ALASKA BRASS – High school brass musicians from around the state enrolled in the Sitka Fine Arts Camp's Alaska Brass Workshop play at Odess Theater this afternoon during a free concert that also featured students in the camp's new String Chamber Music Intensive. Pictured are, from left, Tava Guillory, Sitka;Mark Davis, Haines; Hudson Adams, Sitka; Jacob Batchelder, Fairbanks; and Hanna Morrow, Kenai. The musicians will perform another free concert at Odess Theater Friday at 3 p.m. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

James Edward Cushing

James Edward Cushing

Services for James Edward Cushing, a lifelong Sitka resident, will be held in late summer.

Jim died June 25, 2017, in Sitka, at age 66. 

He was born Dec. 26, 1950, in Sitka, the firstborn son of Richard James and Virginia Emily (Zarling) Cushing. He attended local schools, graduating in 1969 from Sitka High, where he was a member of the basketball team.

He began logging and running heavy equipment,  specializing in the front-end loader, while still in high school, and became a union member at 18. Among the projects he worked on were the Alaska Pipeline as a loader operator; Egan Drive construction in Juneau; the Ketchikan and Sitka airports; and several other major construction jobs in Southeast.

He loved action, and in his early years he enjoyed motorcycles, modifying cars, scuba diving and trap shooting.

Jim was a Seattle Mariners fan, and enjoyed  socializing with his friends at Swan Lake Senior Center, his AHFC housing residence.

He had many friends in the area –  former classmates, former co-workers in the construction trades and the people he met through his knife sharpening business, Sharpen Old Blades, in his later years.

He was a proud member of the Sitka Elks Lodge and Operators Union 302.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents; a cousin, Johanna Cushing;  and a nephew, Marc Kneip.

He is survived by an uncle, Ken Zarling of Milwaukee, Wis.; his brothers and sisters-in-law, Dan and Madeline Cushing of Sitka, Ed and Memoree Cushing of Ketchikan and Greg and Debbie Cushing of Sitka; and cousins Cheri King of Mexico, Cordee Knebel of Pomeroy, Wash., and Kasey Myhra of Sammamish, Wash.

His nephews and nieces are Michael Penman of Bonney Lake, Wash., Johanna Kinnear of Anchorage, Rebekah Cushing of Anchorage, Aaron Cushing of Sitka, Ahna Cushing of Sitka, Maia Cushing of Sitka, Michael Kneip of Seattle and Kaysha Cushing of Seattle, and his sons are Gene Cheeseman of Juneau and Scott Effenberger of Spokane.

The family suggests that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Swan Lake Senior Center.



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