Elmer E. Gaede, M.D. was a simple Mennonite farm boy from Kansas who took a turn at the dairy barn and before he knew it, had graduated from KU medical school and was on his way up the Alcan Highway with his family. In 1955, he served as one of seven physicians at the Alaska Native Hospital in Anchorage. In 1957, he transferred with the Public Health Service to Tanana, and cared for the medical needs of 22 villages up and down the Yukon River. By 1961, he'd accumulated a file-full of Alaskan flying, hunting, and medical adventures and found himself homesteading on the Kenai Peninsula as one of the first physicians.

Listen to Naomi's interview with Mike Mason (KBBI and KDLL FM 91.9 Kenai, AK) about Doc Gaede (3 minutes).
Naomi's Interview

Dr. Gaede Display Case at Peninsula General Hospital

This new display case compliments the Dr. Isaak display case at the same hospital.

Display Case Display Case

Back row: Jane Isaak Cork,
Ruth Gaede Rupp, Joan Isaak Corr,
Karen Isaak Encelewski, Mark Gaede.
Front row: Naomi Gaede-Penner.

Display Case
Dr. Gaede featured at Cook Inlet Academy's Historical Display

Naomi's writing, research, and photos contributed to Cook Inlet Academys historical display, which honored Dr. Gaede as a founder, board member, financial contributor, and tireless construction worker for Christian education on the Kenai Peninsula (Alaska.) Two of the Prescription for Adventure books were recognized as documenting his work in the community, and larger Alaska.

Display at Cook Inlet Academy

Books & Articles

To learn more about Doc Gaede, check out the articles and books below:

A Larger History of the Kenai Peninsula
Book by Walt and Elsa Pedersen
See the chapter on Soldotna

Alaska's Kenai Peninsula: The Road We've Traveled
Book compiled by the Kenai Historical Society
Find "Gaede" in the index
This book can be purchased from the Kenai Visitor's Center:

Once Upon the Kenai: Stories from the People
Book compiled by the Kenai Historical Society
Find "Gaede" in the surname index
This book can also be purchased from the Kenai Visitor's Center.

Hospital Celebrates 30 Years of Service
Read article in the Peninsula Clarion

Medicine on the Fly
Read article in the Peninsula Clarion