Public memorial for Otto Florschutz at a future date
December 13, 2023
Otto Heinz Florschutz III, 65, a nearly 40-year resident of Wrangell, departed mortality on Nov. 20, 2023. A private service will be held for the family, with a public memorial to be announced at a later date.
Otto was born in Wilmington, Delaware, on April 4, 1958. He graduated from Washington High School in North Carolina before attending Beaufort County Community College in North Carolina to become a machinist - work that he continued to enjoy throughout his life.
Bitten by wanderlust, Otto hitchhiked across the United States, aiming to see as much of it as he could, before landing in Alaska. On his arrival in Sitka, having only $20 in his pocket, he resolved to make the state his home.
Otto loved working outdoors and with his hands, and found a lifelong career in commercial fishing, continuing to explore and pursue new fisheries until his passing. In addition, he worked at Alaska Airlines from January 2001 until his retirement in May 2014.
"As a member of the Southeast Alaska community, Ottie was known by many," his family wrote. He served many years in the branch presidency of the Wrangell congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as well as filling many other roles as needed.
He served on the Wrangell Port Commission, laying the groundwork and advocating heavily in favor of The Marine Service Center. He served on the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Wrangell advisory committee. Later in life, he even ran for Congress (2022).
Otto was an avid lover of the Alaska experience and wilderness, frequently hunting when he wasn't commercial or subsistence fishing. "Rarely able to sit still for long, he was always in search of his next project or new hobby," his family wrote. "He could frequently be found at the harbor or around town, alternating between work and saying hello to every friend who wandered by."
Otto is survived by his wife, Christina Florschutz, his four children, four grandchildren, three sisters and his parents. He was preceded in death by his sister, Teresa.
"He will be greatly missed, but his family and friends will remember him forever."