Fisherman, Diver, Sitkan Larry Calvin Dies at 88

Larry Thornton Calvin

Larry Thornton Calvin, a longtime Sitkan who had many stories to tell about the town he loved, passed away Dec. 21 in Sitka at the age of 88.

A celebration of his life will be held 1:30 p.m. Saturday, July 15, at the north corner of the Fisherman’s Quay dock, where his accomplishments will be recognized and his stories shared.

Larry was born June 23, 1934, in Long Beach, California, the son of Frank and Gladys (Henrickson) Calvin. The Calvins and their sons Larry and Jim came to Sitka in 1942, encouraged by Frank’s brother, Jack Calvin. It was a coming home in a way for Gladys Calvin, who was born and raised in Ketchikan.

Larry got started in entrepreneurship while still in grade school. He and friend Jimmy Price were the first vendors at Sitka’s Fourth of July events, selling cold sodas from a wagon and hot dogs that Larry got his mom to boil.

When he was 12, Larry and his best friends, Willis and Edwin Osbakken, would go out in a small skiff for a weekend of deer hunting. They weren’t always successful, but had many adventures.

After graduating from Sitka High in 1953, Larry attended Washington State University in Pullman, where he had another business adventure – a ski gear exchange for students. He bought skies, poles and boots from graduates and rented them to students. When he graduated he sold the business to the university, information provided by the Sitka Conservation Society said.

Larry served in the U.S. Army at Fort Bragg, California, and then in the Reserves when he returned to Alaska.

He and Maryann Evalyn Henricksen, of Duluth, Minnesota, who had met while he was working at the Alta, Utah, ski area, were married June 28, 1962, at St. Peter’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church.

Over the years, Larry was a fisherman, the owner of the troller F/V Morning Mist; worked at Alaska Lumber and Pulp; and became a SCUBA diver after buying a new outfit of equipment for $100 and teaching himself how to use it. He provided diving services that included ensuring the Sitka airport had material and rocks in its base, and freeing nets from the propellers of herring seiners.

In 1968, he and Maryann bought the old Pyramid Packing Company cannery buildings at 475 Katlian Street. They opened Baranof Building Supply (where LFS Marine Supply is now located). After Spenard Builders Supply bought the business and moved it to Smith Street off Sawmill Creek Road, the Calvins turned the property into the Fisherman’s Quay, which remains a family business, providing moorage, lodging and storage.

Larry’s love of the outdoors led to  his being active in the Sitka Conservation Society, which his uncle Jack Calvin had helped found.

“Larry ... had a fierce love for Southeast Alaska and the Tongass, and was a tremendous supporter of SCS, sharing with us his time, resources and energy,” the group stated in a tribute. “All of us are truly saddened to hear of his passing, but grateful to have known him and to share his kind, and lively, company.”

After Maryann died in 2016, Larry continued to live in the three-story home he had built at 214 Neva Street, with its panoramic views, and lots of berry bushes, which he shared with the community. 

Larry’s love was Maryann Henricksen Calvin, followed by the love, care and support for his children and dogs, his family said.

“Beyond family, he enjoyed helping others succeed. Hard work was the core of his values, and the measuring stick for most things and people,” they said. “Dad, thank you for all that you did. You worked hard and did lots of good for your family, friends, and community. All of our love, Kris, Eric, Leif and Bear.”

Immediate survivors include his children, Kristopher (May Fan) Calvin of Sisters, Oregon, Eric Calvin of Sitka, Leif (Tammy Carter) Calvin of Santa Rosa, California, and Karen Calvin (Robert) Woodard, of Snohomish, Washington.

Grandchildren are Rebecca Calvin, Amity Calvin, Devon Calvin, Tessa Calvin, Nicholas Calvin Woodard, Gabriel Calvin, Nyx Calvin and Hailey Woodard; and great-grandchildren are Silas and Milo Moore.

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At a Glance

(updated 9-12-2023)

By Sentinel Staff

The state Department of Health and Social Services has posted the following update on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alaska as of 8:57 a.m. Tuesday, September 12.

New cases as of Tuesday: 278

Total cases (cumulative) statewide – 301,513

Total (cumulative) deaths – 1,485

Case Rate per 100,000 – 38.14

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.

COVID in Sitka

The Sitka community level is now "Low.'' Case statistics are as of Tuesday.

Case Rate/100,000 – 152.50

Cases in last 7 days – 13

Cumulative Sitka cases – 3,575

Deceased (cumulative) – 10

The local case data are from Alaska DHSS.






September 2003

After the season-opening Ketchikan High School swim meet last week, Sitka High swimmer Matt Way is ranked first in the state in the100-meter breaststroke, while Carrington Gorman is ranked second in the 50-meter freestyle.



September 1973

From Around Town: Sitka Historical Society met Sunday at the Centennial Building with the people who had hosted the Historical Room during tour ship visits here. The ladies of the society served a nice Russian Tea from their samovar, and passed around Russian tea cakes.