LONG LAYOVER – Bill Foster checks out the 40-foot Russian-flagged inflatable catamaran, Iskatel, that’s been hauled out near the UAS parking lot for the past two years. The pandemic put a halt to the international sailing trip that began in Russia, but the skipper, Anatoly Kazakevich, who recently spoke to the Sentinel, is hopeful about resuming the adventure in the spring and sailing to Siberia. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Dean Lew, Former Sitkan, Dies in Oregon at Age 71



Dean Lew

Dean Lew was born on April 16, 1949, in Fresno, California, into a Chinese American family, the son of June and Jack Lew. He died on November 28, 2020, in Cloverdale, Oregon, at the age of 71. 

He grew up in California, Arizona and Wyoming, often working in his family restaurants where he learned the value of hard work. Dean had three older sisters, Paula, Tasha and Kristina, and one younger sister, Tada.

He joined the Army in 1967 and served two tours in Vietnam. It was there he met Lien Tran, while he was building an orphanage (which has been rebuilt as an elementary school) near the pagoda where she was praying each day after the loss of her father.

Lien and Dean married in November 1970 and they started their family of five children in Southeast Alaska. He worked for Don Brown, with the Mud Bay Logging Company, and they forged a long lasting friendship.

Dean later married his second wife, Raynona Blake, who was a loving mother to his children. 

In 1987, Dean reconnected with his biological father, John Wesley Ware (Wes), and his siblings Lance, Brandie and Susan. Dean took his family up to Kenai to spend time with Wes and this was a memorable trip for all involved. 

Dean lived in Alaska for 32 years and spent most of his time in drilling and blasting but also had a spirit of entrepreneurship when he created a business for his daughters called Kona’s Karts. He also owned a furniture store; and the Red Rooster Cafe, in Sitka.

In addition, Dean had a zest for martial arts and taught karate in Sitka with Michael Taylor with the Kenwa Kai Karate Association. In 2002, he retired and took his motor home to California to connect with family; he later made his way to Glide, Oregon, where he lived for 11 years. 

In July 2020, he moved to Cloverdale to be closer to his family, and enjoyed the last several months spending time with his daughter Deana and her two boys, Dixon and Dean.

Some of his recent favorite memories include reconnecting with loved ones via phone; picking out the perfect crab and smoked salmon at Barnacle Bill’s Seafood Market in Lincoln City with his daughter Kona; eating a brined smoked turkey at Thanksgiving with Deana, Jack and the grandchildren; and visiting with his family and friends like Deb and Tim.

Dean loved to read and write poetry. At the age of 7, he went to the Palm Springs Library and purchased “One Hundred and One Famous Poems” for 7 cents at their used book sale. One of his favorite poems from the collection that he shared with his family, friends and colleagues was “Keep A-Goin’!” by Frank L. Stanton:

If you strike a thorn or rose,

Keep a-goin’!

If it hails or if it snows,

Keep a-goin’!

Dean always shared how proud he was of his children. In 2005, he wrote, 

“My greatest hope in raising all of you was for each one of you to be able to make out of this life whatever you wanted. And I see that in each of you. My inner pride of knowing my children can stand their ground because they know right from wrong. And each one of you make Dad feel the glow from each of your souls as I watch and see you grow. 

“And when I write my story I want my children to know that they are stories that come from deep within my heart and soul. If so, how they retell my story as I often do, they’ll realize how much I love them as much as I do.”

Dean will be greatly missed by his children and friends. His quirky sense of humor, courageous spirit and ability to see the good in others are gifts he has passed along to his children.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Jack and June Lew; biological father, Wes Ware; sisters, Tasha and Tada Lew, and his two dogs, both named Caine.

He is survived by his beloved dogs, KK, Bill and Ghengis; his five children, Kona, Jessica, Deana, David and Jack; his six grandchildren, Jeffery, Dixon, Lennox, Ione, Dean and Bexley; his siblings, Paula, Kristina, Lance, Brandie and Susan.

He also will be missed by a multitude of friends, all of whom made lasting memories with him and were fortunate to know him and enjoy his gift of storytelling. During the last few months, Dean often shared how grateful he was for the calm and peaceful chapter of his life in Cloverdale. 

A virtual memorial will be held via Facebook at a later date. The family will have an in-person celebration for Dean in the future.

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Alaska COVID-19 
At a Glance

(updated 10-26-21)

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 10:02 a.m. Tuesday.

New cases as of Monday: 749

Total statewide – 130,482

Total (cumulative) deaths – 688

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 2,749

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

COVID in Sitka

The COVID alert rate for Sitka is “high,” based on 30 new resident COVID cases in the past 7 days, a rate of 351.99 per 100,000 population. Alert status will be high until the rate per thousand is below 100. Case statistics are as of Sunday.

New cases in Sitka – 4 

Cases in last 7 days – 30

Cumulative Sitka cases – 1,088

Cumulative non-resident cases – 102

Unique positive cumulative test results in Sitka, as of 10/22/21 – 1,210

Deceased (cumulative) – 5

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

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October 2001

Bart Meyer earned first place in the Sitka Sportsman’s Association’s annual Alaska Day Biathlon. He was followed by Jeremy McLaughlin, Paul Lashway, Greg Horton and Jack Ozment.

October 1971

The Alaska Day parade was one of the longest ... Alaska Airlines’float with a giant golden samovar and the New Archangel Dancers aboard won first place; the Sitka High band and drill team won second; the Pioneer Bar float won third, and honorable mentions went to the Coast Guard float and Mt. Edgecumbe High band.