For Homer “Dutch” Dremann, better known to his friends as Dutch, dedication meant a lot.
From the songs he’d dedicate to his wife Katherine on the radio — “And this one’s for Lady Kay,” he’d say — to the various hobbies and aspirations that he kept up with throughout his entire life, to the loyalty and encouragement he gave unconditionally to his family, friends, and strangers, Dutch could only be considered passionate, people who knew him say.
“Having some dreams to do something and actually getting to do them, that was always really important to him,” said Craig Dremann, Dutch and Kathryn’s oldest son, who lives in the Bay Area. “He tried to do things out of the box, just because he wanted to, and he encouraged others to do the same thing.”
Dutch passed away Monday at the age of 83.
Again and again this week people who knew Dutch brought up his infectious positivity and the unlimited support that he’d give, regardless of who it was that needed it.
“He always believed in not being afraid to do something,” said Craig, who credited his father for helping him when he was 16 to start the business he still runs today. “Just go out and try it and see if it works. Don’t think you have to jump through 10 hoops.”
Dutch probably made an exception to the 10-hoop rule when it came to dressing nice and dancing; however, in regard to those particular passions he’d jump through even more, his friends said.
“He could swing like nobody’s business,” said Crescent City Council Member Kelly Schellong, a close friend of Dutch. “He was a ton of fun.”
Schellong, who worked with Dutch for more than a decade at Bi-Coastal Media during Dutch’s “Dapper Dutch” radio days when he hosted Trader Horn, said that no doubt Dutch was passionate about a lot of things, but at no other time had she seen him more passionate than when he was caring for Katherine when she became sick in 2007.
“He had a deep love and respect for her,” Schellong said. “If you knew Dapper Dutch, then you knew Lady Kay. They were two really special people together.”
And although that special respect was reserved for his wife, his respect for others was equally as admirable.
For decades Dutch was a strong supporter of Alcoholics Anonymous and the beliefs the group follows, which perhaps fell in line with his own regard for trying to reach one’s goals, even if they seem impossible. When Karen, his daughter who lives in Albuquerque, came to Crescent City to help Dutch throw a party for Katherine’s birthday, she said someone came up to her and told her that Dutch was so dedicated he had gone to every AA meeting with them for a year.
“He just quietly went out and assisted and served and contributed to people,” Karen said.
“Whoever he was working with, he would encourage them to just get out there and try,” Craig said. “Even if it’s getting off the sauce at AA — ‘You just have to try and do it’ — that was his bottom line,” Craig said.
When it came to his bottom line concerning ambitions and talents, photography was the be-all and end-all, his friends said.
“He wanted to become the Ansel Adams of the redwoods — that’s exactly how he’d put it,” Dutch’s daughter Karen, who lives in Albuquerque, said. “He actually moved out to Crescent City to develop as a photographer, where he couldn’t control lighting. He worked at that the whole time he was in Crescent City.”
Anyone who’s seen Dutch’s photography shown at galleries around town, including notable shots of Battery Point Lighthouse, would probably agree, as they might about his dedication to people.
“Making a difference with people, that’s just what he did,” Karen said. “Without any fanfare, you get up; you breathe; you make a difference.”
Memorial services for Dutch will be held at Grace Lutheran Church, 188 E. Cooper Ave., Crescent City at 11 a.m. today.