Raymond F. Carder

Posted: Thursday, May 14, 2009

Former homesteader of Lutak Inlet near Haines, Raymond F. Carder died April 24, 2009, at St. Joseph Hospital in Bellingham, Wash.

He was born Jan. 25, 1925, in Fort Monroe, Va., to Frank Carder, an American military officer, and Gorgette Madinier, a French immigrant cook.

After withdrawing from 11th grade to serve in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1945, he returned to Hopewell High School in Virginia to graduate. He attended the College of William and Mary almost a year before he withdrew due to a football injury.

In 1947, he headed north over the newly constructed Alcan Highway to Haines to become a stockholder of Port Chilkoot Co. Broke and finding no work of sustainment, he moved to Skagway where he drove his own cab, long-shored and was a gandy dancer for the White Pass Railroad.

Involving himself in the local culture, he acted in the "Day's of '98," joined a men's basketball team and started a private, after-hours home brew parlor. When filmmakers for the Hollywood film "Harpoon" came to town, he landed a small role as an extra harpoon thrower.

Through friendships with the locals, he learned the Alaskan techniques for fishing, hunting and trapping. In Skagway, he met and fell in love with the "Queen of the Yukon," Viola Sullivan. After a fiery romance, they were married in 1949.

In 1956, he moved his family of five to Haines. He began work as a tanker dock pump operator for the Army Department of Defense Petroleum Distribution Center while homesteading the north end of Lutak Inlet near the Chilkoot River.

In Lutak, he cleared land and built two homes, a summer cabin and a boat moorage. He led a subsistence lifestyle of hunting, fishing, trapping, crabbing, gardening, smoking fish and canning. In the early 1980s he sold out in Lutak to retire in Juneau.

"Raymond always will be remembered for his adventurous stories about his childhood and Alaskan experiences, his kindness and generosity and his love for Alaska - its people, its land, its waters, its spirit," his family said.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Viola Carder; daughters, Jeanetta Weedman and husband, Walter, and Simone Martin and husband, Bradley; sons, James Carder and wife, Hanh, and Michael Carder; grandsons, Duane and Raymond Weedman, Jimmy Ray Carder and Gregory Carder; granddaughter, Christine Carder; step-granddaughter, Dorothy Baz, husband, Alex, and their children, Alexandria, Alex and Monique; sister, Jeannine Carder, of Colorado Springs, Colo.; brothers-in-law Larry Sullivan, of North Pole, and Michael Sullivan and wife, Patty, of Yuba City, Calif.; and sister-in-law Lola Sullivan, of Pocattello, Idaho.

A memorial service will take place in Alaska this summer. Condolences may be mailed to Viola Carder, 4895 Dory Ct., Blaine, WA.



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