Lloyd Louis Strutz
Aug. 23, 1927-June 11, 2018
Lifetime Alaska pioneer Lloyd Louis Strutz, 90, died June 11, 2018. He lived in Homer, but originally homesteaded with his family on Ohlson Mountain Road during the 1950s where the homestead still remains. He was born and raised his family with his wife Mary Jean Yenney in both Anchorage and Homer.
Lloyd was preceded in death by his parents, Louis and Aline (Sawhill) Strutz of Anchorage, and his sisters, Joann Nattress, Clella Fowler and Ermalee Hickel.
He is survived by his sister, Gayle Ryan of California; brother, Richard Strutz of Anchorage; children, Sharon Lou Strutz Norton with two adult children and one adult child by marriage, Bryan Thomas Protzman and daughter Paisley Marie Protzman of Anchorage; Jonnie Marie Bernier with husband Ronald and their 11 children, Ryan, Jacob, Ronald, Julie, Matthew, Mason, Michael, Danny, David, Jerry and Gloria, all of Wasilla, and David Allen Norton II of Anchorage; William Louis Strutz with wife Mary Lou of Homer and two adult children Heather Jessica and Joshua Louis Ryan Strutz; Debora Jean Studnek of Kasilof and her adult son Erik Studnek of Anchorage; and Margaret Ann Strutz with two adult children William Thomas Lee and Rosemary Mckee and her children Zoe, Cameron and Ryker, all of Anchorage.
Lloyd was a World War II U.S. Army veteran, having served from 1945 to 1947 in the Aleutian campaign. His service included military ocean freight transportation as chief diesel marine engineer on boats, small freighters, and tugs/harbor crafts. From 1954 to 1961 he served in the Alaska National Guard, achieving the rank of master sergeant. He assisted in setting up generators in remote Alaska villages. He was a lifetime member of the American Legion and Elks Lodge. He was blessed to travel on the Alaska Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., a trip he encouraged other vets to travel.
Lloyd also worked with Northern Construction & Excavating, the Civil Aeronautics Association, Railway Express, as a patrol officer with the Anchorage Police Department, Airport Machinery, the Alaska Railroad, City of Anchorage as a maintenance supervisor and athletic supervisor, Town and Country Furniture, the Anchorage School District, Federal Electric Corporation, the Anchorage Times, and as a mechanic doing odd jobs. One of his positions included hand measuring Spit tides. His Last Mechanic Shop on Kachemak Drive still exists within the Homer Boat Yard.
During his lifetime he received a variety of honors and letters of appreciation: in 1954 and 1958 for promoting the Alaska National Guard state basketball tournaments (including raising funds for uniforms), in 1959 he promoted funds to support senior hockey, and in 1965 he promoted funds for junior cross-country skiing. He served as president of the Nordic cross-country ski club and director of the U.S. Ski Association, Alaska chapter. In 1968 he was appointed to the Alaska Athletic Commission and as chairman in 1970. In 1970 he was commissioner of the U.S Amateur Softball Association and honorable member of the Order of Canada’s Arctic Adventurers, Canada’s Arctic Northwest Territories. He served on the Alaska Athletic Commission (1975), the Homer Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission (1983-86), and the Homer Port and Harbor Advisory Commission (1992-1998), receiving mayoral certificates of appreciation. In 2002 he received an appreciation from the South Peninsula Sportsman’s Association for supporting the Youth Fishing Fair. Throughout his lifetime he coached and promoted both men’s, women’s, and youth basketball, baseball, boxing, cross-country skiing, curling, senior hockey, and softball. He was a boxer himself.
In years past he was a daily early morning Homerite at the Duncan House table and is known to many in the community. He enjoyed camping and hunting with his family and friends. He enjoyed time spent with his children and grandchildren, working and teaching them how to operate equipment, shoot rifles and handguns, sledding, skiing, snowmachining, and spinning a tale or two for entertainment.
He loved to dance the waltz and jitter bug and sing. He could carry a beautiful tune — at home, walking, in the car, church, Homer sing alongs and hospitals — and would get others involved. He could remember the words most of us forgot. Some of his favorites where patriotic songs, including the U.S. Army song “Caissons Go Rolling Along,” “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” “The Star Spangled Banner,” “The Alaska Flag Song,” “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” “Sixteen Tons,” “Tiny Bubbles,” “Shoo Fly Pie” and many others. He sang “You Are My Sunshine” in his last few moments.
He education included the Industrial Institute, Chicago; Onen Diesel Factory, Minneapolis; welding at Anchorage Community College, and the Dale Carnegie course in effective speaking and human relations. He was awarded a high school diploma in 2017 that he had not received as he served in WWII.
The American Legion, Elks And VFW in Homer and Anchor Point plan a community celebration of Louie’s life from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, July 8, 2018, at the Homer Elks Lodge, 215 Jenny Way. All veterans, active duty military and community members are invited. An Elks Lodge and American Legion Service will be followed by the playing of “Taps,” a VFW rifle salute, and sharing of photos, stories and a meal.
The American Legion Riders are requested to escort Lloyd Strutz’s remains to the Fort Richardson Cemetery, with interment at a time and date to be announced. A gathering will follow at his brother Richard Strutz’s home in Anchorage.