Life-Long Alaskan, Al "Sonny" Gordon dies at 77


June 29, 2023

Obituary submitted by Marilyn Taylor

A celebration of life for Alfred E. “Sonny” Gordon III will tentatively be held in Haines on July 9, his 78th birthday. He died at home of pneumonia. He was born in Juneau to Alfred Gordon II and Mary Gordon in 1943. He had many varied and interesting experiences throughout his life, holding different jobs and living different places throughout the years, most recently being retired and living in Haines, Alaska for 13 years. He recently had cancer but beat it. He had loved everything about living in Haines, most importantly observing all the wildlife; bears, moose, eagles and all the other creatures endemic to the area. Al was of the Eagle moiety. Emma Pahl had been his grandmother. He had many friends and relatives here in Haines, as well as many interests. He had most recently retired from the ferry system working on deck, mostly on the Kennicott. Al spent the majority of his life living in Ketchikan.

When young he had first worked as a deckhand on a fishing boat until his arm got stuck in the hauler. Years ago he worked delivering mail to little rural Southeast villages including Port Protection, meeting interesting and colorful residents living there. He owned and ran a carpet cleaning business out of Ketchikan for years, worked for a “bug man” and was a stray dog catcher for a brief time. He was a logger. He worked up in the arctic on the pipeline in the 1970’s boom. There he delivered fuel for a time to several Native villages, meeting those few interesting residents. He lived in Anchorage for a few years, marrying and having 3 living children with ex-wife Kathy. Al loved to fish, owning several boats through the years. He really loved to work on restoring older cars. He liked photography, taking many pictures. He enjoyed gold panning and metal detecting. He was an all-around good guy, liked people and was well-liked.

We miss him.

He leaves 3 grown children: Tammy Matthews of Las Vegas, Tom Gordon of Olympia, Wash, Byron Gordon of Anchorage, and 7 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren


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