Ed Gerrue, One Of The Last Of The Kenny Lake Homesteaders, Lived On The Old Edgerton

 Ed Gerrue (1931-2023)  Kenny Lake, Alaska  Ed Gerrue  July 18, 1931 - October 23, 2023 True Alaskan sourdough Edwin L Gerrue, born July 18t...

 Ed Gerrue (1931-2023) 

Kenny Lake, Alaska 

Ed Gerrue 

July 18, 1931 - October 23, 2023

True Alaskan sourdough Edwin L Gerrue, born July 18th, 1931, passed peacefully in his sleep at his daughter Diana’s residence in Fairbanks, Alaska, on Monday, Oct 23, 2023.

Ed Gerrue was an honorable veteran of the Navy, father of five, businessman and organizer of the Kenny Lake Community League. Ed and his family are homesteaders and survivors. Ed was a child of the Great Depression in his formative years  and raised his children in a similar manner. He was intelligent with a learned gift of foresight and was 30 years ahead of his time.

Ed was born in Klamath Falls. He worked many jobs growing up in the Klamath Basin during World War II. Delivering telegrams for Western Union as a youth was a memorable experience. He attended Altamont Elementary, Altamont Jr. High and was briefly enrolled  at Klamath Union High School before joining the U.S. Coast Guard in 1947. 

After discharge from the Coast Guard, Ed joined the U.S. Navy and participated in the U.S. Navy’s involvement in the Korean War. He was discharged in 1952, awarded several service medals and was later awarded a 30% service connected disability. 

Ed operated Fremont Grocery for his father for a time. He also worked for Heaton Steel & Supply and KC Paint before starting his own paint contracting business in 1961. In 1968 he moved to Alaska where he and his family homesteaded 160 acres. 

Ed was appointed by the governor to serve on the State Manpower Service council where he held the position of vice chairman. He was a commissioned Notary Public and held many offices in the Republican Party of Alaska and Kenny Lake Community League.

Ed motivated others to file for grants in order to bring fresh water, volunteer firefighters and an ambulance service to the community. He provided the blue prints, skills and supervision erecting the newer community hall and fair booths. Ed also led a litter prevention campaign, providing materials and posting signs. The favorite was: Commandment 11: “Thou shalt not litter.”

Ed ran for Alaska State Representative in the early ‘80s. The battle being: Who’s Ed Gerrue and where’s Kenny Lake?. Ed retired in 1985 to a subsistence lifestyle of hunting, fishing and gardening on his Kenny Lake homestead. He lived quietly and simply in his little slice of heaven until he was 90 years old. Then he resided in the Anchorage Pioneer Home among some of Alaska's most honorable souls. He will be forever loved and his wisdom missed.

He is survived by his sister, Lorayne Duryee, and his five children: Michael, Ed Jr., Constance, Diana and Louis.

Ed’s family would like to share some of his unique philosophical writing: 

A man cannot live with the land, the sea and the sky and not believe in God. But not God as they teach it. Man must soon lose his sense of importance and a God as a Father all protecting becomes childlike ego.

There is something much greater than a God the Father. The rules and laws of all this vastness of which our world is the smallest part show that there is something, some law or power behind it. I believe we are a part of a tremendous whole which we cannot conceive. It may be that we are the most insignificant part, but we belong and that is enough to satisfy me. 

I don’t believe in the teaching of any church. The Bible to me is a series of simple stories to illustrate the benefits of living by the code and the punishment of living outside it. Out there is my church, when I am plowing my fields, fishing down at the river, hunting, sailing the sea or flying over this beautiful Earth. 

No man can know more about God than I do. But let each man believe as he wishes, for I am content in my belief. People believe in the church because they fear the unknown and because they need the pomp and ceremony. Most of all, don’t worry too much about it. Keep a small corner of your mind open for love and kindness and to look at the beauty of the world. 

We will all know the secret someday. 


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