Jane Eidler Dies at 69; Was Longtime Resident

Jane Eidler

Jane Eidler, a longtime Sitka resident, passed away peacefully at home on September 24, surrounded by her loving family.  

Born in 1951, Jane grew up in New York, in Queens and then on Long Island. Soon after graduating from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1972 with a degree in sociology and psychology, she moved to California where she worked as a Vista volunteer at a federal prison.

Her adventurous spirit led her to Sitka in 1975 where she worked as a substance abuse counselor at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital, a swim instructor and lifeguard at Blatchley Pool, and helped start the Baranof Barracudas swim team.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, inspired by her love of the great outdoors and passion for teaching, she worked seasonal jobs as a naturalist interpreter for the National Park Service at Denali National Park (where she met her husband Mike Wild) and Glacier Bay National Park. As a Park Service employee Jane ran dog sled teams and climbed rope ladders onto cruise ships to give talks to visitors. She was a “people person” who enjoyed talking with people from all walks of life, which inspired her to work for the U.S. Census in 1990 and 2000, knocking on doors and counting residents in Sitka.

Jane and Mike had three children, Logan, Lauren, and Lincoln. When her children were young, she started a walking tour business in Sitka, serving cruise ship passengers in the summer. During the school year Jane managed the Blatchley Pool, where she taught swimming to generations of Sitka children, taught lifeguarding, championed aquatics programs for people with special needs, and earned a reputation as the no-nonsense “pool lady.”

Jane’s no-nonsense personality served her well as a volunteer usher at the Sitka Performing Arts Center, where she loved attending performances and presentations of all varieties. Her love of the arts extended to her own participation, and she rarely missed a contra dance in Sitka, where her daughter Lauren played with the band Fishing for Cats.

Jane was a regular fixture at another Sitka arts scene staple, the Monthly Grind, where her desserts often took top prize. A self-proclaimed chocaholic, her baking prowess extended to bread and bagels – her famous bagel recipe is included in the New York Times Cookbook. She loved sharing baked goods, and many other foods, as the host of potlucks, brunches, game nights, and family gatherings. Raising three kids in the Jewish faith in a community without a rabbi or synagogue, Jane got creative with other Jewish families in Sitka, writing her own Purim plays for the kids, and baking hamantaschen and latkes and other traditional foods for holiday get-togethers. Jane’s non-food creations included hand knit socks, felted baby booties, and original homemade pop-up birthday cards, which often included a personalized original haiku. Her love of haikus inspired her to write a haiku book, which was published in 2015.

She maintained friendships and close relationships across Alaska and the world by writing letters and postcards, which provided a window into life in a small town on a remote island on the Pacific coast. Jane’s volunteer service to that small town included serving on the Sitka Public Library Commission for 11 years, and as an active member in the Friends of the Library for six years, and supporter of numerous exchange students.

A lifelong student of nature herself, Jane enjoyed attending natural history events, bird watching and walking in beautiful places. 

While Jane has passed on to another beautiful place, she is survived by her husband of 36 years, (Paul) Michael Wild of Sitka; their three children, Logan Wild (Kenley Jackson) and Lauren Wild (Evan Love) of Sitka, and Lincoln Wild of Hoonah; siblings Barbara Eidler of Great Neck, N.Y. and David Eidler of New Orleans, Louisiana; sisters-in-law Barbara Wild (Fred Sorensen) of Anchorage, Mary Mounce (Dave Werner) of Palmer, Johanna Shorey of Baker City, Oregon, and Sandie Huston (Lee Schultz) of Austin, Texas.

Nieces and nephews are Joshua Eidler of Denver, Colorado, Paul Shorey (Jessica Swartz) of Bend, Oregon, Eli Shorey of Baker City, Oregon, Levia Shoutis (Will, Lucas, and Siri Shoutis) of Philipsburg, Montana, Serena Jones (Nick, Ruby and Maclynn Szymoniak) of Anchorage, Galen Jones (Morgan Michelsohn) of Anchorage, Will Mounce (Miranda, Jack and Sage Mounce) of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

She was predeceased by her sister Susan Eidler; parents Bernard and Frances Eidler; niece Emily Mounce; nephew Robert Mounce; and brother-in-law Doug Shorey.

 

The family would like to express gratitude and thanks to the community of Sitka for the love and support they provided to Jane and her loved ones as she struggled with dementia for the last several years. Donations in Jane’s memory may be made to the Alaska Alzheimer’s Association, Brave Heart Volunteers, or to the children’s program at Sitka Public Library. A memorial service will be held at a later date. 

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AK COVID-19 
At a Glance

(updated 1-12-22)

By Sentinel Staff

The state Department of Health and Social Services has posted the following update on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alaska as of 11:55 am Wednesday.

New cases as of Friday: 2,512

Total statewide – 172,329

Total (cumulative) deaths – 955

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 3,337

Current Hospitalizations – 103

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.

COVID in Sitka

The COVID alert rate for Sitka is “high,” based on 153 new COVID cases in the past 7 days. Case statistics are as of Sunday.

New cases in Sitka – 34

Cases in last 7 days – 153

Cumulative Sitka cases – 1,531

Deceased (cumulative) – 6

The local case data are from the City of Sitka website.

  

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20 YEARS AGO
January 2002

Classified ads, Rentals: 3-bdrm. house on the beach. $900; 3-bdrm duplex, washer/dryer $945; Great downtown house, 2 bdrms., 2 baths, furnished,
W/D, hardwood floors $850; 2-bdrm. roomy apartment $945..

 

50 YEARS AGO
January 1972

The City and Borough Assembly Tuesday approved an ordinance establishing a transportation committee to advise the assembly and promote transportation services for the municipality. Members are Cecil McClain, Ray Mabey, Clarence Kramer,
Dick Cushing and Burt Hansen.

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