Walter (Walt) D. Wodrich(1936-2012)

Walter (Walt) D. Wodrich
Former Juneau resident Walt Wodrich 76 died peacefully October 27th at the Sitka Pioneer's Home. Walt came to Juneau in the early 1980s and made his home here until moving to Sitka in August this year. He was born in Sedro Woolley, WA to Walter and Alice Wodrich August 2, 1936. He spent his younger years in Skagit County Washington and learned many skills as well as important values, which he continued to live by his entire life. He picked fruit and sold it at fruit stands with his father and worked at an oyster farm among other jobs. Working to pay his own way was always important to Walt and he continued working part-time until April this year when he was forced to quit due to ill health. In 1961 he joined the US Coast Guard and was stationed on the West Coast during the Vietnam War. During his time in the Coast Guard he came to Alaska and decided he wanted to come back when his military service ended. After he was honorably discharged in 1963 he worked in logging camps in Washington before coming to Juneau. Walt was very proud of maintaining his sobriety for over 30 years and could usually be seen with a cup of coffee close by. He enjoyed music and taught himself how to play the accordion and the keyboard. He was learning to play the guitar before moving to Sitka. Walt also learned how to use a computer and taught himself how to "surf the internet". He worked at Valley Chevron for many years where he met his long time friends Charlie and Paula Smith. Although they were the owners many customers thought Walt "owned the place". After they sold the business Walt went on to work for REACH doing custodial work in the State Office Bldg. and later in the Federal Bldg. He made many friends over the years who continued to ask about him after he retired. He moved to the Sitka Pioneer's Home and found a new group of friends at the Home who became very fond of Walt. He played the accordion for the staff and fellow residents at the Home, which they enjoyed. He always won the hearts of those with whom he became friends. His big smile and hearty laugh will be missed by many. Walt was preceded in death by his parents and his brother John. He is survived by his many friends whose lives he touched. He will be laid to rest at the Sitka National Cemetery.

Published in The Juneau Empire from Nov. 7 to Dec. 7, 2012