Richard Alonzo Person June 18, 1953- December 12th, 2020


Richard Alonzo (Dick, Rich) Person, 85, died peacefully in his sleep on December 12th, 2020, in Fairbanks, Alaska. He was born in Toledo, Oregon June 18th, 1935, the second of ten children of Clarence and Lucille Person. Richard attended Newport High School and excelled in athletics. He graduated in 1953 and enlisted in the Army. He served as a mechanic and witnessed many nuclear detonations at the Nevada Nuclear Test Site; an experience that stayed with him his entire life. In 1956 he attended NNC in Nampa, Idaho where, in 1958, he met and married Joyce McAbee, mother of his four children. Upon returning to Newport, Richard worked as a commercial fisherman and in construction. While on a summer fishing job in Alaska, his dream of moving North was born; an idea which would wait several decades to come to life. After returning to college to complete his bachelor’s degree, he taught home construction in the Salem-Keizer School District and inspired several students to careers in the trades and as craftsmen. Richard went on to found Percy Construction with his son, Rod Person, and they built several homes together in Oregon, Montana, and Wisconsin. In 2006 Richard finally moved to Alaska, where he built and lived in his forever home in Anchor Point on the Kenai Peninsula. Richard was fascinated by astronomy and the geography of Oregon. He loved the scent of Perfume Delight roses and the color mauve (aka pink), collected padlocks, tuning forks and cranberry glass. He told corny jokes, the same ones, often. He raised five-foot tall begonias and zinnias that slowed traffic. He hunted deer, elk, agates and gold. He possessed a deep well of know-how, worked hard, and admired that quality in others. Despite frequent illness, he had nine lives. Salt water and Ebb Tide soothed his soul. Richard (fondly known as Gramps) spoiled his grandchildren with fishing trips, clamming, nails and boards for pounding, mountains of shrimp with just enough fine-sliced cabbage beneath to call it salad, target practice, fossil hunting, bald eagle spotting, “leverite” collecting, Cheetos, M&M’s and ice-cream. He was fiercely independent right to the end. He will be dearly missed by his loved ones, and will live on through the many skills he taught us, our work ethic, and our appreciation for the beauty of the natural world. Richard was preceded in death by his parents Clarence and Lucille Person and two of his brothers, Don (Emily) and Mark (Rose). He is survived by his sisters Gayla and Shirin (Jim), and brothers Larry (Vanita), Merlin (Peggy), Victor (Linda), Ole (Alice) and Ken. He is also survived by his children and grandchildren, Carmen (Vince) and daughter Isabella; Kim (Bob) and children Marla (Sam), Alyssa (Chris), Abby (Norbert), Elisa (Chris) and Carina; Heidi (Robbie) and children Benjamin and Nolan; and Rod (Martha) and children Frannie (Bryce), Josie (Rob), Zachary, Solomon and Shamika. Richard was the proud great grandfather of three. Chapel of Chimes Funeral Home in Fairbanks, Alaska was entrusted with his arrangements. Memories of Dad can be shared at the following link: legacyalaska.com

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