Small Town News


Joseph Bert James

Southeast Alaskas Island News of Thorne Bay, Alaska

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Born October 8th, 1960 in Ketchikan, Alaska, passed away on April 25th, 2011 from his battle with cancer, at the home of his life partner, Michelle Clements, in Seattle, Washington, with family and friends at his side.

Bert growing up in the Alaskan Native culture, was fishing with his father, Gordon James Sr., and siblings at the very young age of 7, throughout his teens and his life. Bert was much admired by other seine fishermen for his precise ability in stacking the "perfect" cork pile at the end of each opening, while still in his teens.

Bert attended elementary schools in Ketchikan & Craig, until graduating from Craig High School in 1978. After graduation he attended Shoreline Community Collage for accounting/computers, which landed him jobs with Boeing and Honeywell.

He loved working on and restoring older cars, long drives, fishing and anything with his kids and Michelle.

Bert married and 1991 his eldest

(daughter) Talia was born and then

(son) Thomas in 1998. His family moved from Craig in early 2000's. At which; to be with his children, he remained in the Seattle area & had been raising Thomas; for the last few years, with Michelle.

In late 2009 he was diagnosed with Cancer. With many strong beliefs that he would overcome the disease and return to his much beloved Alaska to fish (had plans to be here May 10th, 2011, with his children) the cancer ravaged his body rapidly and to which he succumbed to at 7:10pm on April 25th, 2011.

Bert was preceded in death by his father, Gordon R. James Sr., grandparents; Joseph & Isabelle Demmert Sr., Ralph and Lydia James and many Uncles, Aunts and relatives who have also lost their battles with cancer. WE must find a cure.

He is survived by his mother, Rachel James of Craig; his children, Talia & Thomas of Washington; life partner, Michelle Clements of Seattle, Washington; brothers, Gordon James Jr. & Larry James; sisters; Vera Thib-odeau, Denise James, Martha Wood of Craig & Linda Starbard of Anchorage. Many Aunts, Uncles, nieces and nephews.

There were services held in Seattle at the Daybreak Star Tribal Hall on April 29, 2011.

Because his wishes were for his ashes to be on top of an Noyes Island mountain, we'll have services on July 16th, 2011.

Copyright 2011 Southeast Alaska's Island News, Thorne Bay, Alaska. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: May 23, 2011

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