Steven Conatser, Former Sitkan, Dies in Fairbanks

Steven R. Conatser

Former Sitka resident Steven R. Conatser passed away at home in Fairbanks on April 28, 2023. He was 61.

Steve was born in Florida before his family moved to Oregon.  When he was 3, the family moved to Alaska and spent time in Sitka and Yakutat before moving to a homestead at Eagle Island on the Yukon River.

Steve stayed out on the Yukon as a commercial fisherman, dog breeder, and trapper and even ran the Iditarod in 1980.  He liked to boast that he was the youngest person ever to scratch from the Iditarod.

Steve and his family have hosted the Iditarod checkpoint for the Southern Route of the race at Eagle Island since 1975.

Steve became a private pilot in 1985, and in 1991 he arrived at the University of Alaska Fairbanks to attend the Aviation Maintenance program. He’s been happily wrenching on Super Cubs since.

He is survived by his wife Loni, Fairbanks; son Mike Hathaway of Fairbanks; and siblings Glenda (Chris) Klumper of Kettle Falls, Washington, and Ron (Karmon) Conatser of Rice, Washington.

He’s also survived by nieces and nephews Stephanie (David) Stroud of Salt Lake City, Utah; Travis (Linda) Conatser of Sitka; Tamara (Frank) Kyle of Sitka; and some very important people including Thomas Pauling of Fairbanks, Ben Harper of Talkeetna, Emma Epasitch of Talkeetna, and Grady and Atlee Allen of Casper, Wyoming.

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