Harry Blanas

  • "Dear Blanas family, We are just now hearing of your loss. ..."
    - The Hill Family
  • "Torie, Peter and the rest of the family; My condolences on..."
    - Gary Elwood
  • "My sympathy to the family. I used to be a neighbor and..."
    - Margie Tidwell

Harry Blanas passed away March 7th at Providence Medical Center in Anchorage.

Harry was born in 1934, in rural Greece, and was a child during the German occupation, the armed resistance and the post-war revolution. These were horrific events, which shaped and influenced the remainder of his life.

After these conflicts, he learned the industrial insulation trade (asbestos work), which took him to Australia. There he met his wife, Majella, who was there from Alaska. They were married in 1961, and moved to Alaska, to be with her family.

After gaining entry to the Insulators Union and working statewide on various projects, he became the local union president and chief negotiator. He was a devout, lifelong union member.

He held the entrepreneurial spirit, and was an active business person most of his life. He was a contractor first in industrial insulation, and then general contracting, land development, residential and commercial projects. He pioneered several cold weather construction methods, which have now become standard practice in Alaska.

He was fiercely determined, in all of his endeavors. When he set his mind to something, there was no dissuading him from his position, or his objective.

He was a solid JFK Democrat, politically active all of his life, and was always up for spirited debate. If he believed he was right (he always did), he would not rest until others agreed. In later years, he argued several matters in court on his own behalf. He won a case before the Alaska Supreme Court arguing on his own, in his second language. Harry Blanas loved his family, his Greek Orthodox faith, his adoptive America, politics, and debate. His contributions were many, and he will be missed by those who knew him.

Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Majella, and their five children & spouses: Torie and Nels Strandberg, Bill and Annette Blanas, Barbara and Nick Rodes, Peter and Kim Blanas, and Jim Blanas. He is survived also by six grandchildren, in addition to his sister Georgia, and extended family in Greece. A gathering and burial was held Friday, March 9.

Arrangements were entrusted to Legacy Funeral Home Kehl's Chapel.

Published in Anchorage Daily News from Mar. 18 to Mar. 19, 2012