Posted: Tuesday, June 05, 2001

Phil R. Holdsworth

Former Juneau resident Phil R. Holdsworth died on June 3, 2001, in Anchorage.

He was born Aug. 21, 1910, in Grants Pass, Ore.

Holdsworth came to Alaska in 1913 when his father began work at a lode mine near Moose Pass. In 1931, he worked as mill superintendent for Nebesna Mining Co. between semesters at U.W.

In 1936, with his new bride, Peggie, he set off for the Philippines. In 1937 he became mill superintendent for Mindanao Mines in Surigao. In 1942, when Gen. Douglas MacArthur ordered U.S. troops in the Philippines to surrender, he resigned his commission as a second lieutenant and he and his wife took to the jungle and conducted guerilla activities with locals against the Japanese. They were captured on July 1, 1942, and remained prisoners until Feb. 3, 1945.

He worked an assortment of mining jobs in the Northwest until accepting the position of commissioner of mines for the territory of Alaska in 1952. With statehood in 1959, he assumed the position of commissioner of Natural Resources where he was largely responsible for the selection of Prudhoe Bay for state lands.

In 1967, he retired from the state and continued work in private industry. He was a past president of the State Chamber of Commerce, Alaska State Elks and the Alaska Miner's Association. He was also a life member of the Palmer American Legion and the Wasilla VFW.

He loved to fish, hunt, bowl, dance and play bridge.

He is survived by his son David of Tampa, Fla.; his daughter Phyllis of Beaverton, Ore.; his son Bruce of Anchorage; four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

The family suggests memorial contributions be made to The Alaska Miner's Association, Inc., 3305 Arctic Blvd. No. 202, Anchorage, AK 99503.

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