Alfred Hanisch was born April 16, 1923. He grew up in Roseville, California during the depression. Hanisch served in the 651st Field Artillery Battalion in Germany during World War II and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. In 1946, Alfred moved to Anchorage. He was one of the first to drive the Alcan Highway. He worked for the Alaska Railroad for two years, later was employed by Standard Oil of California, and retired from Chevron USA in 1986.
Al lived in his modest 800 square foot log home in Spenard for 60 years. He had a large greenhouse and garden in his back yard and grew cabbage, peas, beans, tomatoes and raspberries. Alfred enjoyed the programs he found on KAKM Channel 7 public television, especially all history programs. He was one of the original members to support the station back in 1977. He also supported KSKA public radio. He had an extensive collection of KAKM and KSKA coffee mugs.
Al’s friends, Ron and Teresa Bailey, remember their friend as civic minded and deeply engaged in his church and his community. They described him as reflective, intelligent, and “a real gentleman.” He was beloved by his co-workers, his church community and neighbors, and remembered as a kind and generous man who shoveled snow at his church, lent friends a hand on projects, and gave away produce from his garden. His friends and family said: “He was a pioneer of Alaska. He loved to tell stories of all his travels in his life and work, and he enjoyed his little log home in the woods. He always enjoyed his garden and greenhouse, the love of his dog, a good cup of coffee, a Western movie and reading his books. He also enjoyed his family time and church family. He will be greatly missed by good friends and family.” Alfred Hanisch died December 4, 2010, at the age of 87.
He continues to care for his community through generous bequests he left to the KAKM and KSKA, the Anchorage Municipal Libraries, the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center and First American Baptist Church. The Anchorage Assembly proclaimed January 31, 2012 “Alfred Hanisch Day” recognizing him as a public-spirited individual who left “ a lasting gift for our community institutions that reflects a love for our city, the pursuit of a high quality of life for all citizens, and the transformative power that one individual can make with their gift.” In recognition of his generous legacy gift to Alaska Public Media, and with permission from his brother David Hanisch in California, Alaska Public Media established The Alfred Hanisch Legacy Society, now known simply as the Alaska Public Media Legacy Society, which recognizes those individuals who have provided for Alaska Public Media through their estate plans.
Alaska Public Media’s Legacy Society recognizes those individuals who have provided for Alaska Public Media through their estate plans.