Lori Louise Egge, 53, passed away November 7, 2013 at her home in Wasilla, Alaska surrounded by her deeply caring family and friends following a hard-fought 16-month battle with an exceedingly rare form of small cell carcinoma. Northern lights filled the sky as Lori died casting a glowing tribute over her life steeped in bold adventure, confidence and a profound joy in sharing her love of Alaska and its people.
Lori was born in Seattle, Washington in 1960, graduated from Interlake High School in 1978, and earned her pilot’s license while attending Big Bend Community College’s aviation program in Moses Lake. Hitching up the Alcan with help from a rideboard, she arrived in Alaska during spring, 1983. To further her love of aviation, she worked as an accountant for Sohio at Prudhoe Bay quickly earning enough money to purchase her first airplane, a Citabria. She then became the first woman to enter the exciting, though dangerous profession of fish spotting, flying the sac roe herring fisheries in Sitka, Togiak, Kodiak and Prince William Sound. In 1992, she founded Sky Trekking Alaska and in her Cessnas and Grumman Widgeon, flew thousands of people on once in a lifetime adventures across Alaska and occasionally into Russia and the Canadian Northwest Territories. Twenty times she flew the Iditarod, opening many people’s eyes to the beauty of Alaska’s winter and the excitement of sled dog racing. Lori accumulated more than 15,000 hours of accident free flying in bush Alaska and likely landed on every village strip where she was always greeted with warm hugs.
Lori loved traveling. In 1993 when her son Timmy was just five, she flew her small family from Alaska to all the countries in South America in her Cessna 185. Soon thereafter, for a French film crew, she piloted an experimental twin-engine amphibious aircraft around Punta Arenas, Chile and the tip of South America creating a documentary. She and Tim repeated the trip to South American in 2008 and 2009, this time with young Tim at the Cessna’s controls.
Lori was passionate about training dogs. Her best buddy, Elvis, an English Pointer took first place in multiple field trials. With her bird dogs, she guided hunting trips for Highland Hills Ranch in Oregon, Buckeye Plantation in Georgia, Parker Ranch in Hawaii, and Wing Shooting the Wild in Alaska and Idaho.
Lori is survived by her son, Timothy Gossett, of Wasilla, Alaska, her brother and sister-in-law, Robert and Debbie Egge of Woodinville, Washington, her sister and brother-in-law Sue and Gene Beaulieu of Seattle, Washington and nephews Justin Egge and Jason Beaulieu and niece Jill Walker. She is also survived by her former husbands, Tim Gossett of Kodiak and his extended family in Laguna Beach, California and Dan Michels with whom she partnered in running Crystal Creek Lodge for ten years.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to a college fund established at Northrim Bank for Lori’s new grandson, Grayson Mack Gossett, joyfully born at Lori’s home October 30, 2013 to her son, Tim, and proud mother, Kelli Zaumseil, Grayson was placed in Lori’s arms ten minutes after birth and was Lori’s joy during her last week of life.