Cabin Carpenter’s Dream Meets Premature End

Adolf Weitzel at work on his cabin in Alaska.

Adolf Weitzel at work on his cabin in Alaska.

NEAR ANCHOR POINT, ALASKA – At age 76, Adolf Weitzel of Ridgeway was living his dream – retired from the homebuilding industry, he was building a log cabin on 3 acres of coastal wilderness in Alaska. He was building the cabin off the land by himself. His story appeared in the Sept. 6, 2013 issue of The Voice. Because he could only work during the summer months while the weather was good, he arrived in Alaska in mid-May and stayed until mid-September.

A week ago Saturday, on May 17, Weitzel once again arrived in Alaska, eager to begin his third summer of construction. But it was not to be. The morning after his arrival, according to his daughter-in-law Joanna Weitzel of Blythewood, as Weitzel was driving his 2006 Chevrolet pickup truck to pick up supplies for the cabin, he died of heart failure, crashing his truck into an unoccupied home. While no one else was injured in the accident, Weitzel appears to have died instantly, his daughter-in-law said.

“A friend who picked Adolf up at the airport in Anchorage said he arrived in great spirits,” Joanna Weitzel told The Voice. “He had been out to the cabin and was happy to see that it had done well over the winter. He was eager to get started. Our family is heartbroken to lose Adolf and we are heartbroken that he did not get to fulfill his dream.”

Joanna Weitzel said she is especially comforted that her children will have the memory of spending part of their summers in Alaska helping Adolf work on the cabin.

But now the focus for the family is on how to finish Adolf’s dream. Joanna Weitzel said the family plans to complete the cabin but needs help in doing so.

“We have several friends and family members who have volunteered their help,” she said. “We may not do the job Adolf would have done, but the plan is to get it finished.”

Adolf is survived by his wife Annerose and daughter, Pat, who live in Ridgeway; a son, Steve (Joanna Weitzel’s husband) and their two children, Erin and Davis; and a granddaughter, Ashley Cox who resides in Greenwood.

To help with the funding of the cabin’s construction and travel expenses, the family has set up a GoFundMe account. Anyone who wishes to contribute can go to


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