Longtime Anchorage homesteader and pioneer aviator Vincent Francis Huebsch, 97 took his last official flight at 3:00AM on December 22, 2013 peacefully at home after an illness of several years.
Memorial service will be Tuesday January 7, 2014 at St Patrick's Church in Anchorage, with visitation at 10:00 AM and funeral service at 11:00 AM with lunch after.
Burial will be at a later date in Williston, ND in the family plot beside his wife Gladys.
Vince was born January 16, 1916 in Eagle Grove, Iowa, the 2nd child of John and Mary Huebsch. He attended grade school in the country and then later completed grade school and high school (1934) at Sacred Heart School in Fort Dodge, IA.
After graduation from High School, Vince worked on and helped his mother manage the family farm located between Humboldt and Ft. Dodge, IA. In 1940, Vince left the farm, moving to California to attend aircraft school, which enabled him to obtain a job at Lockheed Aircraft.
When World War II broke out, he was frozen on his job because he now was an instructor for new employees, teaching the skills required to build aircraft. On August 9, 1943, Vince married Gladys Askvig.
On June 5, 1945 Vince entered the military service where he served until October 29, 1946. After his discharge he attended aviation school at Lincoln, Nebraska, where he obtained his aircraft and engine license. In December, 1947 Vince moved to Alaska and immediately went to work at Pacific Northern Airlines, later working for several other airlines. During his years of working for the various airlines, he was able to solve some very serious mechanical problems that their engineers could not.
The first problem was that piston engines were only getting approximately 1/2 the expected time between overhauls. Vince solved the problem by riding with the pilots on just one trip. He saved the company hundred of thousands of dollars.
The second problem with the jets, was two terrible passenger plane crashes into the mountains while approaching for a landing in Anchorage. Many people were killed and they again called on Vince for a solution. Vince was able to advise what needed to be changed on the planes and they never had another crash.
He was awarded very special commendations for these two feats and in l995 he also received the FAA Charles Taylor "Master Mechanic" award.
In 1949, Vince successfully homesteaded 160 acres in Northeast Anchorage. He spent the balance of his working years not only working for the airlines, but also developing his land into home building lots and land for school and churches.
Vince was preceded in death by his parents, by his brothers John and Alfred, his sisters Margaret Dickerson and Elizabeth "Betty" Jordt and by his beloved wife Gladys. Vince and Gladys had no children.
He is survived by his brother William (Dorothy) Huebsch of North Sioux City, SD, by numerous nieces and nephews and many special friends.