Robert (Bob) Growden was an Alaskan trucking pioneer. He would drive in conditions that other men would not. Bob had a genuine knack for people and greatly contributed to Arctic development. He worked for Alaska Freight Lines during the active time of the Sno-Freighter in 1955.
In an interview with his son Dick on December 30, 2020, he talked about his dad’s boxing history in Alaska.
My father was also a Golden Gloves boxer in Alaska. And when they were young Catholics growing up in Ruby, Alaska, the the boxing was a big deal there in town. Yeah, my father started out boxing I think as a lightweight and then he moved to light middleweight and then the bantamweight. Part of the reason why he moved through the way classes is because he beat everybody in his weight class. My Uncle Andy I was fortunate enough to talk to him shortly after my father before he died himself and I said, well, what was it like then?
You could not believe the turnout in the town. Your dad was like this folk hero. If you know everybody the priest didn’t couldn’t legally bet on anybody because he didn’t want he was against the church’s Doctrine, but they would gladly give $20 to their best friend of bet to bet on your dad. Yeah right now was a lot back then and it was funny. He said as he grew in stature.
During my interview with Dick, I could tell that his father’s passing had a significant impact on him. I know that he is sorely missed. Read more about Bob and his contribution to Alaskan trucking in my Overland Trains book, due out sometime later 2021 or early 2022.
Bob’s obituary is found at https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/newsminer/obituary.aspx?n=robert–growden&pid=147740551.