Frank Magnuson Dies; Fisherman was Age 89

Franklin John (Frank) Magnuson

Franklin John (Frank) Magnuson, born in Portland, Oregon, in 1934, crossed the bar on the morning tide, March 11, 2024, after a brief, comfortable decline at home and a blessed life of 89 years.
He was a lifelong West Coast fisherman, Monterey to Cape Spencer.
Frank lost his beloved Mother when he was age 9, and was raised by his Father, Grandparents and amazing Aunts and Uncles. He had an idyllic childhood with horses and farm animals. The small Oregon community of Scappoose wrapped their arms around him as a youngster, much like Sitka did 23 years ago. This made him the kind, loving man he would become, willing to help anyone with anything.
After high school he married, and had two children, Becky and Jeff. He worked very briefly at a paper mill, then in 1960 talked with a friend who commercial fished who made more in a day then Frank did in a week and that was it; he had stars in his eyes for salmon fishing. He bought a boat, got seasick his first trip but didn’t give up. There were brief stints of tuna or carp fishing, but salmon trolling was his vocation. Along the way he had many adventures, and enriched the lives of all he touched.
In 1983 he seduced his wife Mary of 40 years with tuna fishing aboard the Lobo, beginning a West Coast fishing adventure that would land them in Sitka in 2000 to stay. Too many memorable ports to list, but Pelican and San Francisco come to mind as favorites.
He is survived by his wife of 40 years Mary (Schoenenberger); son Jeff Magnuson (Shelly) of Sheridan, Oregon; daughter Cindy Ayers, of Grove City, Ohio; his best friend and cohort Chip Sprague; and countless others he called friend.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Herb and Alice, and his daughter Becky.
In lieu of flowers it would be his wish to support the fundraising for his beloved Lisa Langenfeld, being held by the Sitka Elks Lodge.

Login Form



July 2004
Photo caption: Junior League All Stars will compete in a tournament in Wrangell. From left are Bryn Calhoun, Chris Scott, Sean O’Neill, Ross Venneberg, Caleb McGraw, Richard Carlos, Jacob Houston, Coby McCarty, Bryan Lovett and Daniel Erickson.


July 1974

Photo caption: Volunteers leave the Yaw Building Library with loads of books being transferred to the new Orin and Betty Stratton Library on the Sheldon Jackson campus. SJC librarian Evelyn Bonner expressed appreciation to the community for the help.


Local Events


Daily Sitka Sentinel on Instagram!


Daily Sitka Sentinel on Facebook!