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)

Esther Lillian Liberty

Esther Lillian Liberty

Esther Lillian Liberty passed away peacefully at her home on June 7, 2018, lovingly surrounded by close family. She was 79.

 Esther was born on February 28, 1939, in Juneau, the eldest daughter of Harvey and Marietta Williams Sr. She was Raven, T’akdeintaan of the Kaa Shaayi Hit (Severed Head House) and her Tlingit name was Seiyeikú.

Esther grew up in Sitka and graduated from Sitka High School. She moved to Juneau in 1988 and worked for the Alaska Marine Highway System from 1990 until retiring in 2001. 

Esther truly lived life to the fullest through a simple life with simple pleasures, from going out for a drive to enjoy nature, to just watching people as God’s beautiful creations.

She was a fighter, a courageous, strong woman who always had a positive outlook in life, just as she wanted everyone to have. She loved everything purple as it was her favorite color, from her trinkets to clothes, and even her nails. Ever so thoughtful, she would never forget to shop for others while she was out of town.

Some of her favorite times out and about were to watch movies, eat at restaurants, and have Easter brunches with family. She had always loved and treasured family gatherings especially on Thanksgiving Days and Christmases, and enjoyed cooking; she also made the best potato salad.

She always made sure to have Christmas presents for everyone, especially the kids in the family. Esther loved to spend time with all her grandchildren, especially the youngest, Samuel, as well as all her great-grandchildren.

She loved to travel and explore, most importantly to visit and spend time with family. “We miss you, Gramma.” 

Left to honor Esther and remember her love are her children Carl Liberty Sr. of Sitka, Virgil (Bel) Liberty of Juneau and Michelle Liberty of Spokane, Washington; grandchildren Carl “Milton” Liberty Jr., Samuel Liberty, Michael (Janna) Liberty, Natasha (Gabe) Johnson, and Shelby Pruett; great-grandchildren Logan, Aurora, Azrial, Tyren, Tavyn and Lilliana; siblings Harvey (Kathi) Williams Jr., Marion Berry, and Walleen Williams; Virgil’s mother-in-law Rose Calunsag; brother-in-law Bill Trivett; cousin Glenn (Liz) Howard, nephews and nieces Harvey (Shana) Williams III, Todd (Kirsten) Berry, Ron (Mi) Berry, Sheryl DesBiens, Glenda (Tim) Drevas, Tara (Dale) Hume, YéilYádi Olson, Marsha (Allen) Heilbrun, Nicole (Kevin) Fischbeck, Kimberly (Ty) Brill, Jamie Trivett, Michael (Jennifer) Williams, Kevin (Jessica) Williams, Daniel (Kim) Whitson, Daneen Whitson, Levi Harriman, Jessica Meacock, and Krista Meacock. 

She was preceded in death by her ex-husband, Virgil Liberty Sr.; son Jay Liberty and daughter LaVon Liberty; her parents Harvey Sr. and Marietta Williams; Aunt Mabel Moy; brother George Williams; brother-in-law Gary Berry; sisters JoAnne Chartrand, Harvietta Olson and Dorothy Trivett; and niece Jodine Meacock.

To celebrate her life and memory, a service will be held at Word of Life Christian Church in Juneau 1-3 p.m. on June 30, 2018. Her ashes will be spread with those of her daughter, LaVon Liberty. 

“The family would like to give a special note of thanks to everyone from the hospice care, dialysis center, her favorite nurse Marilyn, Abby, Tammy, family, friends and coworkers who helped care for Esther during her last few moments with us,” the family wrote.



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