Frank Wilton Sharp, 89, died May 12, 2021, peacefully at his home in Angoon.
He was born on Feb. 14, 1932, to Albert Thomas Sharp of Angoon, and Maryellen Sharp (Coghill) of Orofino, Idaho, in Orofino.
He was of Tlingit heritage though his paternal grandmother, Mary Nelson of Angoon. He was an Eagle/Bear and his Tlingit name was "Na'ats'."
Much of his early childhood was spent traveling between Alaska and Idaho, usually unaccompanied on an Alaska Steamship Vessel from Seattle to Juneau. In his youth, he continued to spend time between Alaska and nearly 30 other states with his family as they travelled for work.
He briefly attended Lowell High School in Kansas, where he excelled at long distance running. He ended his formal education after eighth grade and began roaming with a rough group of young men. At age 17 and with the help of his mother, he forged his birth certificate and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force.
Serving during the Korean War, he was stationed at Tempelhof Air Force Base in Berlin, Germany. He ended his U.S. Air Force enlistment at the rank of staff sergeant, and returned stateside in 1953.
On his way home to Alaska, he stopped in California to visit his mother. There he met his future wife, Alice Ruth (Bach). They were married in 1955 and had four children: Kirk, Mark, Mary and Todd.
Mr. Sharp worked in Angoon and then in Juneau as a subsistence gatherer, cannery worker, commercial fisherman, general laborer, and taxi cab driver to support his growing family.
Then he found his calling working as a boat operator, and as a game warden with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. He attended the Public Safety Academy in 1962 (Sheldon Jackson College in Sitka). This started a 20-year career in law enforcement as a wildlife enforcement officer. He and his family were stationed in Sitka, Petersburg, Ketchikan and Anchorage. He retired in 1982 from the Department of Public Safety, Fish and Wildlife Protection, as a captain and supervisor in charge of the entire Alaska coastline. After retirement, he returned to Angoon.
Mr. Sharp was elected to the Angoon City Council and later became president of Kootznahoo Inc. (1990).
He enjoyed fishing and hunting, and wrote many poems about his explorations.
“Frank lived life with all the qualities of the poetry he wrote; intrigue, amazing adventures, near death experiences, boundless energy, love found and lost, and an unbreakable work ethic,” his family writes.
Mr. Sharp was preceded in death by his parents, Albert and Maryellen; wife, Alice; son, Mark; and brother, James.
He is survived by his children, Kirk, Mary and Todd (wife Carolyn); sister, Peggy Sears; brothers, Melvin, Albert and Henry; eight grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and many cousins.