Bob Dexter, Former Sitkan, Dies in Anchorage at 57

Category: Obituaries
Created on Thursday, 01 July 2021 23:32
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Robert Steven Dexter


Robert Steven Dexter, “everyone’s Uncle Bob,” died suddenly of a stroke June 22 in Anchorage. The former Sitka resident was 57.

A memorial potluck will be held 4 p.m. July 22 at Jewel Lake Park in Anchorage. His ashes will be spread at Twenty Mile River on July 23.

Bob was born Feb. 24, 1964, in Sitka and grew up in Millersville, on Japonski Island. His mother was Eva Susan (Johnson) Dexter, from Kotzebue, and his father was Dale Henry Dexter.

Over the years Bob worked as a fisherman, carpenter, roofer, handyman, and mechanic, and was with home contractors in Anchorage.

“He claimed to be a dumb man, but if your washer broke, he was the guy you needed to have around,” a niece, Valerie McKay, said. “He hated planned gatherings of any kind – it had to be spontaneous. The only planning ever was to go fishing. We both got speeding tickets one time trying to make the tide in time.”

Bob loved Inuit and Tlingit traditional food, and he always made sure to share. Fishing was a way of life, and his smoked salmon was renowned – he made a small fortune with his jarred smoked salmon, seal oil and herring eggs, his family said.

He didn’t leave Alaska until he turned 50, when he went to visit a good friend in Alabama. Overcoming his fear of airports, he then traveled everywhere, visiting family in Indiana and Louisiana.

He had a kind and generous heart, and a mischievous streak.

He had an affinity for children and dogs. He helped raise many nieces and nephews, making them feel special and spoiling them rotten, as well as teasing them. 

His wife, Linda Negrete, was the love of his life for 14 years. She was a nurse full-time, but a part-time animal keeper – she and Bob loved their parrots, cockatoos and dogs. After Linda died from the effects of diabetes, Elsie, their last dog, died of a tumor and old age.

Bob also was preceded in death by his mother.

He is survived by his siblings, Billie and Benny of Anchorage, Bruce of Kotzebue, Barbara of Sitka, and Beverly of Eagle River; and many nieces and nephews.

Honorary pallbearers at the July 22 memorial will be Sione, Joe, Elsie, Becky, Brad, Justin, MaRanda, Kay, Val, Patti and Joleen.