Harold Oluf Fossum

Posted: Friday, December 03, 2004

Longtime Juneau resident Harold Oluf Fossum, 75, died unexpectedly on Dec. 1, 2004.

He was born May 24, 1929, in Katalla, Alaska, to Elizabeth (Bessie) and Victor Fossum. His family moved to the Tacoma, Wash., area in 1930, then relocated back to Southeast Alaska in 1940. Harold remained here for the rest of his life.

He served with the U.S. Army in Whittier during the Korean War. He was always a commercial fisherman at heart, though he was forced to supplement his "fish fund" by working as a hod carrier in Ketchikan during the construction of the mill. He worked various other jobs until he retired from the City & Borough of Juneau in 1985. Since his retirement, he enjoyed many leisure hours of fishing, hunting and entertaining family and friends with a multitude of spirited stories.

He belonged to many organizations including the Eagles of Ketchikan, Elks, Moose, Pioneers of Alaska, Sons of Norway and he was a lifetime member of the American Legion Post #25 of Auke Bay.

His interests included Alaska history. He contributed a great deal of information and reference material to the Point Sophia Development Company in Hoonah to provide visitors a glimpse into the salmon fishing industry in its heyday. He was an avid collector of Alaska memorabilia, including tokens and salmon labels. He subsidized the entrance fees to the Juneau-Douglas City Museum for several years and has donations on display in the museum as well.

He is preceded in death by his wife, Helen; his parents, Elizabeth and Victor Fossum; his sister, Lois (Peachie) Melvin.

He is survived by his longtime friend and partner, Patty McGee; his children, Selene (Charlie) Johnnie and Christine (Doug) Anderson, both of Soldotna, Alaska, Kathleen (Larry) Collison of Arlington, Wash., and Bennie Fossum of Hoonah; grandchildren, Wayne Johnnie, Jerrad, Hannah, and Landon Anderson; brother-in-law, Bennie Melvin; nieces, Mechelle and Melanie Melvin; and many friends. Patty's children and grandchildren loved him and considered him to be a large part of their lives as he was their "Grandpa Bumps."

His family says, "Harold was a larger than life character who was generous to a fault. His positive outlook will be dearly missed by all who had the good fortune to know him."

Friends are invited to honor the many memories of an old friend, a loved father, and a cherished companion. A potluck will take place at Harold and Patty's home at 1715 Beach Drive in Douglas from 2-6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, 2004.

Memorial donations can be made to Juneau-Douglas City Museum.

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