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Kemper L. Sackman

Aug 13, 2013 - Staff

Kemper L. Sackman, formerly of Riverton, died Thursday, July 25, 2013, in Homer, Alaska. He was 63 years old.

A celebration of his life will be 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 17, at the Down East Saloon in Homer, Alaska.

Kemper Lane Sackman was born May 1, 1950, in Riverton, the son of the late Kemper Eugene and Lois Sackman. His mother was a teacher and inspired Mr. Sackman to commit his entire life to giving everyone else "an education."

After graduating from Riverton High School and attending school in Laramie, he worked as a mountain climbing guide with Exum Mountain Guides of Jackson in the early 1970s. His skill of ice and big mountain climbing led him to a number of first ascents in the Wind River and Teton Mountain ranges. His passion for ascending the vertical lead him to the derricks of oil rigs.

He worked as a driller on oil rigs in Wyoming, around the world in Libya, and for Pool Arctic Alaska on the North Slope in Alaska. Oil may have brought him to Alaska, but the fish and game kept him here. In 1987 he founded a company called Alaska/Wyoming Outdoor Adventures where he sought to share the best fishing, hunting and climbing opportunities that both states provided. From Chitina, Alaska, he offered whitewater rafting trips and jet boat charters for dipnetters. For five years in the early 1990s he ran a halibut charter fishing boat, the "Dutch Treat," for Alaska Ocean Charters in Homer, Alaska.

For the last 12 years he owned and operated KS Mechanical, a plumbing contracting business based in Homer, Alaska, that often worked on projects in remote Alaskan villages. For he and the men he worked with he always managed to "make ends meet," figuratively speaking.

His family said he loved mountain climbing, bow hunting elk and moose, fishing and spending time with his son's family at their cabin in Soldotna, Alaska. He will be remembered too as one of the world's best storytellers based on his many exciting adventures.

"Kemper will always be remembered for living life to its fullest and never missing a chance to try something different. He leaves this world with a social footprint the size of the State of Alaska and a bucket list the size of a thimble," his family said. "He will be mourned and missed by the many who considered him family, and those he ever offered his handshake and friendship to."

He is survived by the children he chose, Shane Serrano of Alaska, Synette Serrano of Alaska, and Phaedra Serrano of California; sisters Gail and Deena Sackman of Washington and Jana Eaton of Arizona; niece and nephew Tory Kretsch and Erin Martin; and grandchildren Kemper Wayne and Sawyer Clark Serrano, who will miss his skill at pulling them on waterskis.

He was preceded in death by a sister, Kerry Sackman, and his granddaughter, Sabella Lane Serrano.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be mailed, in the name of his grandchildren, to Kemper and Sawyer Serrano, P.O. Box 3086, Homer, AK 99603.

Arrangements are under the direction of Peninsula Memorial Chapel.

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