Talkeetna resident Wayne Richardson died on October 12, 2010. The information below is from his family. There is a link to a beautiful video tribute (it takes a bit to load and about 10 minutes to watch):
Wayne Ralph Richardson was born November 13, 1951 to Ralph and Irene (Domine) Richardson in Marshall, MN. Not sure if he would even survive, Wayne was baptized three days later while still in the hospital. Oh, what a life you lived! Wayne was confirmed at First Lutheran Church in Alexandria, MN and graduated from Jefferson High School in 1970. At age 18, he left for Alaska to follow his dream. He fell in love with the land as he worked on the Alaskan Pipeline as a heavy equipment operator and OTR truck driver. He worked all over Alaska, and drove the Haul Road from Valdez to Prudoe Bay. In later years, Wayne worked with a construction company, overhauling runways in many Eskimo villages. Wayne worked as supervisor over the drivers, most of whom were Eskimo. Over a span of 40 years, Wayne lived in Anchorage, Wasilla, and lastly Talkeetna. The family often called Wayne “our little hermit” as each of his moves was always further north, because in his own words “There are less people”. Wayne always enjoyed the outdoors while working, playing, hunting or fishing – comfortable even at 70 degrees below zero. He especially loved being a volunteer on several Iditarod Sled Dog Races right up to the last one which he wasn’t able to attend, but followed it closely anyway. He also loved Montana visiting his brother Allen many times where they enjoyed hunting and getting together with friends. Wayne loved animals and they loved him right back. After moving to Alaska, he never had a pet of his own, but thoroughly enjoyed all his familys and friends pets. On Tuesday, October 12, 2010, Wayne lost his year-long battle with colon cancer. Wayne was preceded in death by his father, Ralph Richardson, several of his grandparents, aunts and uncles. He is survived by his mother, Irene of Alexandria, MN; brother Lloyd (Betsy) Richardson of Maple Grove, MN sister Peggy (Gary) Hills of Alexandria, MN, brother Allen Richardson of Columbia Falls, MT; and sister Debra (Bruce) Lindquist of Brooklyn Center, MN along with grandmother Isabell Domine Mueller of Lamberton, MN, several nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews and his countless family of friends in Alaska, Montana and Minnesota. Wayne’s family wants to express their gratitude for the unwavering friendship, love and support given to Wayne by the townspeople of Talkeetna, AK helping him through his battle with cancer when we could not be with him. Wayne’s parting words were always “I’ll see ya in the spring” so goodbye for now Wayne, forever in our hearts and “we’ll see ya in the spring”. Love Mom, your brothers and sisters. Arrangements with Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria, MN and Valley Funeral Home in Wasilla, AK. Private family burial followed by visitation at Anderson Funeral Home in MN on Saturday, October 23, 2010 from 2 pm to 5 pm.