INTENSIVE – Professional dancer Adam McKinney formerly with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and choreographer Sarah Ashkin lead a rehearsal of an upcoming Summer Dance Intensive production Thursday in Allen Hall. Students will dance a 25-minute program Saturday 7 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center. A five dollar donation is suggested at the door. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Former Sitkan Jim Lichner Dies in Oregon at Age 79

James Paul “Jim” Lichner, 79, of Milton-Freewater, Oregon, passed away peacefully in his home on August 23, 2018.
He was born January 17, 1939, in Muskegon, Michigan, to Myrtle and James Lichner. He was the third oldest of 12 siblings and had many stories to tell of his adventures before moving out West.

James Paul “Jim” Lichner

In the late 1950s, he made his way to Oregon where he met his wife, Bobbie. It wasn’t long before the couple had three children. In Oregon, he attended training to become a millwright and took a job at Lane Plywood in Eugene. He had mechanical aptitude that would serve him well for the rest of his career.
Jim and family moved to Alaska in 1973. He logged on False Island for a time before moving the family to Sitka to work as a millwright for the Alaska Pulp Corporation. Jim and Bobbie spent a lot of time in the outdoors of Alaska, where they enjoyed hunting, boating, and fishing.
In the mid-1990s they returned to Oregon, where Jim became the park ranger for Hat Rock State Park in Hermiston. He put in countless hours restoring the ranger house, repairing broken equipment, and left the park as a beautiful place for the community to enjoy.
When they retired, Jim and Bobbie took up full-time RVing, where they hosted at several state parks as well as at Fish and Game sites.
They resettled in Milton-Freewater in 2003, where Jim enjoyed working on projects, watching Westerns with his faithful dog companion, Simba, and, most of all, receiving visits from family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his wife and two of his children, Brian and Michelle. Bobbie and Jim had celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2009.
Survivors include his youngest daughter, Katrina, 10 grandchildren, and several great-grandchildren as well as countless members of the Lichner family.
In his own words, he didn’t take any responsibility for any bad genes that he’d shared with family. His sense of humor, generosity, and the love that he shared with all will be greatly missed.
A celebration of his life will take place in Milton-Freewater at a date to be determined in September.

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