Long time Alaskan Richard Lee McCracken passed peacefully at the age of 80 in his Anchorage home surrounded by family. His friends affectionately called him "Cracker". Born June 5, 1933 in Neosho, MO, he was the second child of Laverna and Floyd McCracken. He grew up in Michigan where he worked on his father's poultry farm. He was always a very adventurous man with a passion for the outdoors and travel. That passion brought him to join the Air Force in 1951 and was subsequently stationed in Alaska.
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In 1954, after an Honorable discharge in California he moved back to Michigan where he worked as a stone mason in his uncles business. He was determined to get back to Alaska and in 1959 he loaded up the family in an old station wagon and made the drive up the Alcan Highway.
In the late 1960's he started his contracting company, MD Construction, overseeing projects from the Aleutian chain to Anchorage. Memorable builds include the first Health Spa on 5th Ave, the Bicycle Shop on Northern Lights and a 3 story block building on Minnesota.
The outdoors is where he was the happiest. He spent time on his commercial boat traveling all over the state commercial fishing and hauling salmon. His hunting skills landed him the Alaska trifecta of a bear, moose and sheep. He also spent many weekends on his boat the "Salty" with his family in Seward.
He was an active member of the Elks, Moose Club and the American Legion Post #1, where he enjoyed cooking prime rib on Friday nights and participating with his friends in the "Chicken Club".
Cracker is survived by 2 brothers, Bob and Bud and sister Carol of Michigan; his son, Rick in Arizona and daughters, Dawn Lawton and Robin Clark of Anchorage and Linda Waite in Washington, as well as his former wife, Dee McCracken Walsh of Arizona. His grandchildren include: Cory Ritter, Christopher Lawton, Tennille Knorz, Jeremy Clark-Brandenburg, Shane Clark, Tim Clark, Chad Bibby, Ryan Thrapp, Jamie McCracken and 11 great grandchildren. He also leaves behind his dearest friend and ever present companion, "Mackie", his Schnauzer. On July 20th at 2:00 p.m., there will be a celebration of life at the American Legion Post #1.
Published in adn.com from July 14 to July 15, 2013