Rosetta "Sis" Dragseth and husband, Marvin Dragseth, both of Nikiski, passed away in Anchorage at Providence Hospital three days apart at the same hour on Wednesday, May 18 and Saturday, May 21. If they'd had a chance to plan it in advance, that's how they would have wanted it.
Sis was born Nov. 8, 1938, in Mifflinville, Pennsylvania, to Harvey and Rosetta Myers. She moved to Alaska in 1949 with her family when she was 11 and grew up in Sutton with three sisters and two brothers. She went to work at the Alpine bar at 16 where she met Marvin.
Marvin was born Oct. 19, 1930, in Davenport, Iowa, and came to Alaska from Wisconsin when he was 5 as a Matanuska-Sustina Valley colonist with his parents Velma and Joe, and sister Joanne. Another sister and brother were born later. He was always ambitious and began his fishing career when he was 15. He met and married Sis when he was 24, and they were together for 61 years.
Sis and Marvin made their living from Cook Inlet owning a fishing business on the Kenai Peninsula. They were true entrepreneurs, starting at the bottom and founding one of the first Alaska-owned Kenai fish processing plants, Royal Pacific Fisheries.
Their fishing business took many twists and turns through the years, fueled by Marvin's ability to confidently take risks when he had a new idea to sell or process seafood. Sis was his right hand who made the math work and kept the books. They instilled in son Joe and daughter Becky a work ethic based on hard labor and the value of a dollar. The kids learned that you kept your family close by, and didn't take anything for granted. Integrity in business was the only way: if you made a deal, your word was gold.
Marvin's risk-taking was also a leisure activity - he loved playing cards and gambling. He became rather popular at casinos in Las Vegas, even though he won as often as he lost. Later in life Marvin enjoyed playing card games with the grandkids, and with his buddies at Paradisos.
Sis's hobbies were making great food and entertaining family and friends. She will be remembered as a wonderful hostess who enjoyed cooking and serving gourmet meals.
After retirement they built a cabin in the Caribou Hills and enjoyed many weekends there and on Outside family vacations with the kids and grandkids.
Surviving family members include their son, Joseph "Joe" Dragseth (Tina), grandson, Jake; granddaughter, Becky Jo; daughter, Rebecca "Becky" Clark (Ed); grandson, Justin Rainwater and granddaughter, Jackie Rainwater. They are also survived by Sis's sisters, Esther Myers, Ruth Sielaff and Elizabeth Andersen (Dennis); brother, Buzz Myers; and Marvin's sister, Marilyn McRae; brother, Jack Dragseth, and many nieces and nephews.
Sis and Marvin's ashes have been combined and will be spread over Cook Inlet later this summer. At their request, no formal memorial service was planned.
Published in Peninsula Clarion on Jun. 1, 2016.