READY FOR HIBERNATION – Matthew Brechl wears a bear suit and pushes a jogger as he races in last weekend's 10 K WhaleFest Run on Sawmill Creek Road. More than 100 runners turned out for the event. The annual WhaleFest included a well-attended marine science symposium with participants from the University of Alaska, Penninsula College and Fort Lewis College, a film festival, an art show, a whale watching tour, a market, a banquet, a concert and a variety show. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Eileen Ann Jackson

Eileen Ann Jackson

Eileen Ann Jackson, an artist and a fisherman, passed away peacefully on Jan. 11, 2018, surrounded by family, in Juneau. She was 84.
    A celebration of her life was held Jan. 13 in the Juneau Tlingit & Haida Community Council building.
    Eileen was born April 17, 1933, in Haines, the daughter of Helen (Thomas) and Jimmy Jackson. She attended a Catholic boarding school in Klukwan and then Mt. Edgecumbe High School in 1947. After graduation, she met Ernie Bernhardt; they were married, and had three sons.
    Eileen lived in Sitka for many years, and had been in Juneau for 14 years. She also had lived in Craig and Tenakee Springs.
    She worked at several laundries, and had one of her own, on Sawmill Creek Road.
    She worked in several other jobs, but her favorite one was fishing – she loved being on the water. A commercial troller and shrimper, she had two boats, the Elna Lorraine and the Shannon, and fished all around Southeast Alaska for more than 20 years. She eventually moved to Tenakee Springs, where she pursued shrimp (her favorite fishery), and halibut and salmon. Her ashes will be spread in the waters of Tenakee.
    At age 58, Eileen changed careers. She went back to school, received her Certified Nursing Assistant certificate, and enjoyed working with the elderly.
    Eileen loved to go to Juneau Tlingit & Haida Community Council, and liked to play crib and bingo on occasion.
    Eileen was an accomplished and talented artist, creating beautiful Native artwork and crafts. She was recognized for her work on the local and state levels in her later years.
    Eileen was a loving mother, grandmother and friend to many, and will be missed dearly, her family said.
    She was preceded in death by her parents, Helen and Jimmy Jackson, and siblings Charley Jackson, Marion Greer, LaVern Roussou, William Thiemeyer and Raymond Thiemeyer.
    She is survived by her sister, Millie Schoonover of Craig; brothers Donald Thomas of Cottage Grove, Ore., and Harold Thomas of Craig; sons Ernie Bernhardt of Anchorage, Nathan Bernhardt of Sitka and Jeff Bernhardt of Anchorage; several great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
    The family expressed thanks for all the thoughts and prayers extended to them.


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