Murlin ""Mike"" George Everson was born September 10, 1930 on Umnak Island - Nikolski in the Aleutian chain. He was of Qawalangix Aleut descent.
Mike attended grade school in Wrangell and graduated from Wrangell High School in 1949. He had a sense of humor and loved to tell about graduating in the top 10 of his high school class. Then after a pause and laugh would state, ""The class was only 13 students!"" During his years in Wrangell, Mike was mentored in the newspaper business by Mr. Lew Williams Sr. whom at that time owned the Wrangell Sentinel. Mike worked there delivering newspapers then trained as a typesetter. After graduation, he worked as a printer at the Wrangell Sentinel. He developed a lifelong habit of daily reading the newspaper and working the crossword puzzles. In following years, he worked at the Sitka Sentinel, Ketchikan Daily News and Alaska Litho utilizing his printing skills. Many have commented to the family that he encouraged others to learn and develop new skills. He enjoyed teaching and mentoring others throughout his life - just as he was given that opportunity early in his life.
Mike enlisted in the US Army on May 9, 1951 and served during the Korean War then discharged in 1953. After discharge he traveled around the United States and worked at the Hartford Courant for two years before enlisting in the US Air Force on March 27, 1957. He selected a training and specialty field that would assist him in future business endeavors and became a personnel specialist. During training he was assigned to apply for Top Secret clearance and assigned to the US Air Force Special Services - later called the Air Intelligence Service. He was detailed to Turkish US Logistics Group Detachment 3, which operated out of Karamursel Air Station in Turkey, which provided eavesdropping surveillance and was a covert operations base during the Cold War. Mike was quietly proud of his Air Force Unit and often wore the TUSLOG Detachment 3 cap. Their motto was ""In God we trust, all others we monitor."" He discharged from the Air Force after serving a 4-year enlistment.
He moved back to Alaska, crabbing in the Bering Sea before moving back to purse seine and crab in Southeast Alaska with friend Carl Kerr, then back to the newspaper business. While working in Sitka, he met newly divorced Selina James, and he stated, ""You're the girl I'm going to marry!"" On May 12, 1962 Mike and Selina married in Sitka and began raising their family.
The family lived in Wrangell for a brief period before moving to Ketchikan where he worked for the Ketchikan Daily News. The family eventually moved to Juneau where Mike worked for Alaska Litho. Mike also worked for the following entities: Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indians Association; served as Executive Director of Goldbelt, Incorporated; Bureau of Indian Affairs; Shee Atika Corporation where Mike helped set up and organize the corporation; General Manager of Sitka Tribe of Alaska; Human Resources Director of Ocean Beauty Seafoods; VP of administration for Southeast Alaska Regional Health Corporation and served as the T&H Community Council's tribal manager. He served on the Sealaska Board of Directors and Goldbelt Board. Mike was a member of American Legion Post 13 Sitka; Elks #420; and was a Lifetime Member of Glacier Valley ANB Camp #70. Tlingit Elder George Dalton of Hoonah adopted him into the Kaagwantaan Clan.
Mike's greatest pleasures were with his family, teaching his children to golf, fish, swim, bowl, play board games, love of reading, but more importantly family gatherings around the dinner table. He would often comment, ""My greatest pleasure is to hear my children laugh.""
Mike was preceded in death by parents, Thurston and Sarah (Ermeloff) Everson; maternal Aunt Tatiana Ermeloff; maternal Uncle Ardelion ""Artie"" Ermeloff; Grandparents Chief George Ermeloff of Nikolski and Sophie (Dushkin) of Morzhovoi, Alaska; and grandson Ryan Elisoff. He is survived by wife Selina Everson of 51 years; daughters Donelle Everson (Dermott Howard); Catrina (Duff) Mitchell; Patricia Everson (Cal Crawford); sons Mark Everson and Michael (Joann) Everson all of Juneau; brother Mert Everson of Wrangell; cousins Carroll ""Mumsy"" Petticrew of Wasilla and Ethan ""Coven"" Petticrew of Anchorage; Tribal son Joe (Sharon) Zuboff; Tribal daughter Thea (Daniel) Brown; numerous nieces, nephews, grandchildren, great grandchildren, 2 great-great grandchildren; and Pat Walker whom Mike and Selina love as a daughter and tribally adopted.
Memorial services will be held on Friday, February 15 beginning at 4:00 PM at the Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall, 320 W. Willoughby Avenue in Juneau.
Published in The Juneau Empire on Feb. 14, 2013