Allen Ray Marple
Allen Ray Marple, 72, passed away on July 23, 2016 at Providence Hospital in Anchorage.
Al was born on May 6, 1944 in Fergus Falls, MN. He grew up on a farm in Grant County, MN before his family moved to Duluth, MN where he graduated from Clover Valley High School in 1962.
Allen was a humble man of faith and integrity, a loving husband, father and grandfather, honest to a fault and patient, an avid gardener and woodworker, he enjoyed hunting, fishing, spending time with his family.
He joined the Army in 1963, and after a stint in South Korea, he was stationed at Fort Richardson Army Base. While in Alaska, he met the love of his life, Beverly Henson and they were married on May 31, 1968.
They lived in a tiny cabin in Chugiak until their two babies came along, then built a log home there. They eventually moved out to Wasilla where Allen built their home that they lived in for 40 years.
Allen completed the Alaska Carpenters Training Program in 1970. He was a member of the Carpenters Local 1281. Al’s handiwork can be seen in many of the commercial buildings from Anchorage to Wasilla, including Big Lake Baptist Church, his Church of 40 years.
Al built dog sleds and took pride in his craftsmanship. These Marple sleds were used by mushers throughout Alaska and are still sought after today. Two of his sleds were used by winning Iditarod teams.
He raced and completed the Iditarod in 1976. He then served on the Iditarod trail committee and as race judge or race marshall for most years since. He was involved with the Jr. Iditarod with his son, from its inception. He was on the Board of Directors and for many years he built sleds to gift to the 1st place musher.
He was sought out as a judge and race marshall for other races such as the Copper Basin 300 and the John Beargrease (MN). He was a fair man with a calm demeanor even under the stress of marathon racing.
This beloved husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and brother is survived by his son Matthew (Eva) Marple, daughter Eve (Mike) Brueggeman, grandchildren:Destiny, Kade, Kolten, Edenrose, Mandy, Brian and Taylor and seven great grandchildren, siblings: Joan Moldenhauer, Darwin Marple, Tammy Morse, Thomas Marple and Kurt Marple, brother-in-law Wayne Henson. Also his nephew Brian Henson and niece Sally Laughmiller whom he helped raise.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Everett and Alice Marple and his brother-in-law Vernon Moldenhauer.
Services were held for Allen at Big Lake Baptist Church on the corner of Big Lake Rd. and Parks Hwy. on Saturday, July 30 at 4:00 pm. Burial followed at the Wasilla Aurora Cemetery in Wasilla, AK. Valley Funeral Home, Wasilla, AK cared for arrangements. Donations may be made to, Matanuska Valley Federal Credit Union Acct #14531.