COLD WEATHER CASUALTY – Sitka Public Works Department employees dig up a section of broken water line near the corner of Price Street and Sawmill Creek Road this afternoon. Nearby houses continue to have water, but may have reduced pressure. While work is being done, the intersection is closed from the corner to Lillian Drive. Detours for access to the Lance Drive and the Hillside Subdivision neighborhoods are from Smith Street and Jarvis Street. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Ketchikan Publisher Lew Williams III Dies

Lew Williams III

   Lew Williams, 62, a Ketchikan civic leader and publisher of the Ketchikan Daily News, died Saturday at age 62.
    A third-generation Alaska newspaperman, Williams and his two sisters owned and managed the Ketchikan newspaper the past 25 years. He was a member of the Ketchikan city council for 32 years, nine of them as mayor.
    Williams had been battling cancer since 2017, but served through his final term as mayor in 2018 and felt well enough to win election to another term on the council last year before having to resign because of his health.
    Llewellen Morris Williams III was born Dec. 7, 1957, in Petersburg. His father and his grandfather before him operated weekly newspapers in Wrangell and Petersburg. In 1966 his father moved the family to Ketchikan to become editor, and eventually owner, of the Ketchikan Daily News.
     He was a 1976 graduate of Ketchikan High School and attended Whitworth College for two years before transferring to Western Washington University, where he graduated in with a degree in journalism. While home on a break from the university he met Vicki Kandt, and they were married in 1980. After graduation Williams worked as a reporter for the Arlington Times in Washington before the couple returned to Ketchikan.
     Rejoining the family business, Williams was sports editor and general assignment reporter, transferring to the advertising department and rising to manager. In 1995 he became co-owner of Pioneer Printing Co., Inc., and co-publisher of the Ketchikan Daily News.
    Williams was elected to the Ketchikan City Council in 1987, later serving three three-year terms as mayor, and compiling a record of 32 years as an elected official.
    A member of the 1970 Southeast Little League baseball championship team, and a college baseball player at Whitworth, Williams was a lifelong sports fan, coaching Ketchikan basketball and baseball teams for many years.   
    He is survived by his wife, Vicki Williams; mother, Dorothy Williams; daughters, Kristena (Andrew) Berntson, and Jodi and Melissa Williams; sisters, Kathryn and Christena Williams; and grandchildren, Milan Browne, and Newt and Harper Berntson. All live in Ketchikan except for Jodi and Milan of Enumclaw, Washington.
    He also is survived by a sister-in-law, Jenelle (Dean) Henrick of Ketchikan; brothers-in-law, Kenneth (Diana) Kandt of Augusta, Georgia, and Keith (Elizabeth) Kandt of Darrington, Washington; and numerous nieces and nephews.
    A memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday,  Jan. 11 at Ketchikan First Baptist Church. A celebration of life reception will follow at 4 p.m. at Ted Ferry Civic Center.
    Memorials may be made to First City Council on Cancer or Lew Williams III Baseball Field Memorial Fund at Wells Fargo Bank.


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