Breaking: Former Anchorage Mayor Tom Fink has passed - Must Read Alaska
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Breaking: Former Anchorage Mayor Tom Fink has passed

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Anchorage former Mayor Tom Fink has passed, according to family members. He had a serious fall last Sunday, his health deteriorated from there, and he died peacefully in his sleep on Friday night. He was 92. A service will be held at 2 pm on Friday, June 11, at Holy Family Cathedral.

Fink was born Aug. 26, 1928, in Peoria, Illinois. He earned a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University in 1950, and a J.D. from the University of Illinois Law School in 1952, and then moved to Anchorage that year, where he worked in life insurance for his entire career. Fink and Don Schroer owned the Schroer-Fink Agency for many years and Schroder was involved in Fink’s political campaigns.

Fink was mayor of Anchorage from 1987 to 1994, and was in the House of Representatives for from 1967-1976,  
serving as speaker of the House from 1973 to 1975. He left the Legislature when the new Alaska campaign laws (APOC) would have required him to list all of his insurance clients, something he felt was detrimental to his customers.

Fink ran for governor in 1982 and lost to Democrat Bill Sheffield, but he remained active in politics and civic matters all his life. He was very active in the school choice movement even in recent years and attended political events up until the pandemic hit in 2020.

He was married to Pat, and the couple had 11 children. Fink was a devout Catholic and went to Holy Family Cathedral nearly every day to pray, friends said.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy offered the following statement:

“Tom was a talented public servant and driven leader who worked diligently for his constituents both as a Representative and as Anchorage’s Mayor. There is no question that Tom lived a full life and left a lasting impact on those he knew and faithfully served. Rose and I offer our deepest sympathies to the Fink family for their loss.”

Flags will be flown at half-staff on a day of the family’s choosing, he said.

Mayor-elect Dave Bronson issued a statement:

“Deb and I extend our heartfelt sympathy to the family of Tom Fink, who was a genuine leader for Anchorage and Alaska, but most importantly, he was a husband to Pat and father of 11 children, and the loss is profound to all of them,” Bronson said.

“People in Anchorage remember Tom as plain spoken, with a wonderful sense of humor and a firm hand on the budget. His trademarks were his hat, pipe, bow tie, and his warm smile,” Bronson said. “Tom was a true public servant who always worked to make Anchorage a better place for all.”

This story will be updated as details become known.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • My condolences to longtime neighbors. I’m so sorry to hear this news.

  • Great sadness. Prayers for him and his family. He was one of the Good Guys. Regards –

  • What a wonderful man! Tom wanted what was best for all Alaskan children. I worked with Tom on School Choice and he pursued this for 5 years, persuading legislators to support his effort. He had a wistful smile, twinkling eyes and a giant heart. His priorities were family, God and Country. He will be sorely missed but he will have a huge place in heaven. Maybe even be mayor or Speaker! God bless all his family, especially his beloved wife Pat. We shall all miss him; but we will not miss his legacy and efforts on this earth.

  • If more Alaskan men folllowed Tom Finks example we’d have a better Alaska, and my life as a woman here on Alaska would be made easier! Like Boaz he sat at the city gates with the elders where all able bodied men are designed to be and need to take their place at a community’s city gates. A man’s place is not in front of the t.v. watching national sports games. God first. Family second. Community third. Sports 10th.

  • I was on the GOP platform committee with Tom in 1996. The chairman was then State Representative Lisa Murkowski. I remember a comment being made that “you can’t legislate morality.” I thought to myself, the heck you can’t! Virtually all our laws are based on some form of right vs. wrong, i.e. morality. But Tom Fink didn’t just think it. He said it out loud defiantly. The man was an unabashed conservative who had the courage to stand up for what he thought was right.

  • Condolences to the Fink Family. RIP Mr. Fink, one of the few conservatives in Alaska to talk the talk and walk the walk.

  • Tom Fink should have been governor. Two terms. He was that good.
    .
    …..and his bowtie was iconic.
    .
    RIP, friend.

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