CENTURY OF MOONLIGHT – The F/V Moonlight leaves ANB Harbor on the last day of 2009, under the last moon of the year. It was the second full moon in December, making it a blue moon. The boat was built in Sitka 100 years ago, in 1918. A story on boat building in Sitka is published in today's Sitka Sentinel. (Sentinel File Photo by James Poulson)

Rev. Neil Edward Munro Jr.

The Rev. Neil Edward Munro Jr., who served as pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Sitka for 16 years, died Nov. 8, 2012, in Tacoma, Wash.
He was 85.
A celebration of his life will be held at Hamblen Park Presbyterian Church 2 p.m. Nov. 30, 2012. Reverends Ken Onstot, Brad Buff and David Dobler will officiate.
He was born Jan. 30, 1927, in Oakland, Calif. He graduated from Berkeley High School in 1945, and served in the U.S. Army  in Kyoto, Japan, from 1945 to May 1946.
He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1950, and  from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1954. He was ordained to the gospel ministry of the Presbyterian Church on June 16, 1954, and married Kerry Imbach of Seattle the following year in Delta Junction, Alaska, where he was serving as missionary pastor.
He served in numerous churches across Alaska and Washington, including Fairbanks, Barrow, Seattle, Anacortes and, from 1968 to 1984, in Sitka.
Kerry died of cancer early in November of 1983.
While living in Sitka, Neil met Donna and they were married the following year. They moved to Anchorage where Neil worked as Executive Presbyter of Alaska and Yukon Presbyteries for 10 years.
In September 1991 he led a team of Alaskan pastors to the Russian Far East, helping organize a ministry to the Siberian Yupik Eskimos, which is now the Chukotka Native Christian Ministries.
Following retirement in Spokane in 1994, Neil served as interim associate pastor at Opportunity Presbyterian Church and at the Korean Presbyterian Church. Neil was instrumental in organizing the Skagit County Mental Health Association and the Sitka Council on Alcoholism and Other Drug Abuse.
Neil dearly loved and cared for his family and was always available to help whenever there was a need, whether lending a hand with painting, helping with moving, or caring for grandchildren.
He was fiercely proud of each of his grandchildren and encouraged them to follow their passion. Neil had a quick wit, a twinkle in his eye and always a story to tell. He and Donna loved to travel and together they enjoyed visiting England, Scotland, Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany, Sweden and Russia. Even in his final days, Neil expressed a desire to return to London again.
“Though always humble, Neil was a strong and steady presence in our family and left us with wonderful memories and a final lesson of grace and perseverance through difficult life challenges,” his family said.
Neil is survived by his wife, Donna; son, Peter Munro (Victoria), Kenmore, Wash; son, Jeffrey Munro (Vanessa), Anchorage; stepdaughter Leslie Weller (Jerry), Spokane; stepson, Burt Munro, Pomeroy, Wash.; and seven grandchildren.
 The family wishes to thank Dr. Jay Wittenkeller and his staff and Hospice of Spokane staff, Melissa and Trina, for their friendship, support and excellent care.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Hospice of Spokane or Hamblen Presbyterian Church.

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