Obituary: Daniel R. Fauske
Daniel R. Fauske, 66, of Anchorage, Alaska, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, April 5, 2017 at Providence Hospital surrounded by family and friends after a battle with cancer.
Dan was born in Fargo, ND to Sigvald and Iylla Fauske. After high school, Dan was drafted into the United States Army during the Vietnam conflict. Upon returning home, Dan moved to Barrow, AK to take a construction job. He later started a fresh water delivery service, which he sold and returned to school to earn a Master's degree in Business Administration from Gonzaga University.
After graduation, he made his way back to Alaska to serve as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer for Alaska's North Slope Borough, where he launched an ambitious and ultimately successful capital plan to provide running water and sewer services to the villages throughout the Borough.
After leaving the Borough in 1995, Dan moved his family to Anchorage where he became the CEO/executive director of the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation. During the 18 years that followed, Dan built AHFC with heart, intellect and a can do attitude and today it is one of the best housing finance corporations in the nation, trusted by Wall Street, legislators and Alaskans alike.
Dan's list of accomplishments is long and so is the number of people he befriended during his career because of his genuine and outgoing character. Former House Speaker Mike Chenault introduced House Bill 143 this legislative session to honor Dan's public service by naming AHFC headquarters at 4300 Boniface Parkway in Anchorage the Daniel R. Fauske Building. The bill passed both the House of Representatives and Senate unanimously. In a speech on the House floor shortly after Dan's passing, Mike said, "...there are not many places across the state where Mr. Fauske is not thought of in a higher light. He was a great statesman and a great family man. Dan Fauske leaped tall buildings in a single bound.
Like Superman, there was not a challenge he could not take on. He grew the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation into what it is today after it was on the brink of closure. He was a great Alaskan but more importantly a good man and friend."
On the day of Dan's passing, in a speech on the floor of the United States Senate, Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan said, "Dan had a big laugh and told great stories. He also had that rare ability to genuinely connect with everybody he met, and was able to speak the language of a businessman, a builder, veteran, and a public servant.
He spoke the language of a father, a husband, a friend, and a true Alaskan. In so doing, he gained the respect of politicians, state workers, military members — people from all across Alaska. If you wanted something done and done right, you asked Dan Fauske to help do it. People trusted Dan Fauske. I trusted Dan Fauske."
Dan's survivors include his wife Elaine, and adult children, D.J. (Gretchen), Scott (Danielle), Brad (Amy), Kathy, and Marcie as well as his brothers David (Betty), Jim (Janice), and Paul (Christine) and many loving grandchildren, nieces, nephews and extended family.
His parents and his sister, Naomi, preceded him in death. Dan was a loving father, husband, grandfather, mentor, and friend to all.
A celebration of life will take place at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 9 at Change Point church with a reception at Williwaw from 5 to 7:30 p.m. to follow. All are welcome.
Dan's ashes will be laid to rest at the Anchorage Downtown Cemetery. In lieu of flowers donations to the American Cancer Society of Alaska and the American Diabetes Association of Alaska are welcome. A memorial golf tournament is also planned for August.