ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Norman Peter Nault Sr., 87, Longtime Alaskan, died Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2003, at the Fountain of Youth Spa in Niland, Calif.
A funeral service and burial were held in Cascade, Idaho. A memorial service will be in Homer, Alaska, in the summer.
Nault was born June 10, 1915, in Havre to Napoleon Nault and Hattie Jarvis Nault.
Nault had known Harry Morrison of Morrison Knudson Co. for years and was employed by the company as a construction worker on Wake Island when it was attacked by the Japanese just after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He was captured with his friends from Boise, Idaho, and spent almost four years in Japanese prison camps.
After the war, he lived in Montana and Nevada until the early 1950s, when he moved to Alaska. He settled in Seldovia where he became part of the first Alaska king crab fishery, earning 4 cents a pound for crab. He began a long career fishing for salmon, scallops and crab while trapping, guiding and hunting on the side. Later, he spent 17 years on Kodiak Island. After many years, he quit the winter crab fishery when he lost 19 buddies in one season. Nault survived the earthquake of 1964 in the village of Akhiok on Kodiak. He was surprised when part of the village was swept away by a 50-foot wall of water.
In his early 60s, he was ready to make some life changes. He quit drinking and was hired to work on the trans-Alaska pipeline project. In his younger years, he was married twice and fathered three sons. After long years of being single, Nault married former teacher and Milepost Travel Guide traveling editor Sharon Paul on March 28, 1981, in Anchorage. They had both recommitted their lives to Christ and were on the road to a new life, his family wrote. His passion for the outdoors and her passion for photography took them around the state, living in a wall tent on the beaches at Nome and trapping in the McCarthy area and on Umnak Island in the Aleutians.
They built a home together in Homer in the early 1980s.
His group of Wake Island POWs, the Survivors of Wake, Guam and Cavite, met yearly, and Nault was active in lobbying for their benefits in Washington, D.C. These men were not recognized or made veterans until 1981. They returned to Wake Island as a group and built the first monument to the construction workers who were prisoners of war. Nault and his wife drove up and down the Alaska Highway at least twice a year.
He attended Grace Bible Fellowship in Homer, Cascade Baptist Church in Cascade and the Interfaith Church at the Fountain of Youth. He was a member of the Survivors of Wake, Guam and Cavite, the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor and the American Legion. He was a life member of the American Ex-Prisoners of War, the Disabled American Veterans and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was also active with a writers group in Homer.
Survivors include his wife, Sharon; sons, Norman Jr. of Lakebay, Wash., Ted of Great Falls and Don of Clinton; five grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.