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Farewell Allan Tesche

tesche1  Just got the sad news that former Anchorage Assemblyman Allan Tesche has passed away after heart surgery.  He was 60 years old.  Condolences to his wife Pam, and the rest of his family and numerous friends.

A controversial figure at times, Tesche was an unabashed, brilliant, outspoken, in-your-face progressive who sat on the Assembly from 1999-2007.  Tesche had a gift for writing, and his blog , The Tesche Report, was a must-read for anyone wanting to keep up with the antics of the Assembly.  He always seemed to aggravate the right people, especially mayor Dan Sullivan.

At every Assembly meeting I sit through, I miss Allan Tesche.  Now I will miss him even more.  Here’s one of my favorite blog posts by Allan Tesche that tells the tale of former Mayor George Sullivan and his son, the current Mayor Dan Sullivan.  I posted it several months ago as the mayoral race got going.  He shared my love of a good parable. 

“And it came to pass in those days, there went out a decree from Caesar that all within the city should be taxed even more. And all went to be taxed, every one for his real property and for his individual means of transport, however plain.

“And so George also went up from the bay of the Resurrection, out of the city of Seward and from the great river that since ancient times has been called the Tanana into Anchorage. He journeyed there with his wife and growing family that they could be counted and taxed.

“While they were there, the winter days grew cold and short and to them was delivered a third born son. They named him Dan, wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because they were homeless and there was no room for them at the Inlet Inn.

“When Dan had grown into a man and the elders allowed him to teach in the Temple, he told the faithful that the City of his father was in decay and no longer safe for them. It was not a city of growth or prosperity. The homeless are now begging for copper coins in the streets, carrying cardboard signs and violating the Law.

“Thousands of the faithful peered out warily from inside darkened tents pitched along Ship Creek or from their barricaded homes. They were afraid of the wandering bands of homeless people and of the crushing burden of real property taxes.

“Timidly they asked, Teacher, what are we to do? With confidence and clarity Dan replied: I shall first drive out the beggars from the streets of the City and make our streets safe again. I will ask our brother Paul to help us expel the foreigners from our midst unless their papers are in order. I will cut the wages paid to indolent city workers and I will levy a sales tax on goods and services in order to pay for new run off elections. We will spray pesticides on our gardens again and allow merchants to rebuild their pole signs over the marketplace.

“And in the same country the men who produced the lamp and heating oil, the land barons, and the wealthy merchants were keeping watch over their holdings by night.

“And, lo in the empty regions of outer space, a trumpet sounded and the Archangel Ruderich came upon them in the night. Fearing a UFO filled with invading liberals, the men were at first afraid. But the Archangel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold I bring you good tidings of great joy: For this day is risen in the city of the great King George, a new champion and savior, he is Dan the Man.

“With him will come tax cuts for the wealthy, blue tickets for the foreigner, and a paddle for the little children. And after the trumpet sounded again, a multitude of the heavenly hosts including the Angels Ted, Ben, Don, Lisa, Dan, Chris, Jennifer, Paul, Bill, Debbie and the others not yet indicted sang Dan’s praises, saying Glory in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward the party’s chosen few.”

Mr. Tesche, you will be missed.

 

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Comments
27 Responses to “Farewell Allan Tesche”
  1. Larry Yee says:

    I am on my first trip to Alaska, the only state I have not stepped foot in, until now. Saved the best till last.

    I was a college roommate/housemate with Al Tesche at UC Davis. Like so many of my college friends, I lost touch with Al after he went to the Peace Corps. However, I did hear later that he had gone to Anchorage to practice law.

    So naturally as my wife and I were traveling close to Anchorage, I googled Allan Tesche and walah!!

    I am so sad that he has passed, but after reading many of the googled pieces about him, I can truthfully say he stayed true to form, obviously not straying from his singular character filled with brillance, public service, wit and humor, practical jokes, elocution, debate, use of the written word way more powerful than the sword, and deeply caring all the while about people and community. I can only imagine how conservatives in the State Assembly had been skewered with his cutting to the bone wit and honesty.

    Now I’m sad I waited so long to come to this great state, missing the opportunity to re-connect with a friend I deeply cherished. Alaska is BIG!! It matches the size of Allan’s head, heart and hands. It’s only appropriate that Allan made his home here.

    To all alaskans, my condolences. You’ve lost a great man!

  2. ValleyIndependent says:

    To Laurie, my prayers are with you and your husband.

    To the Tesche family, you are also in my prayers. Allan was a huge unsung hero to many, not seeking recognition, but instead working quietly behind the scenes doing what was right, and helping others to do what was right. For sharing him with us, I thank you.

  3. Martha says:

    I remember this. What a wonderful mind to lose. This is one of those losses that makes you sigh and ask………why? I’ve never found the answer, but I continue to ask.

    I am not a “religious” person, as in attending any church or temple etc. on a regular basis and using bible quotes to justify my lifestyle, or force it on others.

    But I am “spiritual”. For me, when I want to feel close to “GOD”, I go to Alaska (and all the beautiful places on our west coast) in my boat, go to my garden, hold a baby, visit a nursing home, observe how this blog helped the villages this winter and with the flood. I cannot help but know that there is “more than this”, more than our time here on earth.

    I will say a prayer for the family and friends who miss him the most.

    Until they meet again.

    I do believe

  4. michigander says:

    To the family and friends: I am so sorry for your loss. Rest in peace Mr. Tesche.

  5. mae says:

    Allen leaves a wonderful legacy behind. Think of all the youth who watch him in the Anchorage area. I know my kids did and they are better for Allen’s influence. Where he got the energy for all his public service ventures, I don’t know.

