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Failure isn’t bad when it turns out to be helpful.

It’s Year 2 for the Ketchikan (Silver) Salmon Derby.

Dorcas Eleanor Dunmire, 78, died on Aug. 9, 2019, in Ketchikan. She was born Dorcas Eleanor Wesley on Sept. 15, 1940, in Metlakatla.
Vera N. Gordon
Vera N. Gordon

Vera N. Gordon, 98, died Jan. 4, 2019, in Fairfield, California, with family by her side.

She was born to Ruby and John Willer Feb. 15, 1920, in Glasgow, Montana. She had two sisters, Ruby and Blanche, and two brothers, Tom and Jim.

“She had an adventurous and independent spirit,” her family writes.

In 1949, she and her husband, Terrence Robbins, moved to Alaska along with their children, Dale “Mickey” and Connie. Their daughter, Terri, was born in Juneau. Terrence was lost on a hunting trip in 1963.

She married Alfred Gordon in 1967. With this marriage, Vera gained two stepchildren, Mike and Tina, who eventually gave her five grandchildren, Sarah Dawn, Michael, Melissa, Tanya and John. Mr. Gordon died of cancer in 1982.

Mrs. Gordon worked for the U.S. War Department, Air Force, from July 1942 to May 1944 in Great Falls, Montana; and from May of 1944 to May of 1945 in Auburn, Washington. She worked as a secretary for the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, in Fort Peck, Montana, from January of 1946 to September of 1947. After moving to Alaska, she worked for the Alaska Road Commission for several years, then went to work at Department of Public Works, where she continued as secretary to the commissioner until 1967. She finished her career as a deputy court clerk of the Federal Court, retiring from that position in 1986. She resided in Juneau until 1996, when she moved to Washington state.

Mrs. Gordon maintained strong ties with Montana. For many years, she attended annual reunions with classmates from Glasgow High School and was a regular donor to various scholarships sponsored by Class of '38.

Her family writes that she enjoyed active membership in many professional and service organizations. She attended the Episcopal Church in each community where she resided. She traveled extensively, both to visit family and friends, and to explore the world. She loved reading, traveling, entertaining, fishing, and spending time with her dog, Buffy, her many friends and, especially, her children.

“Vera worked hard to give herself and her family a good life,” her family writes. “She was proud of the things she was able to provide for them but the best things she gave to her children were a sense of family, the ability to make friends easily, an openness to new experiences, a desire for knowledge, and a quick wit, often expressed with her wicked sense of humor. She will be missed but never forgotten.”

Mrs. Gordon was preceded in death by her parents, Ruby and John Willer; sisters, Ruby and Blanche, brothers, Tom and Jim; infant son, Murray Dean Robbins; husband, Terrence Robbins; and husband, Al Gordon.

She is survived by her children, Dale (June) Robbins of Ketchikan, Connie (Doug) Libal of Fairfield, and Terri (Hall Anderson) Robbins of Ketchikan: grandchildren, Kimberly (Craig) Watson, Terrence Robbins, Christine Peterson, Denise Robbins, Debbie Doyle, Scott (Dani) Doyle, Melinda (Vince) Crocker, Bridget (Mike Shimkus) Doyle, Sherri (Chris) Swinney and Kathy (Mark) Montemayor; and great-grandchildren, Greyson Delich, Chance Dowling, Haley Dowling, Annie Delich, Aren Jenkins, Katie Shull, Casey Crocker, Declan Crocker, Michael Swinney, Andrew Swinney, Anne Montemayor and Maddie Montemayor.