Jon Arthur Stephen, 68, died April 9, 2013 in Petersburg, Alaska.
He was born on June 22, 1944 to John “Jack” and Agnes Stephen in Petersburg. Agnes passed away when Jon was about three, and Jack who worked in several different capacities was unable to raise his young son. At this time, Jon moved in with his maternal grandparents John and Marie Hammer. In 1951, Jon moved in with Jim, Bev and younger “brother” Ken (Hammer). Over the next few years, the family grew to include Christi, Bob, Wendy and Roger. Jon always enjoyed the newest additions and was always willing to assist with their care.
Jon graduated from Petersburg High School in 1963. Right after graduation, Jon headed to Louisiana for National Guard training. Soon after that, he found himself in Anchorage, just in time for the great Alaskan earthquake. Jon found himself helping other Alaskans in need.
When Jon returned to Petersburg, he started the “Cab Company”. He had a real yellow checker cab that was used to pick up and drop off local residents. His friend Dewey assisted with the driving duties while other friends were often found visiting and enjoying the warmth of the office. It was about this time that Jon moved in with his father Jack to help him during a difficult time.
After Jack passed away, Jon sold the Cab Company and bought the fishing boat Rauma. There are several people around town that thought Jon’s last name was Rauma. This was coined by his friend Haftor who jokingly called him “Jonny Rauma”. The Rauma was Jon’s pride and joy from 1969 to 1975 when he sold her and bought the Eric. The Eric was truly Jon’s dream boat – he was so proud of the F/V Eric. Jon enjoyed fishing and being on the water, he worked right up until his illness forced him to stay on land.
Jon was a member of the Petersburg Volunteer Fire Department for 48 years. He was always willing to lend a hand, was always involved in training, and when he was in town, Jon was always found at the Thursday meetings.
Jon’s quiet enthusiasm to help his fellow community members will be remembered in his quiet strength. Jon was also a member of the Board of Directors of Hammer and Wikan, Inc. for over 20 years and he was the Vice President for the last 15 years. Jon was known to be a steady influence, always lending an ear, giving a helping hand and standing at the ready. Jon was also a member of the Pioneers of Alaska where good food went hand in hand with great conversation.
Jon leaves behind many wonderful conversations over millions of cups of coffee shared with friends and family. Jon leaves behind many who will miss his quiet ways – his best friend, Lynn, his family, “Mom” Bev (Hammer), “Brothers” – Ken, Bob and Roger (Hammer), “Sisters” – Christi (Burrows), Wendy (Westre), Uncle Art and Aunt Jeannine (Hammer), and many cousins, nephews and nieces.
A Community Memorial Service was held at Petersburg Fire Station 1, on April 21.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Jon’s name to the Petersburg Volunteer Fire Department.