Ben Robar passed away on Nov. 17, 2019, at home in Anchorage, Alaska, surrounded by his wife and two boys.
Ben was born on July 31, 1940, in Corpus Christi, Texas, to Cyril and Jennie Robar. He had two older siblings: James and Lorraine. Ben came to Alaska in 1946 with his parents after the Alcan Highway opened, and grew up in Spenard, on the corner of Spenard and KFQD Road. As a boy, Ben and his friends roamed the area around Blueberry Lake, which he would later reference when giving directions. Ben had a fascination for airplanes, trains, and of course the Rooster, his first car which was a Model A Ford. He graduated from Anchorage High in 1959 and became a journeyman baker at Dutch Mill before immigrating to Australia.
In 1963, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and returned home to Anchorage before heading to Fort Benning, Ga. Ben was discharged in 1965 as Specialist 4th Class, and then returned to Anchorage where he began his career in avionics. In 1967, Ben met Birgitt Mahr in Anchorage as she was traveling through the United States. Ben married her twice in 1970. They raised two boys, Henry and Oliver, in Anchorage, where summers were spent sailing, fixing rental houses, looking at airplanes, and traveling to Europe. Winter was Ben’s favorite time of year, playing pond hockey with family, friends, and neighborhood kids on DeLong Lake. He enjoyed the quiet, cozy winters that Alaska provided. Ben retired in 2000, after working at Reeve Aleutian Airways for 30 years. He spent his retirement printing in his letterpress shop known as Bucket of Type Printery, driving the Rooster around, collecting stamps, and traveling to visit his boys and to see family in Germany. Bicycling replaced sailing as a favorite pastime in the summer with rides on the Anchorage trails starting with truffles and ending with beer.
Ben lived his life with the certainty that times of happiness and joy should be remembered and cherished, and that times of sorrow should be respected. Ben is survived by his wife of 49 years, Birgitt; eldest son, Henry (Julianne); youngest son, Oliver; Alaskan cousins, Annette Juliusen and Dorothy Frank; nieces and nephews, Jan Kupferer, Jim Robar, Alan Robar, Tracy Haines, Kurt Robar, Krista Bailey, and their children.