Lifelong Alaska resident Melvin J. Monsen Sr., 89, died December 4, 2019 at the Alaska Native Medical Center of respiratory failure. He was born in Naknek, Alaska on February 19, 1930 to Martin and Martha Monsen. He grew up in a large, well-known southwest Alaska family of 24 children, including 12 siblings and 11 half-siblings. Melvin lived in Naknek, Fairbanks and, since 1964, Anchorage. His many professions included commercial salmon fisherman (for over 40 years), trapper, movie theater owner/operator, trucking company owner/operator, commercial bush pilot, ventilation company owner and procurement specialist for both private industry and State of Alaska. He was an Army veteran, serving during the Korean conflict. Melvin also served on many boards during his life including Naknek Electric Association, as a founding member; Bristol Bay Native Corporation's subsidiary Bristol Environmental & Engineering Services; and Cook Inlet Region Incorporated Shareholder Participation Committee. Melvin was able to fix just about anything and, for decades, enjoyed repairing or replacing home appliances, as well as plumbing and heating systems, for his friends and relatives.
Melvin is survived by his wife of 64 years Jerry Monsen, daughter Susan Monsen (Mark Berry) and son Melvin Monsen (Lisa); grandchildren Sarah Berry, Matthew Berry and Elizabeth Strong (Homer Strong); his sister Elaine Seversen, and many nephews, nieces and other relatives and friends.
Memorials may be sent to the Bristol Bay Native Corporation Education Foundation 111 West 16th Avenue, Suite 400 Anchorage, AK 99501 and/or the Nicholas Monsen Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund P.O. Box 103 Naknek, AK 99633.
Published in Anchorage Daily News on Dec. 15, 2019.