Leo F. Golden

Category: Obituaries
Created on Friday, 07 February 2014 13:41
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Longtime Sitka resident Leo F. Golden passed away Jan. 23 at the age of 92.
Leo Francis Golden was born in Boulder, Colo., April 27, 1921, the only child of Leo E. and Isabel F. Golden.
When he was very young the family moved to downtown Los Angeles, Calif., where he graduated from high school. After high school he worked for a time making xylophones and learned to make and repair pipe organs. He also learned to repair watches and enjoyed restoring grandfather clocks.
 Leo joined the Coast Guard in the 1940s and was stationed at Cape Spencer, Alaska. He then entered the U.S. Navy and was trained as a sonar operator aboard submarines.
After his discharge from the Navy he attended Air Traffic Controller training in Oklahoma City, Okla., and began a lifetime career with the Civil Aeronautics Administration which later became the Federal Aviation Administration.
He moved to Anchorage in 1949. Leo had met his future wife, Marilyn Jeanne Whipple, in California. Jeanne traveled the Alcan Highway to join Leo in Anchorage where they were married in July 1949 and honeymooned at Denali.
Leo transferred to Unalakleet. In 1954 the family transferred to Petersburg, then moved back to Unalakleet in 1956. In 1959 Leo moved his family to the F.A.A. station on Woody Island off the coast of Kodiak.
After the 1964 earthquake Leo ran from the first tsunami and took refuge in the attic of a cement boathouse. Leo also was one of the many ham radio operators who helped pass news between towns affected by the earthquake and subsequent tsunamis and the lower 48.
In 1969, the family moved to Sitka, where Leo worked until his retirement from the F.A.A. in the mid 1980s. His many interests included sport and commercial fishing, watch repair and he was an avid rock collector and ham radio operator.
Leo was preceded in death by his father Leo; his mother Isabel; his favorite Aunt Helen; and his wife of 64 years, Jeanne.
He is survived by his son Ray and daughter Debi (Gary) Smith of Sitka; grandson Travis (April) Smith of American Fork, Utah; and granddaughter Tara (Walt) Smith and great-grandson Bryce Smith of Sitka.
It was his request there be no service. He will be interred with his wife in Grand Junction, Colo., at a later date.
 “Dad, Grampa, Great Pa - we all miss you!” his family wrote.