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)

Services to be Jan. 3 For Jill Johnson, 75

Jill Johnson

Jill Johnson, 75, passed from medical complications gone awry in the aging process on Dec. 27. She had been  medevacked Christmas Day to Seattle. She was happy in her last days, moments and breath, surrounded by her family, the loves of her life.
Although her passing was unexpected and quick, Jill felt comfort and remained happy knowing her family would be taken care of. She lived a life faithful to God and was confident that she would soon have eternal peace. With her peace, she was fortunate to have the ability to speak to her family members and close friends until her last day while sharing wise advice, stories, her strong faith and also shed a few tears.
Jill was born Oct. 24, 1943, in Glenn, Montana, to Vernon and Eva Stanford, and lived a hard-working ranching life with her siblings Judy, Leah and Bill. After a young life full of hard work and wonderful stories from growing up on a ranch, Jill ventured off to school with the belief she would become a teacher. She told the story of spending one day in the classroom and deciding the career was not meant for her. Soon after, Jill found her calling in nursing and became a licensed practical nurse.
She did various stints as a VISTA volunteer often on reservations. Her last placement was in 1969 to Sitka, where she met her soon-to-be husband, Ralph Johnson. He had been at Mt. Edgecumbe hospital for many years after treatment for tuberculosis and decided he wanted to “give back,” and was spending a few years working in Sitka.
Jill and Ralph met many wonderful people in Sitka who became lifelong friends who were present from the start of their relationship, the births of their children and into their elderly years.
Jill was a dedicated mother and once she had children they became the center of her life. She loved each one of them in a special way from small children to grown adults, Jill would give any piece of herself to help them in any way possible. This unconditional love she had for her husband and children was also passed on to her most beloved grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
 Jill led her life as a housewife and was a babysitter until her children became school-aged. She then worked at the Sitka Pioneers Home, Sitka Medical Center, home health and later part-time as a school nurse at Mt. Edgecumbe High School after retirement.
Her favorite work was with the elderly, and she remained special friends with many past patients. She took good care of elders and made known to her co-workers that the elderly were to be taken good care of. Jill also became a hospice volunteer as well as informally checking in on those in their last days.
Jill was an active member of Sitka Lutheran Church. She was magnanimous, always wanting to give back to others or those in need. She supported many causes, knowingly and unknowingly. She had a trusting soul and her family and friends loved her for it, even if she helped those who were after an easy target.
Jill was proceeded in death by her parents and siblings. She is survived by her husband of 48 years, Ralph Johnson; their three children Amy (Phil) Jacobs of Fairbanks, Mary Johnson (John Carrion) of Fairbanks and John Johnson of Fairbanks; and her niece Salena Reid of Great Falls, Montana.
She also is survived by seven grandchildren, Darrin Johnson (Koren DeBell) of Sitka, Scott Jacobs, Ty Jacobs, Jill Jacobs, Quinn Jacobs, Michael Johnson, her little Gustavo Carrion of Fairbanks and great-grandchildren Jadyn, Carver, David and Tris of Sitka.
She will greatly miss her babies Bob the dog and Tuffy.
Jill is also survived by her in-laws Eula David, Bethel and family, Eli Johnson (Nikki), Anchorage and family and Laura Eben (Vincent), Anchorage, and many nieces and nephews too numerous to name. Other special survivors include Bob the human Busey (Jessie Cherry)of Anchorage.
 The family would like to thank all the Sitka friends who were always there for her, the staff at Sitka Community Hospital and Virginia Mason Hospital. A great, big thank you to the Sitka EMT responders who helped with the medevac on Christmas day; especially the team who accompanied Jill to Seattle and who were a great comfort TJ and Eric.
Services will be 11 a.m. Jan. 3, 2019, at Sitka Lutheran Church. A reception will follow.
“In memory of the love and respect for our very special wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother all that we ask in return is that you pass on the kindness and generosity to others,” her family wrote.

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