Gary Clemente Isturis (1965 - 2018)

  • "May the God of all comfort strengthen the family during..."
    - Lee Lee
  • "Gary, may your spirit in heaven be as actively bright as a..."
    - George Montero
  • "Expressing my condolences to the family. May the God of all..."
  • "Dear Colleen, I was so shocked to hear of Gary's passing...."
    - Thea Nelson
  • "I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your loved one. May you..."
    - KD

It is with heavy hearts that we announce on Monday, April 30, 2018, Gary Clemente Isturis passed away at his home in Juneau, Alaska. Gary was born April 15, 1965 in Juneau and was a member of the Coho Clan of Sitka. He was the son of Vincent and Betty Isturis (both deceased) and beloved brother to his seven siblings, Kathleen Isturis (deceased), Vincent Isturis Jr. (deceased), Ginny (Ed) Johns, Jim Isturis, Joe (Aida) Isturis, Cindy (Mark) Bradley and Beverly (Terry) Doyle.

Gary was small of stature but big of heart and often shared his lively sense of humor with family, cousins and friends. He lived his entire life with the passion of a true native Alaskan. His motto was "Better To Have It and Not Need It, Rather Than Need It and Not Have It". Gary was always there to guarantee your safety, no matter if you were on ship or shore; he really was always prepared!

Gary loved the beauty of SE Alaska and treasured the time he spent in the wilderness and on the water. Gary was known to share his bountiful harvest with all his family and friends, whether it was Dungeness Crab or King Salmon; when Gary showed up at your door, you just knew your fresh, and delicious Alaskan dinner was ready to be served.

Everyone recognized Gary as an exceptional fisherman. He loved fishing off 'The Rock' or being on the waters from Taku Inlet to Excursion Inlet. He had a notorious talent for fishing that was unmatched by others. It seemed Gary was always landing on the 'hot spots', catching the biggest fish and most times out-fishing the boat full of experienced anglers, much to their frustration.

Gary loved being around nature and for much of his life he worked long hours as a fish processor at Taku Fisheries, working in fish guts up to his elbows and next to his brother Joe. He took his job to heart and was often asked to train the "New Guy". Gary was personally responsible for successfully grading millions upon millions of salmon every year at Taku and was considered by his co-workers to be an expert at this task. It was a skill that he honed to a "T" while working alongside his sister Kathy every summer for numerous years at XIP aka Excursion Inlet. Gary was also well known for the "Ziploc" bags of dried Halibut, an enjoyable treasure that he gladly and open-heartedly shared with the entire family. He truly was about the nicest guy that anyone would've ever met.

Gary is survived by longtime love, girlfriend Colleen James. He is preceded in death by Aunt Sophie Barril, and Uncles, Frank Perdon and Daniel Eldemar. Gary is survived by Aunts and Uncles Janie Eldemar, Rudy Isturis (Marlee), Roy Isturis (Patty), family (nieces, nephews, cousins) from the following families; Demmert, Bowen, Doyle, Bradley, Johns, Booton, Jackson, Grush, Eldemar, Peters, Kimlinger, Barril, Richey, Perdon, Crago, Isturis, Lighte, and numerous friends.

Join us for a joint 'Celebration of Life' potluck picnic for Gary and his cousin Jeff Isturis on June 6th, 2018, beginning at 2:00 the North Douglas picnic point on North Douglas, near False Outer Point. Please bring a dish to share and your favorite memories of Gary and Jeff. 'The Rock' was one of Gary's favorite places to reel in Kings and Cohos. We just hope he left some fish for us!
Published in The Juneau Empire from May 16 to June 15, 2018