SITKA TRADITION – Ricky Jarvill, Blatchley Pool manager, and Emma Edson of Alaska Marine Safety Education Association help third-grade students walk out of the water at the Crescent Harbor boat ramp Thursday. The entire third grade learned about cold water survival in the program coordinated by Jarvill and AMSEA. The Sitka School District has been sponsoring the program long enough, more than 30 years, that some parents on Thursday recalled their own third-grade survival experiences. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Gary James Stevens

Gary James Stevens

Fisherman Gary James Stevens passed away in Wrangell on Feb. 12, 2017, just two days after his 75th birthday.

He was born Feb. 10, 1942, to James C. Stevens and Patricia Youens, one of five children.

Gary spent most of his life commercial fishing, first on his father’s boat then later building and fishing and shrimping on the Miss Susan. He would regularly donate his catch to local businesses, benefits and charities. For years he would take the herring eggs harvested in Sitka back to Wrangell, where he would lay them out for anyone who wanted them to take them home – a treat for most of the town.

When shrimping season began it was quite common to see people stopping by the house day and night to pick  up shrimp or his companion Linnea would drive down to the dock and meet people.  

As a fisherman throughout Southeast, Gary was a member of  the Pioneers Alaska, the Moose Lodge in Sitka, the Elks Lodge in Wrangell, and the Sons of Norway in Petersburg.

“We are sure, however, that he knew he was very loved,” a family member said. “He will be missed, never forgotten. A true character, a great man, and an excellent example of a giving, loving heart.”

Gary is survived by his two sons, Gary A. Stevens and Mark C. Stevens; his brothers Carl Stevens and Walt Stevens; and sister Rhonda Black.

He is also survived by his longtime companion Linnea Brooks, her sons Frank Churchill Jr., and Rick and (Tracy) Churchill and their two children Kaylauna and Talon Churchill, who affectionately referred to him as “Poppa,” as did Brandon and Aliyha, children of Adrienne and Matt Kenfield.

Gary also leaves behind several nieces and nephews whom he truly adored.

All are welcome to join the family for a service and celebration of his life, at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 5, at Harbor Light Church in Wrangell, followed by a reception at 3 p.m. at the Wrangell Elks Lodge.

The family suggests that in lieu of flowers donations be made to a favorite charity.









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