The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

Darren Scott Husz


November 2, 2017 | View PDF

Darren Scott Husz, 33, died October 11, 2017, in the Homer/Fritz Creek area of Alaska. He was born in Ft. Myers, Florida, on Oct. 14, 1983, son of Van (Devant) and Linda (Whitmore) Husz.

Darren is survived by his father and mother, Van and Linda Husz, of Ft. Myers, and sister, Whitney Husz, of North Carolina, and many relatives.  He is predeceased by two aunts with whom he was very close, all of his grandparents, and great-grandparents with whom he was also very close.

He was born and raised in Ft. Myers and was a third generation Ft. Myers High School alumnus, graduating in 2002. He was a veteran, enlisting in the early enlistment program into the Florida National Guard/Army in 2001 while finishing his senior year of high school. Upon graduation, he completed boot camp at Ft. Benning, Georgia, and MOS training in Ft. Bliss, Texas, and served in the Florida National Guard/Army for about seven years. Between several deployments, he was a full-time surveyor in Ft. Myers and also a part-time deckhand on a party charter fishing boat at Ft. Myers Beach, and attended a semester of college.

He went to Alaska in April 2008 for a 3-week vacation, with a return ticket to Ft. Myers. When he landed in Anchorage he saw snow for the first time at the age of 24. He was also hoping to get a summer job on a fishing boat in Homer. If he got one, he was going to stay for the summer; if he didn’t, he was going back to Ft. Myers on his return ticket. Instead, a few days later while sitting in his snow-covered tent in Cordova with his laptop, he found an online ad for a surveying job. He was able to get an appointment for an interview in Anchorage, and upon interview was immediately hired. The rest is history. He was bitten by the bug, as they say, and decided to stay in Alaska.  

He surveyed on the North Slope, Prudhoe Bay, Deadhorse area, and more remote areas for 2-plus years, working 2- or 3-week shifts on and off. In between shifts, he commuted to Homer where he lived in a tent for almost 1 1/2 years before moving into his yurt.

After 2-plus years he grew tired of commuting, so he started working in Homer for State Parks and Recreation. After that, he had many interesting odds and ends jobs including carpentry, fish cannery, making hydraulic hoses, surveying, deck hand on fishing boats, cleaning professional offices and commercial buildings, and just about, especially outdoors. His last job this last summer was as a deckmate on a fishing boat.

He was self-taught in several skills and learned how to MacGyver and make things by hand. He liked living off the grid in his yurt for which he built the foundation and deck, wood burning stove, indoor water system, and circular staircase from the trunk of a driftwood tree.

He loved being outdoors and was proud of his herb and vegetable gardens every summer, enjoyed music and playing guitar, and loved fishing and playing disc golf. He enjoyed making mead and entering tasting contests. He loved his dog and cat, which sadly were not with him long enough. Husz had a quick wit and dry sense of humor like his dad, and a love of water like his mother.  He was a devoted listener of Sunday afternoon NPR (radio), an avid reader and history buff, and kept up with current events of the country and world. After moving to Alaska, he did not forget one of his first loves – the Tampa Bay Lightning pro hockey team. He was a devout fan to the end.

Darren returned to Florida for friends’ weddings and a family event during his 9 1/2 years in Alaska, but Alaska was his home, a world away from Florida.  Years ago when someone asked us what Darren was doing in Alaska, he said we should say he was “living the dream.”

In death, we have learned he was as much loved by his friends as he was by his family. He is survived by many good friends, as good friends as a parent could wish for his or her child, far too many to name, and far too important to accidentally omit. We appreciate all of you. As recently as the last three months of his life, he was still making new friends with whom he bonded strongly. We thank all who shared stories of him with us.

He knew he was loved, but he didn’t know how much more he could still learn, give, receive, love, and be loved.    

A memorial/celebration of life will be held for Darren Husz on Sunday, November 5, at 3 p.m. at the Down East Saloon at 3125 East End Rd., in Homer. His family welcomes all who knew him. If you are inclined, a donation to an animal shelter or charity of your choice in his name would be nice. Contact info: Van and Linda Husz, 1426 Paloma Dr., Ft. Myers, FL 33901 (239) 246-4923, or (239) 337-1816.

Arrangements through Peninsula Memorial Chapel and Crematory.


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