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Former Palmer resident Phillip Lazenby, 85, went to be with the Lord on Jan. 28 [2009] in Bellevue, Wash.

Mr. Lazenby was born April 29, 1923, in Long Beach, Calif., to Ivy and Alfred Lazenby. He joined the Marine Corps during WWII and fought in many battles in the South Pacific – Semper Fi.

After the war, he married his wife, Peggy, on Aug. 26, 1947. They were married for over 61 years. They followed Phil’s dream to live in Alaska and arrived in Anchorage in 1949, where they lived in a walled, tent-house on Ship Creek for the first year. His first job was with Anchorage Sand & Gravel. They then moved to Palmer in the Matanuska Valley, Butte area, where they built a 20-by-20-foot cabin and raised their four children. For many years Phil worked as a powder monkey at the Jonesville coal mine near Sutton. Many days he would come home from working in sub-zero weather at the strip mine, with so much coal dust on his face and clothes that you could hardly recognize him. While living in the Mat-Su Valley he also gave vegetable farming a try. Phil was a true Alaska pioneer and was drawn to all Alaska had to offer. He loved the fishing, hunting, camping, clamming, crabbing and Robert Service poetry. The entire family was included on many of his adventures. In the early days, tent camping was the preferred method of shelter. Later on in life, a motor home replaced the tent, the first of which was a Winnebago.

In 1968 he moved his family to the Kenai Peninsula where he worked for Chevron at the Swanson River Field. He absolutely loved his job at Chevron and the many friends he worked with. At home, on Longmere Lake, you could always see the smoke lifting effortlessly above the chimney and feel the warmth of a well-stoked stove as you entered. After retirement from Chevron, the loss of their home to an electrical fire, and several medical issues; they moved to Bellevue, Wash., in 1983. Leaving Alaska did not curtail his search for adventure. He took many motor home trips around the southern 48. Even though he used a cane; keeping up with him on his daily walks was challenging.

Phil’s quick wit, easygoing attitude and love for his family will be remembered by all. We miss you Dad.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 61 years; brother, Jack Lazenby of Orange County, Calif.,; sister-in-law Rose Stimson and husband Mel of Bellevue, Wash.; sons, Sam Lazenby and wife Barb, of Anchorage; Ron Lazenby and wife Pam of Kenai; Randy Lazenby of Bellevue, Wash.; daughter, Vicki Myers and husband Chris of Kenai; nine grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

A celebration of his life will be held at a later date in Kenai. Memorial donations may be made in memory of Phillip Lazenby to Toys For Tots.