Patrick (Paddy) Mullan, Sr.

Patrick (Paddy) Mullan Sr. 89, passed away March 19, 2013 at Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center with loved ones at his side.

Paddy was born in the village of Afognak in June 1923 to Barney and Alexandra Mullan. There he attended elementary school through 8th grade.

When thinking of Paddy, the one word that comes immediately to mind is WORK and if you ever had a chance to see his hands you would know that he did a lot of it. It was his driving force and up until just after his 89th birthday last July, he DID work! He was working on fishing gear in his shop when he took a fall and broke a rib. The rib slowly healed but the pain never receded. He was diagnosed just one week before his passing with an aggressive lung cancer.

Paddy was honest and upfront and had no qualms about “calling a spade a spade”. He was generous beyond measure and would help anybody with no regard for pay or attention for his good deeds. He was known for always paying above-average crew shares and not being a “screamer” on deck.

Paddy’s fishing career spanned a lifetime and included salmon, king crab (for which he got his foot in the door at the very beginning when tangle nets and small trawls were used), tanner crab, halibut, dungeness and in his older years buying and operating a set net site in Olga Bay. In the years before fishing became his main occupation, he worked at any job he could find. He cut cord wood for the school in Afognak, he and a good friend Oscar (O.P.) Peterson chopped dory knees for master dory builders Andrew and Nickoli Sheratin — and they made a fine team, as one was right-handed and the other left-handed. Paddy hunted and trapped, contracted to hang gillnets for island canneries, he worked as a packer for bear guide Alf Madsen, worked construction and served in the Army.

He began set netting on the west side with his father and brother Mike when he was just seven years old. Chris and Clara Helgason hired him to work with them at their site at 7 Mile Beach. Later, he and his cousin Dennis Boskofsky teamed up and bought their first boat. Paddy owned the engine and Dennis the hull. They salmon fished in the summer and hunted and trapped each winter. In his later teen years, he started working construction during the winters around and in Kodiak city. He worked on the bridges at Kalsin Bay that washed out during the ’64 tsunami. You can still see the pilings of those bridges at the mouth of the Olds River. He worked on a pile driver setting up fish traps in the spring and pulling them in the fall. The winter before enlisting in the Army, he worked as a driller in the Whittier Tunnel and then proceeded to gamble away his winter earnings in a night of poker before returning to Kodiak, where he had to borrow $11.00 from Nadia in order to buy her a gold band for their wedding day.

The Army stationed him to Umnak Island in the Aleutians where he was posted to the fire department. There he became great friends with a young man from Chicago who taught him to drive the fire trucks. It was with this skill that he was able to get work when he returned to Kodiak, first driving a garbage truck for Pat Lynch and dumping the city garbage over the bluffs on Spruce Cape where the helicopter pad is now located. Later, he and Lloyd Cannon drove garbage trucks on base dumping just past Salonie Creek in Women’s Bay. Each day for lunch, Lloyd would grab nicely wrapped sandwiches that were thrown in the garbage from the Army planes coming and going and Paddy would grab two pies from the mess hall windowsill where they were placed (with a wink) by the baker. They would lunch out in Women’s Bay where their swampers were given driving lessons using the garbage trucks. Humor was always a key ingredient in this and many of his life’s adventures.

His children looked up to him as their hero (sometimes with a little tarnish around the edges). He lived an interesting and exciting life during exciting times and had so many good memories to sustain him until his dying day. A very special physician’s assistant who practices at Kodiak Island Medical Associates quoted: “Paddy lived life to the fullest and on his own terms”.. In his eyes Paddy was a “Pillar of Manhood”. There are many of us who felt the same.

Paddy was preceded in death by his wife Nadia, the biggest treasure of his life and soulmate for 64 years. His last wish was to join her in Heaven with a red salmon in hand which she would fry up for him like she had done each and every summer for so many years. Preceding him was his and Nadia’s son Barney, Paddy’s brothers Mike and Nick and sisters Dora Larionoff and Marie Anderson.

He is survived by his sister Margaret Wallin of Rushsylvania, Ohio; children David Mullan (Evelyn) of Wasilla, Mary Fearn (Bill) of Clarkston, Wash., Pat Mullan Jr (Laura) of Soldotna, Linda Mullan of Anchorage, Patricia Kozak (Wayne) of Kodiak, Norman Mullan (Rebecca Bean) of Kodiak and Michael Mullan of Anchorage along with many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Funeral services for Paddy were held Saturday, March 23 at Holy Resurrection Russian Orthodox Cathedral with a repast at the the Kodiak Senior Center. If anyone should desire to donate in his memory the family suggests St. Herman’s Seminary at 414 Mission Rd or St. Innocent’s Academy at PO Box 1517 Kodiak AK 99615.

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