Manfred Dietrich, 76, of Seward, Alaska, passed away on December 27, 2017, after a long battle with cancer.
Funeral services will be held at Resurrection Lutheran Church at 400 Third Avenue, Seward, Alaska, Friday, January 5th, at 11 a.m. A burial service at the Seward City Cemetery will follow. A public viewing will be held from 10 to 10:45 a.m.
Manfred was born on November 18, 1941, in Konigsberg, Prussia, in what is now present-day Kaliningrad, Russia, to Herta Baltruweit and Kurt Dietrich. They moved to war-torn West Germany, where Manfred and his mother had an impoverished and difficult life. After dropping out of school at the age of 13, he became a Merchant Marine and traveled the world on merchant ships, where he fell in love with the sea. He eventually landed in America, became a citizen and married Judith Lee of Olympia, Wash.
He worked as a longshoreman, painter, commercial deep-sea diver and instructor, commercial fisherman, welder, and pile buck in many parts of the United States and Europe. He fell in love with Alaska while working on the Alaska Pipeline and moved his family there in 1976. He eventually bought a landing craft, the M/V Flying D, and started a successful commercial fishing and cargo business named Marine Specialties of Alaska based out of Seward. Manfred was active in his church and local business community. He had a passion for hard work and accomplishment and was quick to smile and laugh at life’s challenges.
He was a supportive and loving father and is survived by his six children: Carl, Jon and David Dietrich; Mette Karlsen; and Cara and Cory Osenga and step-daughter Marissa Lackey. He is also survived by 15 grandchildren: Steven, Jaime, Nicholas, Matthew, Danielle, Sarah, Dominic and Derek Dietrich; Daniel and Ana Rosen; Sanne, Jonas and Vegar Karlsen; Brianna Scott and Reilly Nelsen. He is survived by many family members in Minden, Germany.
Arrangements made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel & Crematory. Please sign or visit his online guestbook at AlaskanFuneral.com.