|Dennis McCracken, age 74, died unexpectedly April 10, 2009, while
vacationing in California. He was born July 20, 1934, in Hinton, Okla.
He truly was an adventurer and came to Alaska from California in 1960 to live that dream. He brought his young family to King Salmon where he worked communications at the White Alice Sites. The flying bug got into his soul and he soon was piloting family and friends to many adventures of fishing, hunting and just flying to be flying in the great state of Alaska. He decided that Nome would be a good experience and spent several years managing and doing communications for the local telephone company. Eventually, he came back to Anchorage and settled into life in the "big city" working for RCA and ATU. He made the move to WireComm where he was most proud of his work as Project Manager of Communications for the new Alaska Pipeline. In 1979, with his partner and long time friend Ron Wisemore, they launched their own telecommunications company known as COMTEC. Dennis retired from the communications industry in 1991.
In 1985 while on vacation in Hawaii, he received a call and over the phone purchased a fly-fishing camp known as the Copper River Lodge in the Iliamna area. He fished his way to retirement from the lodge business in 1995 but still maintains a cabin at Intricate Bay, Iliamna. Dennis really enjoyed traveling the world, fine meals and cocktails with friends and family. He jitterbugged many an evening on the piano bar at the old Chef's Inn.
Thirty-four years ago brought about the most treasured event in his life, when he married lifelong Alaskan Sharon Hamm. They have the kind of relationship that is the envy of many; true soul mates.
Dennis is survived by his wife, Sharon Hamm McCracken; son, Craig McCracken and his love Marilyn Fine of Anchorage; daughter, Denise McCracken Eason and husband William Eason of Anchorage; granddaughter, Jenny McNeil Doerner of Alaska and Nebraska; great-granddaughter, Ainsley Hipsak, grandson-in-law, Scott Hipsak of Anchorage; sister and brother-in-law, Barbara and Charles Sills and their children of Sacramento; in-laws, Ernie and Bobby Hamm of Anchorage; sister-in-law and husband, Karen Hamm and Eric Titus of Anchorage; sister-in-law and husband, Carol and Charlie Licho of Anchorage; brother-in-law, Ernie Hamm and daughter Lexi Hamm of Anchorage; and brother-in-law and wife, Greg and Sally Hamm of Anchorage.
He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Goldie McCracken, who lived in California; and in 2004 by the "twinkle in his eye," granddaughter Mari McNeil Hipsak, who lived in Anchorage. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Dennis' name may be made to the Muhammed Ali Parkinson's Research Center, 500 W. Thomas Road, Suite 720, Phoenix, AZ 85013.