EMERGENCY RESPONSE – Members of the Alaska Native Brotherhood and Alaska Native Sisterhood this week organized a city-wide food drive for residents of Angoon and other villages affected by the lack of Alaska Marine Highway System ferry service. Hundreds of pounds of food were collected at Sitka High School and other drop off sites. Thursday night about three dozen people attended a meeting at ANB Founders Hall to discuss the ferry situation and prepare food for shipping. Laurie Serka, outstation manager for Alaska Seaplanes, said Alaska Seaplanes, Sitka Custom Marine and Dr. Sul Ross Thorward donated shipping costs for the perishable food donated by AC Lakeside. Tom Gamble is planning to take a load of food to Angoon aboard his boat. Donations for shipping food to Kake are currently being sought. Contact for the donations is Nancy Furlow, ANS Camp 4 president, 907 227-9102. PHOTOS: clockwise from top left, Laurie Serka, Steve Schmidt and Marjo Vidad of Alaska Seaplanes load food bound for Angoon this morning. Tom Gamble and Chad Titell  deliver boxes of food from Sitka High School to ANB Founders Hall Thursday night. Paulette Moreno, ANS Grand Camp president, addresses volunteers Thursday night. Sitkans gather in a circle at ANB Founders Hall Thursday to brainstorm responses to the lack of state ferry service. (Sentinel Photos by James Poulson)

Jamie Lee Reaney

Jamie Lee Reaney, who lived in Sitka for most of her life, passed away Jan. 1, 2018, at Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage. She was 31.

Jamie Lee Reaney

Jamie was born Aug. 11, 1986, in Sitka to Rhonda and John Reaney. She was the oldest of two children for both Rhonda and John Reaney, and arguably the most spirited of the children. Michelle Reaney, her younger sister, followed a few years later, bringing their little family to a total of four. 

Jamie could light up a whole room without even saying a single word, but when she did speak everyone would hang on to her every word and laugh with her when she would find something entertaining.

She lived in Sitka her entire childhood and graduated from Sitka High School in 2004. She then moved to Portland, Oregon, to pursue her higher education, and made many new friends and went on many amazing adventures  that all of those here in small town Sitka loved to hear about.

She always said that Sitka was her home, but she also loved the fast-paced lifestyle that Oregon offered. Her family knew that while she enjoyed the big city, and adventure, her heart remained in Sitka, where she loved swimming in the ocean on a rainy day; laughing and smiling with her friends and family around a warm and toasty bonfire reminiscing about past shenanigans; playing video games and watching movies with her younger sister Michelle; listening to Big Foot stories from her dad John; and talking about passed family members and stories with her mom Rhonda.

Jamie moved back to Sitka in 2016 after living in Oregon for a few years. She always stated that Sitka was a place “you never could escape, and who would want to?!”

Jamie’s heart was big – she would always find ways to make people smile when they were down, would join in on any fabulous conversation to bring people together with laughter, and her smile could turn anyone’s frown upside down, her family said.

“Her spirit will be missed most of all,” they said. “You could count on Jamie to instigate a midnight ocean swimming session, to organize a hike up a trail to witness the phenomenal beauty that Alaska has to offer and that you could only see through her eyes, to recite some oddball quote from a movie we all watched and get us all giggling, or get everyone over for a get-together in her house surrounded by family and friends for one of her infamous dinner parties that would for sure lift anyone’s spirits, because laughter and smiles were never far away while she was around.”

She will be missed by the many friends and family members she has touched with her love throughout the years – people from all walks of life, as she never discriminated against anyone and welcomed everyone, her family said. 

She is survived by her parents, Rhonda (Ozawa) Reaney and John Reaney; sister Michelle Reaney; and countless aunts, uncles and cousins.

Jamie was preceded in the call to the Big Bonfire in the Sky by her grandparents Ivy (Cogo) Ozawa and Paul Ozawa; sister Dawn Marie Reaney; uncles Richard and Ray Ozawa; aunt Roberta (Ozawa) Reeves; and cousin Dustin Eisenhower. 

Jamie did not want a service to be held in a church; she wanted one last bonfire in her honor for a celebration of life. The details will be announced later.

The family requests that those who  would like to send flowers or cards, send them to the Reaney Family at 411 Andrews St. Apt E  Sitka, AK 99835.


The family greatly appreciates all the love and support this community has shown them during this difficult time. 

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