Died: 19 May 2021
Paul Wesley Trotzke, 78 years, went to be with his Lord and Savior at 4 p.m. on Wednesday 19 May 2021, at his daughter’s home on Ester Dome near Fairbanks, Alaska.
Paul was born 28 April 1943 in Guatemala City, Guatemala, as the second-born child of Ray and Grace Trotzke. While his parents served as foreign-field missionaries, Paul spent his elementary and high school years in Guatemala enjoying his love for bicycling, soccer, playing the trumpet and climbing volcanos. At an early age he was able to make valued childhood friendships that would last a lifetime. He had an extremely close sibling bond with his sister, Miriam, his entire life.
Paul went to the United States to attend college in Kansas where he met Martha Dunn. They married in 1966 in the church where Martha’s father pastored in South Dakota. Paul and Martha then went to Guatemala as missionaries and started a family. In 1978, they returned to the U.S. permanently, stopping briefly in Nebraska to pastor a church and then settling in Alaska, Paul’s life-long dream and where he called home.
Paul pastored Dot Lake Community Chapel in the Alaska Bush from 1979 until 1996 when Martha was suddenly taken in a motor vehicle accident. During this time in Dot Lake, Paul became known as a family man who daily put God first in his life. Hiking and hunting with family and friends was very important to Paul as well as investing into the youth by challenging them to spiritual and physical health. He valued impromptu gatherings for a good meal or coffee to connect with friends, acquaintances, and complete strangers.
Paul was a gentleman who valued order, punctuality and self-discipline. The utility of a crisp, white, properly folded handkerchief continued until he left this world. Paul encouraged his children to embrace education and to never cease in personal search for truth. Paul was a skilled musician who humbly played for a wide range of events from formal to casual. As a political activist, he wrote senators and congressmen weekly and encouraged others to put action behind their stated beliefs.
Paul’s passion for ministry with various denominations, in a true spirit of unity, flourished on the foundation of serving others and relentlessly finding a way to give to those in need. Often, a smile, a gift, a friendly conversation, a hug, or a word of encouragement demonstrated to everyone his unwavering love for Christ.
After 1996, he returned to the land of his birth to be near his family and childhood friends. He met and married Mary, and they found themselves involved in ministry once again. Time was spent in both Guatemala and Alaska for the remainder of his life.
Even though Paul’s immediate family was rather small, he intentionally gained friends whom he considered family around the globe. Paul made the world better by his life and example. Many lives were changed by his willingness to do what was right. His children are glad that he is finally reunited with the love of his life, Martha Mae.
Paul is survived by his three children, Sam (Shauna) Trotzke, North Pole, Alaska; Katie (Tom) Steer Fairbanks, Alaska; and Ed (Jen) Trotzke of St. Augustine, Florida; and five grandchildren, Tessa Trotzke, Elijah Steer, Anna Trotzke, Ava Trotzke and Owen Trotzke. He is also survived by his loving sister, Miriam (Fausto) Cebeira, of Guatemala City, Guatemala, along with much loved nieces and nephews (Pepito, Caroline, Fausto Pablo, Margaret, Grace, Sara and Priscilla). He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Martha, and his parents, Ray and Grace Trotzke.
A celebration of Paul’s life will be announced at a later date.
Paul is listed in the 4th edition of the Seidemann Family Tree Book on page 352 with his wife Martha and, their children.