Ludger Willi Dochtermann
Ludger Willi Dochtermann died from a heart attack in his bed in Kodiak, Alaska, on October 14, 2019, instead of on the deck of a boat, as we had all anticipated. Lu and Stefani had just joyously celebrated their 50th anniversary on October 4.
Lu was born June 4, 1942, in Schwabisch Hall, Germany, where his father Hans was stationed as a bomber pilot in the Lufwaffe. Lu immigrated to Olympia, Washington, in 1961, where he met his first wife, Sharon Johnson.
Lu and Stefani Eldegard met in Seattle, Washington, and were married in 1969. They both took jobs at the CWF cannery in Alitak, Alaska, in the early 1970s.
This set Lu’s direction for life. After three years with the cannery, Lu made the decision to become a crew member on the Tidings, under Atom Fairweather. This set his course into his passion for halibut fishing and boat ownership.
His first boat was the Swallow, which lead to his next boat and “mistress,” the Belair. Its sinking in 1994 was something he mourned the remainder of his life.
Next came the North Point and the Stormbird — vessels that he owned during the remainder of his life. Lu was especially dedicated to the fair treatment and fair compensation for his crew members.
He creatively fought IFQs, because it hampered new entrants to the fisheries. He participated very vocally in challenging the ABF, IPHC and NPFMC to make policies limiting the impact of the drag fisheries on the resource, and endlessly advocated to initiate crab fishery enhancement and restoration efforts for the Kodiak community.
Lu’s subsidy of research provided a window into the reality of the current and future consequences of regulatory agencies ignoring data and facts, and acting appropriately. His dream endures that changes will occur as a part of his legacy.
It is impossible to list all the friends who have been with him forever. Stefani and his children are so grateful for the support of the Kodiak community, as well as so many others throughout Alaska, California, Oregon, Washington and Germany.