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In Memoriam: Alan Lee Haskins

Haskins Family

Alan Lee Haskins, 56, of Seward, Alaska, passed away on March 7, 2023, after an ongoing battle with heart failure. He was born December 17, 1966, in the small town of Kenmare, North Dakota, to Curt and Maryann Haskins. His family moved to Polson, Montana, soon after and purchased a dairy farm where Alan developed his hard work ethic and grit. Although he had many adventures and challenges growing up on the farm, the biggest one was yet to come.

At age 16, Alan was diagnosed with cancer around his heart and lungs. Despite no surgical options, and being told he had 6 months to live, he underwent chemotherapy and radiation which caused the tumor to go into remission. Unfortunately, less than a year later the tumor reappeared, this time in his lower back, temporarily paralyzing him. Despite this devastating turn of events, he continued to have a positive attitude and was always confident that he would triumph over cancer. After another round of treatment, he was victorious and given a clean bill of health. During this time he met his soon-to-be wife, Laura Seabase, who was immediately drawn to his positive outlook and goofy disposition despite his circumstances. They were married August 1, 1987, and together they attended college at the University of Montana-Western and they both earned Bachelor’s Degrees in Education. Soon after, they were blessed with three amazing kids: Kyle, Ryan, and Charity.

Having overcome so much adversity he often liked to quote his favorite country song, “Live Like You Were Dying” and he encouraged others to do the same. And so in 1999 they packed their bags and started a new adventure in last frontier of Unalaska, Alaska. While Alan had always been an avid outdoorsman, hunting elk and hiking the Rocky Mountains, he reveled in the new challenge of navigating the open ocean and all that it had to offer. And so much more it did - hunting moose in a friend’s back yard; dodging bears in search of blacktail deer on Kodiak Island; and braving the octopus for king crab. He also made several trips to the Brooks Range for Dall sheep, and he hunted the Haul Road for caribou.

Alan and Laura fell in love with the Aleutian island of Unalaska and the community therein, spending the next 15 years raising their kids there. He was a beloved vocational teacher and he built an incredible program for kids to lean all number of skills, from welding to CAD, woodworking to small engines, giving kids the opportunity to excel in skilled occupational careers. But propelling students to new academic heights was not his only passion. He also coached the girls basketball team and cross county running teams, earning him coach of the year in 2001.

After 25 years in the classroom, he decided to take his leadership skills to the next level, earning his Master’s Degree in Education from UAA and becoming a principal. After 3 years as the K-12 principal in Seldovia, Alaska, he moved to Seward and became the Elementary Principal where he thrived. Alan loved kids of all ages, especially the challenging ones. Having always been a kid at heart himself, he thoroughly enjoyed interacting with the children every day, whether being an “elf on the shelf” or Darth Vader on a hoverboard. The kids were always eager to exchange a high-five or a hug with such a personable leader.

Despite having conquered the health issues as a teenager, they began to resurface again in 2000 with another bought of cancer. In 2013 he underwent a triple bypass surgery, and in 2020 a heart valve replacement. During this time, he learned that the radiation from 40 years ago was causing his heart to deteriorate and he was diagnosed with heart failure. Because of the multiple complications he was not a candidate for a transplant. And yet, he never let any of this discourage him or hold him back. His faith has always been in the Lord Jesus Christ from the beginning of his journey, holding fast to the strength, peace, and joy, that comes with that relationship. He lived by his favorite verse: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4.

Alan is survived by the love of his life and soul mate Laura Haskins; his children Kyle (Kayla) Haskins, Ryan (Natasha) Haskins, and Charity (Justin) Moore; grandchildren Kinley Haskins and Jennysis Montes De Oca; father Curtis Haskins; brothers Wayne (Jean) Haskins and Brian Haskins; sister Debbie (Steven) Loret; and various other family members. He is preceded in death by his mother Maryann Haskins.

A Celebration of Life is planned for 3pm on April 2, 2023, at the Seward Elementary School in Seward, Alaska. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, or talk to your family about becoming an organ donor.