Inspiring celebration of life of Alaska pioneer Vic Fischer

Published: Nov. 12, 2023 at 7:07 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Longtime Alaska pioneer Vic Fischer’s celebration of life took place on Sunday as hundreds gathered to remember and honor him at the Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage.

“His goal for this event was to have a party, he said, no crying, no sad eyes, it’s time to bring Alaskan’s together and joyfully reflect on what kinds of great things we’ve done over the past 99 years,” Jane Angvik, who was Vic Fischer’s wife, said.

Vic Fischer made it clear to his loved ones that he wanted his memorial to be a celebration. Those who spoke Sunday shared stories of Fischer, many describing him as kind, gentle, energetic and humble.

Author Charles Wohlforth assisted Fischer in writing his memoirs and spoke of Fischer’s legacy in Alaska.

“Everyone knows Vic’s, sort of, proudest accomplishment was the Alaska constitution and he was the last living delegate, and I understand the last living delegate of any state constitution in the United States,” Wohlforth said.

Fischer was the last surviving delegate of Alaska’s Constitutional Convention which gathered 55 Alaskans in the 1950s to draft the Alaska Constitution. Fischer felt strongly about the first section of Article I which states the inherent rights of Alaska’s citizens: “This constitution is dedicated to the principles that all persons have a natural right to life, liberty the pursuit of happiness, and the enjoyment of the reward of their own industry; that all persons are equal and entitled to equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law; and that all persons have corresponding obligations to the people and to the state.”

He was deeply involved in Alaska becoming a state, creating the state through the constitution and building the state through laws.

Many politicians attended the celebration of life, a reflection of Fischer’s accomplishments and connection with politics, including Senator Lisa Murkowski, who called Vic Fischer a “treasure.”

“There was never any doubt with Vic,” Murkowski said. “It was not party, it was not politics that drove him, it was what was right, what was best for the people of the state, what was best for democracy.”

Murkowski entered into the congressional record, last week, a statement honoring Vic Fischer. She hopes the rest of the country will also learn of Fischer’s contributions to Alaska.

“He had so many accomplishments because he always stayed young, always stayed engaged, all the way into his 90′s, he was still politically active,” Wohlforth said.

Wohlforth said robust attendance at Sunday’s celebration of life is a reflection of how loved Fischer was, and how man lives he touched.

“Vic was really about the future and what he would want from Alaskans is to get involved, get out there and to make Alaska better and that’s what he always did and always wanted to inspire everyone else to do,” Wohlforth said.

“His presence was stamped here on this earth and his work will live on if we each do our part in his honor and memory,” a line stated in the event’s program materials.

Fischer died in October at the age of 99. He’s survived by his wife, Jane Angvik, sons Greg and Joe Fischer, daughters Ruth Angvik Dinkins and Yonni Fischer, his grandchildren, a great-grandchild, grandnieces, nephews and extended family.

The family says they’re grateful to the many people who have shown kindness and grace while they’re mourning his loss, and for all of those who have made his celebration of life possible.