erwin lorenz

Erwin Joseph Lorenz, 79, a long-time Anchorage resident, died May 19, 2009, at home of natural causes with his family by his side. A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Monday at St. Patrick's Catholic Church.

Erwin was born June 23, 1929, in Oriska, N.D., to Joseph and Alma (Walters) Lorenz. He attended school in Oriska and helped his father on the family farm. In 1949, he and friends drove to Alaska to work in construction. He served in the Marines from 1951-1953 and afterwards returned to Alaska, making it his home. He married Bernice Patscheck on May 24, 1958 at St. Anthony's Church, and together they homesteaded in the Knik area. The homestead cabin became the recreational gathering place for family and friends and many memories were built snowmobiling, at bonfire gatherings and gardening. He took great pleasure being with his children and grandchildren, and his family felt privileged to have had his humor and encouragement in their daily lives and will always treasure what a beautiful difference one life made.

Erwin was a member of the Teamsters Local 959 and a 50-year member of the Operating Engineers Local 302. He worked as a heavy equipment mechanic on the White Alice sites throughout Alaska for ITT, RCA and Alascom, retiring in 1983. He enjoyed building houses, and restoring old cars, especially his 1921 Model T, which was the first car he purchased. He enjoyed traveling, camping, hunting and fishing extensively in Alaska with family and friends. After his retirement, he enjoyed traveling in Europe, Mexico and the Lower 48.

He is survived by his wife, Bernice; daughters, Patty Rafter and husband, Jim, and Barbara Haken and husband, Raymond; son, Robert and wife Wendy of Saipan; nine grandchildren; brothers, Luke of Eire, Colo., and Lloyd of Devils Lake, N.D. He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers, Lorne and Joseph. In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to Special Olympics of Anchorage, 3200 Mt. View Drive, Anchorage, AK 99501. Arrangements are with Anchorage Funeral Home and Crematory.