Robert Hyde Moss

Robert Hyde Moss

Nov. 23, 1922 – Sept. 17, 2013

Longtime Homer resident Robert (Bob) Moss died Sept. 17, 2013, in Homer.  He was 90.

There will be a Celebration of Life for Bob and his wife, Carol, who preceded him in death, on Sunday, Sept. 29 in the basement of the Bidarka Inn from 4-6 p.m. The family invites you all to come, peel a shrimp, have a bite and share a memory.

Robert (Bob) Moss was born Nov. 23, 1922, in Windham County, Conn. He was one of four children born to Albert and Alma Moss. He graduated from Windham High School and went on to earn a bachelor of science degree in wildlife management from the University of Connecticut, where his father was a professor. After college and near the end of World War II, Bob enlisted with the Coast Guard and served as a gunnery officer stationed in the South Pacific.

In 1947, Bob joined his brother, Joel, to stake their claim in Alaska. That year they worked on the crew that built the Sterling Highway from Kasilof to Ninilchik.  They then traveled farther down the Kenai Peninsula to homestead in Peterson Bay and to begin commercial fishing. 

Throughout the war Bob courted the love of his life, Carol Mary Vath of West Haven, Conn. After his first year in Alaska, Bob returned to Connecticut to make Carol a part of his dream. They were married in Storrs on April 3, 1948. Shortly thereafter they departed for his homestead in Peterson Bay.  

Bob and Joel fished salmon, halibut, crab and shrimp throughout Cook Inlet and Kodiak waters for decades. They built many boats and started Moss Brothers Seafoods together. Their wives, Carol and Flora, were also integral parts of the fishing operations, working alongside them on their boats.   Bob fished commercially for more than 40 years. The last two commercial boats that  Bob and Carol owned were the fishing vessels Melody and Carol Mary. 

Throughout his career, Bob believed that it was important to protect his industry and involved himself in all levels of fishery legislation. He served on the Board of Fish and Game and was a member of the Advisory Panel for the International Pacific Fisheries Management Commission. He was a lifetime member of North Pacific Fisheries Association. Bob was a constant advocate for conservative stock management to ensure fisheries would be sustainable for generations to come. He served as a member of the Alaska Judicial Council and on the board of directors for the National Bank of Alaska. 

After retiring Bob and Carol continued to sport fish from their newest boat, the Sand Dollar. They also would take annual trips to Kodiak in September to sport fish for silver salmon. Fish feared them. 

Carol and Bob shared an enduring love.  They were best friends for life and role models for marriage. In their later years it was rare to see one without the other. Carol passed away in their 62nd year of marriage, but their marriage continued in her absence.  In her memory Bob continued to refer to her as “The Boss” — flowers got planted and things got done every year after her death, because that’s what The Boss wanted.

Bob tied flies his whole life, searching for the perfect pattern and sharing them with everyone he knew. He helped build the local ski area and start the Kachemak Ski Club, alpine skiing well into his 70s. Bob worked hard and he played hard. His smile and sense of humor were infectious and his love of fishing — and eating his catch — was legendary. 

Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Albert and Alma; his brothers and their wives, Joel (Flora) of Homer and Phil (Shirley) of Austin, Texas. He is survived by his sister, Ester Proctor of Manchester by the Sea, Mass.; sons, Robert Brian (Charlotte) and Christopher Vath (Pat) all of Homer; grandchildren, Edward Brian (Christina) of Henderson, Nev.; Robert Joel (Jennifer) Moss of Kenai; Casey Ann Moss of Homer; and seven great-grandchildren.

The Moss family would like to thank the folks at Homer Medical who took care of Bob over the years. Special thanks as well to his PT, Karen Northrup, and to all the caregivers at The Ark.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Bob’s honor can be directed to the Kachemak Ski Club, Box 3705, Homer, AK 99603 or to Hospice of Homer, Box 4174, Homer, AK 99603.