Hugh Gerhardt ‘Gary’ Abston


Former resident Gary Abston, 68, died Jan. 26 at the University Hospital in Seattle. He beat cancer twice and this was his third battle with it. He was always upbeat and brave, with a goal to get well and run the barge he ran last summer. Upon returning the boat to Seattle last fall the cabin burned down with all of his worldly belongings.

There will be a prayer for Gary at the Russian Church on Saturday, Feb. 12, at noon with a potluck celebration of life to follow at the American Legion at 2 p.m.

Gary Abston born Hugh Gerhardt Abston to Verna (Anderson) Abston and Pat Abston on July 8, 1942, at the Coast Guard Base.

Gary was the eldest of five children, David, Allen, Zoya and Dyan. He went to school here staying with his grandmother Sophie Anderson, who only spoke Russian. He went to school a couple of years in Ballard, but always came back home to Kodiak. He was forced to quit school at 16 and help his mother provide for the family.

Gary was preceded in death by his son, David, age 16, mother Verna, father Pat, brothers David and Allen, and his sister Dyan.

His sister Zoya had three daughters, Dyan, Shyan and Reyan with Gordon Hubbard and later married her present husband Stan Olsen. With many nieces and nephews from this family.

His sister Dyan had two sons with Roger Conaway, David and Jordon James.

His half-sister, Sandra Warren, lives in Magee, Miss.

Jim Johnson of Larsen Bay introduced Gary to his sister, Virginia, and upon leaving Gary stated, “See you later, brother-in-law.” Gary and Virginia were married May 14, 1961, and had three children, Patricia (Trish), David and Trista Abston

Gary and Virginia lived in Kodiak and worked at Naughton’s Bakery until the tidal wave in 1964 took their jobs out to sea. They moved and bought a home in Edmonds, Wash., but following five years of returning to Kodiak to fish and having a son they decided to give up those long journeys up the Alcan (Virginia had 16 in total and Gary had 18 due to the fear of flying). Once back in Kodiak they bought a house on Birch and another later on Larch, where the family remained for 26 years.

Upon leaving Kodiak Gary bought a bar in Lake Havasu City and later the Vasa in Ballard and after this a person could say the sea became his home. He owned a fishing site and for many years then owned and operated the Little Star tendering salmon, fishing crab and tendering herring in Cook Inlet.

In recent years he ran the barges Iron Mike, Aint Easy, Autumn Rose.

He leaves behind daughters Trish (Abston) Cox and three grandchildren, David, Brandon and Mandi; and daughter Trista Abston with one grandchild Maryssa; as well as many other family members and dear friends including Jim Johnson, Tom Johnson, Roger Johnson, Jack Wick, Roger Conaway, Sonny Chichenoff, Mike O’Conner and Fred Williams and Charlie Eads and Terry Craig.

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