Brian Arthur Coburn (1946 - 2017)

Obituary
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  • "I am very sirry for your loss, may God comfort your family..."
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Brian Arthur Coburn, born Aug. 22, 1946, in Seattle, Wash., passed away on May 3, 2017, in Portland, Ore. He moved with his parents, Julia and Perry Coburn, and older brother, Chris, to Kasaan, Alaska, in 1949. At 12, he began salmon trolling with his brother and father. They also lived in Hollis and Ketchikan, Alaska, and he graduated from Kayhi in 1964.
Brian attended and received an Associate of Arts degree from Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Ore. Brian traveled across Europe and spent a winter in a Jewish Kibbutz (commune) collective farming and then returned to the United States to complete a double Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and English, with a minor in Math at the University of Oregon. He went on to earn a Masters Degree in Social Work (MSW) from Portland State University.
Over the years, Brian owned and operated a salmon troller named the Dorothy II. When working his way through college, he spent summers on the Oregon coast salmon trolling and shrimp fishing. After receiving his MSW, he worked as a counselor for several Native tribes, including the Confederated Tribes of Grande Ronde. He also worked with youth struggling with substance addictions at the Chemawa Indian Center in Salem. Brian was also a talented photographer and held several shows in the Portland area.
Brian's Haida name was Gitkun, and he carried the name of his maternal great-grandfather, Chinna Paddy Henry. He was Taslaanaas (Sand Beach People) clan, Raven, Brown Bear and was enrolled in the Central Council of Tlingit Haida and Indian Tribes of Alaska (CCTHITA). He was also a shareholder in Kasaan Village Corporation (KAVILCO) and Sealaska Corporation.
Brian Coburn is survived by his mother, Julia Coburn (Jones); his sisters, Della Coburn and Jeane (Chris) Breinig); as well as former spouse, Patricia; daughters, Marcia and Rebecca; and granddaughters, Camille and Evangeline; niece, Anna Lathen; and nephews, Lee and Luke Breinig; as well as many cousins.
Published in Anchorage Daily News from Aug. 9 to Aug. 10, 2017