The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

Gary Eldon Epple


Gary Eldon Epple was born in Stockton, Calif. on Dec. 22, 1940. Gary moved to Alaska in 1957 where he graduated from Seward High School and attended the University of Alaska in Fairbanks. Gary worked on the Alaska Railroad with his father in the summer preceding his enrollment at the University of Alaska. He later served in the U.S. Air Force from 1959 to 1962. He then worked for over 35 years as a computer operator in the payroll department at Yosemite Community College in Modesto, Calif. Gary was an avid Oakland Raiders fan who often joined his Manteca family on Sundays to watch the NFL. He also enjoyed trips to Reno, Lake Tahoe and Las Vegas where played black jack in the high rollers room.

His true passion however remained Alaska history and culture. He had a special love of his hometown of Seward, where he had carried the state flag in the Seward Statehood Parade as a 19 year old. Among his most prized possessions was a framed copy of his mother Edith’s certification from her vote in the “Southcentral District of Alaska in the First Presidential Election held in the State of Alaska,” dated Nov. 8, 1960 and signed by official observer Betty Bair. A historical companion piece to this certificate was a pristinely preserved 49-star flag. He visited Seward and Moose Pass annually where he and his sister Barbara enjoyed the friendship and hospitality of their good friend Joy Eastman. He continued a subscription to The Seward Phoenix LOG even while living in California and enjoyed sharing the latest news with his family and friends.

Gary was very generous, well read, loved the telling and hearing of good stories and possessed a good heart. He loved his family and will be greatly missed.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Gerald and Lucille Epple and his sister Phyllis Atilano. Gary is survived by his sister Barbara Henry (Mike) of Manteca, five nephews, Paul Robert Atilano (Barbara), Joe Atilano (Suzanne) of Modesto, Mark Condit (Kristen) of Manteca, Joseph Gary Atilano (Brandi) of Ripon, Matthew Atilano (Laura) of Walnut Creek and two nieces Hilary Jamieson (John) of Modesto and Luanne Christian (Steve) of Corpus Christi, Texas. Gary had five grand nieces and six grand nephews that he loved dearly.


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