    As a widow, at times it was difficult to move forward, but what helped was reading and listening to all the well wishers. If things got to feeling really bad in my head, I’d head to the box of cards and start reading. So if you have a opportunity to send a card, please do. I will. Ya never know how it will help those momentary waves of a hurting heart.

    Tesche had a grin. A big one. He was also tall. So if you were in a room full of people, you could spot him. There he would be, standing tall with that loveable grin smeared practically ear to ear.

    Much hugs to the family.

  6. Erica says:

    Allan was the officiant at my wedding 11 years ago. I think I cried more today than I did when my grandfather died.

  7. BooBooBear says:

    So sorry for your loss, Tesche Family.

    BooBooBear

  8. steve conn says:

    Pam and Allan were two of the best of their generation. How Allan could handle the detail and tedium of city business, I never understood. God Bless him and may his memory always be a blessing. We should all aspire to his many, many good deeds.

  9. jojobo1 says:

    So sorry, condolances to family and friends/ Sounds like you lost a very good man

  10. Mag the Mick says:

    I met Alan when we were both active in the Anchorage chapter of the National Association of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers. We had both been in Central America, and I believe his keen interest in justice and in a government that works for all of us was nurtured there. He was one person who “got” the lessons he learned in the Peace Corps, and who put them to work throughout the rest of his life. I am very proud to have known him. My heartfelt condolences to Pam and their kids. Que te vayas muy bien, Alan.

  11. the problem child says:

    What a sad loss for his family and community. Far, far, too young.

  12. bucfan says:

    My first introduction to Mr Tesche was on THE TESCHE REPORT (THUNDER) on the Aaron Selbig show on KUDO. He was on for a while, then was off for quite a while with his heart condition. When he came back he was the same old Alan, loud, truthful and sarcastic and willing to take a stand. I called him several times, and while I didn’t always agree with him, but I admired him for standing on his principals. Alan seemed governed more by what he felt was right, rather than on political expediency. I will never forget him catching Dan Coffey being involved in some somewhat shady fundraising after Dan butt dialed Alan and Alan’s voicemail picked up Coffey and Starr discussing the fundraising as well as Starr wanting an endorsement from a union or he would vote against them. Alan gave it to Selbig who put it on the air, and Starr ended up almost losing to a write in candidate because of it. Alan could be a bit abrasive but you always knew where he stood. I would have loved for him to have been on the assembly when all the ABT’ers were espousing their hate over the last month. He would have asked some priceless questions. RIP Alan. You will be missed.

  13. Suchanut says:

    Man of La Mancha Lyrics by Joe Darion
    http://www.stlyrics.com/lyrics/bestofbroadway-americanmusical/theimpossibledream.htm

    “To dream … the impossible dream …
    To fight … the unbeatable foe …
    To bear … with unbearable sorrow …
    To run … where the brave dare not go …
    To right … the unrightable wrong …
    To love … pure and chaste from afar …
    To try … when your arms are too weary …
    To reach … the unreachable star …

    This is my quest, to follow that star …
    No matter how hopeless, no matter how far …
    To fight for the right, without question or pause …
    To be willing to march into Hell, for a Heavenly cause …

    And I know if I’ll only be true, to this glorious quest,
    That my heart will lie will lie peaceful and calm,
    when I’m laid to my rest …
    And the world will be better for this:
    That one man, scorned and covered with scars,
    Still strove, with his last ounce of courage,
    To reach … the unreachable star …”

    RIP

  14. Misfit in Texas says:

    My Thoughts and Prayers go out to the Family and Friends of Allan Tesche in this sorrowful time of loss. But his life was a gift to all, to be celebrated.

  15. I remember that piece very well, because it is simply brilliant. Thankyou so much for reposting it and letting us know such a wonderful mind, even from afar.

    We hope the Tesche family can find solace in the knowledge how many people he entertained and enlightened beyond Alaska borders andwithin. Thankyou Mr. Tesche.

  16. Laurie says:

    Oh Alaskans…so very sorry for your loss. Sounds like you were very lucky to have him. Reeshi….loved your comment. Hubby is going in on the 29th for the same surgery….please pray for us.

  17. Bent Alaska says:

    A big loss – he will be missed. Condolences to the Tesche family. Perhaps that explains why we’re having our first cloudy day in weeks…

  18. UK Lady says:

    So sorry, condolances to family and friends.

  19. Forty Watt says:

    My condolences to family, friends, and all those whose lives Allan Tesche touched.

  20. Irishgirl says:

    So sorry.

  21. bubbles says:

    this is a very sad loss to us all. may the Tesche family be comforted by the memory of this dear man…b

  22. Far fromFenway Fan says:

    A huge loss for his family and our community. A devoted public servant not afraid to pursue what was best for his constituents. Why no tweet from the gov?

  23. GA Peach a/k/a Lance the Boil aka Crust Scramble says:

    I visited his blog right after you posted this, and enjoyed wandering around there.
    Alaska has lost much with his passing. Rest in peace, Mr. Tesche.

  24. reesh says:

    oh allan, i will so miss you. the last time i saw you, we were joking about having an “excersizing liberally” session at a local gym.

    you were a such a kind, caring, intelligent person. you were a great american.

    thank you for your service to our community. i will never forget you.

  25. Georgia in NC says:

    I’m so sorry for you and the AK community, AKM. I missed that post last time you put it up – truly a brilliant piece of political writing. White light from the NC mountains on yall….

  26. InJuneau says:

    Thoughts and prayers to the Tesche family in their time of loss…

  27. austintx says:

    Thank you for sharing some of his quotes. Alaska obviously has lost one of the “good guys”.

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