Claudia Torsen

Claudia Torsen

Claudia Torsen passed away on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021 at the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage at the age of 88.

A lifelong Alaskan, Claudia was born in Ouzinkie, a small fishing village northwest of Kodiak, to Ernest Laschinsky and Katie Gregorioff on Oct. 5, 1932. She was one of seven children along with Abram, Apalone, John, Julia, Lucy and Reka, all of whom preceded her in death.

Claudia lived a simple life raising her five children. She was a devout Russian Orthodox Christian, attending Nativity of Our Lord Church in Ouzinkie and St. Innocent Cathedral in Anchorage. 

After moving to Anchorage in 1982, she continued to spend every summer in her tribal homeland on Spruce Island, bringing along her toy poodles. Her days would be filled with beachcombing for sea glass, casting a fishing pole from the shore and preparing smoked salmon in a small smokehouse at the bottom of the hill next to her home.

Claudia was a strong, independent woman that would light up a room. She always knew what to say and had an excellent sense of humor. A pot of coffee or tea was always ready for visitors in her home and she loved a game of bingo or a trip to the slot machines in Las Vegas.

The sun has set on the matriarch of our family, and Claudia will be sorely missed. 

She was preceded in death by Alfred, her husband; Dean, her son; Howard, her son; Kyle, her grandson; and Ryan, her grandson. 

She is survived by Ernest, her son; Janice, her daughter; JoAnn, her daughter; Nathan, her grandson; Tyler, her grandson; Rachel, her granddaughter; and countless nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. 

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021 at Nativity of Our Lord Church in Ouzinkie.

Memory Eternal.