Richard “Butch” John Schollenberg, 65, of Ninilchik, passed away July 7, 2021, surrounded by family after a long battle with cancer. Butch will be remembered with deep affection by family and friends for his sense of humor, dependability, work ethic and vast nautical lore and hunting gossip he shared whether you were interested or not.
Butch was born in Flint, Michigan, on May 22, 1956, to Edward and Mary Schollenberg. He was their first child and eldest son. Butch moved to Alaska in 1968 at age 12 and lived in Anchor Point, Happy Valley and Ninilchik. He attended Anchor Point Elementary until 1970 then graduated from Homer High School in 1974.
Butch was a true Alaskan. After commercial fishing with his family as a teen and a short stint in the kitchens on the North Slope, in 1977 he purchased and ran the 36-foot Sea Spray for salmon in Lower Cook Inlet. He later upgraded to the 55-foot Sea Mist – a seine vessel he fished in Prince William Sound until retiring in 2016.
Butch enjoyed bird hunting, fishing, hockey, feeding the local wildlife and a good poker game. Much of his time in his later years was spent hunting the Fox River Flats or at the cabin in Delta Junction where thousands of birds flew over daily during the spring and fall migrations. Opening days of bird season and Memorial Day, with the following sport fishing opportunities at Deep Creek and Ninilchik River, were always marked on his calendar. Butch was an active member of the Ninilchik Ducks Unlimited and organized annual banquets and conservation activities. Butch enjoyed his home in Ninilchik – growing flowers, mowing the grass while drinking cheap beer and keeping a local pair of cranes, various songbirds, quail, ermine and squirrels fed.
Butch was a beloved hunting partner, brother, father and grandfather. He is survived by his parents, Ed and Mary Schollenberg of Anchor Point, children Katie Matthews and Jason Schollenberg of Ninilchik, brothers Charlie Schollenberg of Anchor Point and Edward Schollenberg, Jr of Turlock, California, sister Jeanie Schollenberg of Homer and grandchildren Parker and Lilly Schollenberg of Ninilchik.
A memorial service to celebrate Butch’s life is planned for July 24 at Ninilchik Community Center, 15765 Kinglsey Road. Please drop by between 2-4 p.m. to share memories and fellowship. In the meantime, friends and loved ones are encouraged to win a few bucks at the poker table, curse at your lawnmower, cheer for the last games of the Stanley Cup and keep your birdfeeder full.