It is with lingering sadness that I am compelled to share the loss of one of our committee members, Steve McPhetres. He passed away because of a fall he took while on a deer hunting trip outside Juneau last November. It is both a professional and personal loss.
Steve was our Educational Outreach Consultant for the Empty Chair Project and brought Juneau teachers, librarians, community members and museum staff together to plan Empty Chair educational activities. One of the most memorable was the Living Voices’ presentation of Within the Silence in 2014 and 2015, featuring actress Ruth Coughlin from Los Angeles, that first he and then Jackie Triplette facilitated. Also, he and his wife, Jan, were instrumental in bringing Julie Leary and Liz Miyamoto from Juneau to Bainbridge, Washington, to see how the Sakai Intermediate School integrated their Japanese community members WWII experiences into their curriculum. In this capacity, his leadership and commitment will be sorely missed.
But most of all, many of us on the committee have known Steve from childhood and will miss him on a very personal level for his ready smile, his kindness and his appreciation of the Juneau community that connected us all together with abiding warmth throughout our lives. We hope his wife, Jan, knows how much we mourn his loss and how he will always live on in our hearts and memories.