Robert Lee Rapuzzi
1920-2003
Robert “Bob” Lee Rapuzzi, passed on March 8 in Green Valley, Ariz., his winter home. He was 82.
A lifelong Skagway resident, Bob was born here on May 14, 1920. He graduated from Skagway High School in 1938 where he enjoyed playing basketball and hockey against Southeast and Canadian teams. He was also a member of the high school band.
In 1942, he was employed as a civilian welder for the U.S. Navy in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The same year, he enlisted in the Army and was assigned to the Signal Corps as a radio operator. His chance to return to Alaska came with the building of the Alcan Highway, where he dispatched messages to and from headquarters and the construction sites. After the war, he returned to civilian life and went to work for the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad as an equipment operator, loading and unloading cargo ships.
His main hobby was his HAM radio set-up. He enjoyed talking with other “HAMs” all over the world. He took great pride in being able to relay messages for others after the 1964 Alaska earthquake.
Bob was a lifetime member of the Skagway Elks Lodge No. 431, a life member of the Masons White Pass Lodge No. 1, and also a member of American Legion Post No. 7.
He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Ivadell Rapuzzi of Skagway; his brother and sister-in-law Charles and Arlein Rapuzzi of Seattle, Wash.; sister and brother-in-law Betty Mae and Gene Johannes of Wasilla; son and daughter-in-law Rick and Laurie Rapuzzi of Eagle River; daughter Dellalee Kalberg of Fairbanks, Alaska; and his six grandchildren Ryan and Monique Rapuzzi of Eugene, Ore., Teresa and Cory Rapuzzi of Eagle River, and Tifiny Kalberg of Auburn, Wash. and John Kalberg of Bellingham, Wash.
Services will be held in Skagway on June 14, 2003 at 1 p.m. at the Skagway Presbyterian Church. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to your favorite charity. – Submitted by Rick Rapuzzi