Cordova mourns death of retired trooper Alex Arduser

The Cordova community is remembering one of its own — a former Alaska State Trooper, an outdoorsman, a husband and a father — with a celebration of life at Mt. Eccles Elementary School on Saturday.

On Tuesday Alex Arduser was found dead and partially submerged in the water a couple of miles from a sandbar off Egg Islands near Cordova.

Arduser had been bird hunting on Egg Islands when the pilot who was scheduled to pick him up could not locate him at the pickup location and reported him as overdue.

According to a spokesperson from the Department of Public Safety, it was approximately one hour between Troopers being notified that Arduser was not at the pickup location to when the pilot reported spotting his body. Troopers responded to the island and Arduser’s body was recovered that same night. Arduser’s remains were transported to the State Medical Examiner’s Office.

“Alex was a good friend to many across the department and he will be missed,” said Tim DeSpain, a spokesperson for the Department of Public Safety.

Community members were quick to memorialize Arduser on social media — some of them former colleagues.

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Friends and coworkers paid tribute to Arduser in Facebook posts this week, remembering him as someone who always worked to ensure those around him felt safe, and who shared many laughs with those around him.

“I had the greatest respect for this man. Alex was a friend, a good coworker, a teacher, and a brother. He loved his family, his friends, his job, and all that the Alaska outdoors has to offer,” Michael Hicks wrote in one post. “Rest in peace brother. You made a difference and your life truly mattered to so many. We will miss you.”

According to reporting by KUCB in Unalaska, Arduser was originally from Anchorage but spent several years working there on the Aleutians, Aniak and Soldotna, as well as Cordova.

Arduser, who was 44, retired from the force as an Alaska Wildlife Trooper on August 31, 2022 after two decades with the agency.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2021 showed that accidents were the fourth leading cause of death in Alaska — above stroke, respiratory and liver disease, suicide, diabetes and Alzheimer’s. That year Alaska had the eighth highest accident death rate in the country, averaging 84.5 per 100,000 people.

Saturday’s celebration of life will begin at 5 p.m. at Mt. Eccles Elementary.

*Elin Johnson also contributed to this story.

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Camille Botello
Camille Botello is the managing editor of The Cordova Times. After graduating with a degrees in Journalism and Spanish from Linfield University in western Oregon, she took a leap of faith and moved to the Last Frontier where she began her career at the Peninsula Clarion in Kenai. She now lives in New York City and writes about the borough of the Bronx. In her spare time, Botello enjoys hiking, live music, going to museums, and spending time with her roommates — her sister, cousin and adventure cat Benito. Reach her at [email protected].