska. Gordon met and married his wife, Annie E. Horton, in Anchorage in 1955. In 1956, they both traveled to Minneapolis where Gordon was honorably discharged from the Air Force. The couple then traveled to Wisconsin to visit family and make plans to take over the family farm. The opportunities in Alaska were fresh on their minds and after much consideration they decided to return to The Last Frontier.
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Upon returning to Alaska, Gordon purchased a Loader and went into business for himself as a Heavy Equipment Operator from 1961-62. Gordon's work ethic and attention to detail quickly made a name for himself and was hired by F.W. Construction Company, advancing to Foreman for which he worked for over 25 years, traveling all over Alaska building schools, banks, etc.,. Gordon enjoyed baseball. He was an avid Atlanta Braves fan and had coached his Son's baseball team when they played little league baseball. Gordon's passion was building and was a Master Carpenter. In the 30 years they lived in Anchorage, Gordon and his wife Annie built 2 homes in Anchorage. Just prior to retiring from the Local 302 union, Gordon and Annie built their retirement home on Blodgett Lake in Wasilla. There they enjoyed the peacefulness of living on a private lake, watching the swans, ducks, and other birds that made that lake their summer home. In retirement, Gordon stayed busy for many years helping his oldest Son with his Excavation business. In his free time, he made hand crafted wood toys.
Gordon never met a stranger and was always willing to help anyone.
Gordon was the father of 3 sons, John Hugh Benedict (deceased), David Harry Benedict (deceased), and Richard Arthur Benedict who lives in Anchorage with his wife Debra.
His is survived by his wife, Annie Benedict; Son Richard Benedict; Daughter-in law, Debra Benedict, Daughter-in law, Westa Benedict; Grandsons, Daine Benedict, Bryce Benedict, Ryan Benedict, and Wade Benedict.
Gordon died at his home on June 16th, 2014.
He was a loving husband and father. He worked hard all of his life to support his family.
A Grave Site visitation for family and friends is scheduled for Saturday, June 21st, 201 at Angelus Memorial Park Cemetery at 2:00 p.m.
Published in Alaska Dispatch News from June 20 to June 21, 2014