Peter Winslow Knudsen, 79 passed away on January 6, 2013 at his home in Anchorage with his loving family by his side.
He was born on October 28, 1933 in Cambridge, Massachusetts to Louis W. and Bertha L. Knudsen. He grew up in Anchorage with his younger brother hunting and fishing with their father Sam, what fond memories those were. In 1952 Peter graduated from Anchorage High School. This was the start of his life in aviation. He joined the Marine Corps in 1954 and served for 3 years. Peter was in the Korean War and was the recipient of the Service Medal, Good Conduct Award and The First Award. He received an honorable discharge in 1957, achieving rank of Private, occupation: Airplane Mechanic.
Back to the state he loved "Alaska" he started working for George Pappas at Merrill Field Airport as an Airplane Mechanic. Peter then worked for Orin Seybert, PenAir located in King Salmon in the 1960's. Moving back to Anchorage he leased a hangar from Jack Peck at Lake Hood. In 1969 Peter had a dream of building his own hangar which was commonly known as "The Big Red Hangar" located at Lake Hood. He ran Alaska Aircraft Repair with his beloved wife Kay for years. After selling "Big Red" he enjoyed working out of Lands' End running their charter business Sea Maiden Charters. After that he worked for Baker Aviation Inc. out of Kotzebue. Peter also worked for Alaska Municipal League Joint Insurance Association, Inc. as an Inspector. Peter was a Private Pilot, Airplane Single Engine, Airplane Single Engine Land and Sea, Power Plant, Airframe Mechanic, and he was the recipient of the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award in 1995. Peter was a member of the American Legion 1 in Anchorage. He took his work very seriously; Peter was a perfectionist in everything he did. He had many clients throughout Alaska and the lower 48.
Peter married Kay in 1961 in Anchorage and enjoyed their honeymoon in Homer at the Salty Dawg. The couple had two loving girls Kimberly and Shannon. The family homesteaded across the inlet at Knik without running water or electricity and living off the land for their meals. They were happily married for 51 years. He enjoyed his life flying, fishing, hunting, camping, boating, and master story-telling with his family and numerous longtime friends.
Peter is survived by his wife Kay; his daughter Kimberly K., son-in-law James H. Frensley, his daughter Shannon, son-in-law Kevin P. Lockwood; granddaughter LaRee Kay Frensley all of Anchorage; his brother William Louie of the Philippines; nephew Louis "Mitch" and wife Kim M. Knudsen of Anchorage; niece Tiare L. and husband Doug Haufman all of Laguna Beach, CA; son Seth and daughter Leah.
Pallbearers that will lay Peter to his final resting place at Fort Richardson will be James Frensley, Kevin Lockwood, Mitch Knudsen, Lee Roher, Bryan Anderson, Travis Kudrna and Jeremy "Scott" Betson.
A celebration of life will be held on January 21, 2013 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Alaska Aviation Museum, 4721 Aircraft Drive, Anchorage, for direction you can call 248-5325.
In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations be made to the Alzheimer's Resource of Alaska, 1750 Abbott Road, Anchorage, Alaska 99507.
Janssen Funeral Homes, www.janssenfuneralhomes.com.
Published in Alaska Dispatch News from Jan. 17 to Jan. 18, 2013