Beloved father, grandfather, son, brother, and friend, Allan David Beiswenger passed away on Friday November 29, 2019 after a long battle with brain cancer. He died peacefully at home, surrounded by his family and with his dogs at his side.
Allan was born on October 4, 1948 in Fisher, Minnesota and grew up on the Beiswenger family farm. He was the Salutatorian of the Fisher High School Class of 1966, and after high school he attended the University of Minnesota. Allan graduated with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering and he was fond of telling people that he was "both a rocket scientist and a lawyer." After college Allan joined the U.S. Peace Corps and was stationed in Liberia, Africa for 2 and 1/2 years where he taught high school. His flight to Liberia was the first time he had ever seen the ocean or been on an airplane. After the Peace Corps, Allan enrolled in the University of Minnesota Law School, graduating in 1976. He then accepted a job offer in Bethel, Alaska as a public defender. While in Bethel, Allan met his wife Susan; they were married on January 6, 1978 and their daughter Elizabeth was born in 1979. Susan and Allan then moved to the island nation of Micronesia in the South Pacific, living on the island of Ponape.
After Ponape, the family moved back to Alaska and settled in Soldotna, where Allan helped open a private practice with two colleagues called Robinson, Beiswenger, & Ehrhardt. They soon added sons David (1982) and Daniel (1987) to the family. Allan spent as much time as he could at the family's Butterfly Lake Homestead near Willow with his friends and family. Allan was a world traveler throughout his life. He took his children to Tanzania and Kenya to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, and volunteered as an election observer in Liberia.
Susan and Allan moved to Girdwood in 2000, and then to Anchorage in 2006, where Allan first worked for the State of Alaska and then joined a private practice law firm. After his retirement in 2008, he started trekking through Nepal and Tibet, eventually returning 4 times including a trek with his son David to Mount Everest Base Camp. He returned to Micronesia with his son Danny to scuba dive and cruised the rivers of Portugal with his wife Susan. He was a pilot and float plane owner, and enjoyed shuttling the family back and forth to the Butterfly Lake cabin. He loved nothing more than to sit on his deck with a glass of whiskey and a cigar.
After being diagnosed with a glioblastoma, Allan decided to check a few things off his bucket list and traveled to Spain and Portugal to hike the El Camino Trail and spent time in Mexico with his brother Roger. His final trip was to Minnesota, where he watched two Twins games and a Vikings game (SKOL!), and visited the family farm for the last time. He lived just long enough to hold his first grandson, Adam Landry Beiswenger, who was born on November 5, 2019.
Allan is survived by his children Elizabeth Shea, David Beiswenger, and Daniel Beiswenger; grandchildren Jenna Shea and Adam Beiswenger; sisters Arleen Boyd and Elaine Witt, brother Roger Beiswenger, daughter-in-law Andrea Beiswenger, son-in-law Jason Shea, sister-in-law Mary Adams, brother-in-law Dr. Peter Adams, his many nieces and nephews, cousins, in-laws, and dear friends. His ashes will be taken to the family graveyard on Butterfly Lake, and he will be buried next to his wife Susan.
A memorial service will be held for Allan at 4:00 PM on Sunday December 8th at 3941 Aircraft Drive, Anchorage AK 99502. Donations would be greatly appreciated and should be made in Allan's name to the American Cancer Society