Former logger, fisherman Doyle Guy Sarff dies at 91
August 23, 2023
Doyle Guy Sarff left his earthly home on Aug. 7.
He was born in Browerville, Minnesota, on Oct. 20, 1931, to Marvin and Rosamond Aldrich Sarff, and was the youngest of nine siblings. Pre-World War II, the family would eventually make their way west, first to Idaho and then to Oregon.
As a young man, Doyle found himself in northern Idaho and eastern Washington and met Delores Dougherty. They married on Dec. 20, 1952, "creating a loving and lasting marriage," the family wrote. The couple had one child, a son, Jerald "Jerry" - "who was the greatest joy in their lives."
Doyle initially came to Alaska with his brother Red in 1967. Two farm-boy loggers who had a dream to become fishermen in Alaska and headed up the Inside Passage in a converted 50-foot steel lifeboat. Doyle would bring his family up soon after and settle in Ketchikan for a time. But in the early 1970s, the family would move to their forever home in Wrangell.
Doyle was a former logger and true jack-of-all-trades but found his true passion on the water. He was a commercial fisherman and shrimper. He would spend a lot of time working his two boats, the Thomas E and the Deann.
When not fishing or otherwise enjoying Alaska, he could be found in his shop working on a wide variety of projects. "He loved to tinker and did so up until the day he went into long-term care. He loved to visit and would almost always follow whoever he was talking to out to their vehicle. He was particularly fond of sharing hunting and fishing stories," the family wrote.
Doyle is preceded in death by his beloved son, Jerry, and daughter-in-law Amy, his parents and siblings.
He is survived by his loving wife of almost 71 years, Delores; granddaughters Deann (Kenny) Torsak of Provo, Utah, and Jaclyn Campbell of Wishram, Washington; great-grandchildren Jathan Torsak, Brayten (Pepper) Torsak, Handen Torsak, Judy Torsak, Charles Canida and Joseph Campbell; and many loved nieces and nephews.
"The family would like to thank the doctors and staff at the Wrangell Medical Center for their years of dedicated care, with special thanks to the gals in long-term care."
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that people donate to the Wrangell Mariners' Memorial, wrangellmarinersmemorial.com, in Doyle's memory.
Private family services will be held at a later date.