David Michael Woodruff

Posted: Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Former Juneau resident and longtime Kodiak resident David Michael Woodruff died peacefully April 6, 2009, surrounded by his family. He was 67.

He was born July 22, 1941, in Culver City, Calif. His family moved to Juneau when he was three years old, and he eventually graduated from Juneau-Douglas High School in 1961.

As a young man, he worked in the southeast Alaska fishing, logging, and construction industries. Shortly after high school graduation while working for the Shortfold and Gronhold herring reduction plant in Washington Bay, he married the former Judith Hendricks, and they spent the following three years working as a maintenance engineer and winter watchman and raising their children, Michael and Jeanne.

In the summer of 1965, David became the year-round maintenance man and caretaker for Vita Foods herring reduction plant in Big Port Walter. He and his family left Southeast Alaska when Vita Foods transferred him to Dutch Harbor, where he served as head foreman and maintenance engineer.

In 1978, along with partners Ted Otness, John Hall and brothers Gary and Teddy Painter, he founded Alaska Fresh Seafoods in Kodiak, which he operated until his death.

During these years, Dave became active in community fisheries affairs, serving on committees including the Kodiak Shellfish Study Group, the Kodiak Seafood Processors Assoc., Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, and the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council Advisory Panel. He also served intermittently on the Kodiak City Council for a period of 14 years. Dave was a member of the Pioneers of Alaska, Elks and the American Legion.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Judy Woodruff; parents, James and Gertrude Woodruff; and Judy's parents, James and Juanita Hendricks.

He is survived by his wife, Barbara Woodruff; daughter, Jeanne Friel and husband, Paul; son, Michael Woodruff and wife, Tonya; grandchildren, Amber Friel and Natassja Woodruff; brothers, James Woodruff, of Kalispell, Mont., Patrick Woodruff, of Elk River, Minn., and Shaun Woodruff, of Boring, Ore.; brothers-in-law, James Hendricks, of Port Alexander, and Gary Pagiusco, of Torrington, Conn.; sister-in-law, Sherry Whitlock, of Torrington; mother-in-law, Catherine Pagiusco; and step-daughter, Chelsea Galloway and husband, Tim, and their children, Paige and Timothy Galloway, of Anchorage.

A celebration of David's life was held April 20 at the Kodiak High School auditorium followed by a repast.

In lieu of flowers and in recognition of David's passion for history, the family requests that memorial donations be made to the Baranov Museum at www.baranovmuseum.org, the Alutiiq Museum at www.alutiiqmuseum.org, the Kodiak Military History Museum at www.kadiak.org or the Kodiak Maritime Museum at www.kodiakmaritimemuseum.org. Condolences may be sent to the family at 1117 Rezanof Drive, Kodiak, AK 99615.

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