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Memorial event for former publisher

By Leah Leach

For Olympic Peninsula News Group

Memories of the late John Brewer will be shared Saturday, June 8, at a memorial service in Port Angeles.

Brewer, who died April 19 at age 76, was a journalist whose 50-year career spanned the country before he arrived to serve as publisher for the newspaper. Peninsula daily news in 1998. By the time he retired in 2015, he also oversaw the Sequim Gazette And Forks Forum.

Brewer was also deeply involved in the community, serving in a variety of ways, from donating time and expertise to boards and clubs, to – after his retirement – ​​reposting messages. Peninsula daily news stories on social media to ensure they reached as many people as possible, and undertaking small acts of kindness to those he knew.

The memorial for Brewer, who died while on a fishing trip in Montana, will be held Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Vern Burton Community Center, 308 E. Fourth St. in Port Angeles.

The gathering, which will attract people from across the country, was organized by Brewer’s widow, Barbara Wise, and her friends, for the community.

Wise and Brewer were partners for 18 years before their marriage in September, just a few months before his death on Montana’s Bitterroot River.

“I am so grateful for the reach, the outpouring of the community and their kindness,” Wise said.

The memorial will be an opportunity for people to share stories about Brewer. It will be presented by Randy Johnson, a Clallam County commissioner and a close friend of Brewer’s who was with him on the fishing trip when a boat capsized and Brewer drowned.

The two had been fishing together for about a quarter century, exploring not only local rivers but also rivers in Montana and Alaska.

Johnson said he encourages people to share their stories about Brewer.

“There’s so much we don’t know about John,” he said.

Johnson offered one of his own memories. Brewer was known as a person whose energy for work never flagged. He recognized Johnson as a fellow workaholic, Johnson said.

“He would call me every night around 7:30 and say, ‘I know you had a busy day today,’” Johnson said.

“What he did was remind me that I had to stop working.”

Brewer worked for The Associated Press for 19 years as a reporter, editor, bureau chief and director of The Associated Press in Los Angeles, New York and Seattle.

For ten years he was president, CEO and editor-in-chief of The New York Times Syndication Sales Corp., responsible for The New York News Service, The times’ features Syndicate and New York Times Licensing and Permissions, which handled trademark and merchandise licensing for newspapers.

Brewer was heavily involved with the Port Angeles Business Association, Kiwanis and Nor’Wester Rotary, and he was the past president of the Port Angeles Chamber of Commerce, Port Angeles Downtown Association and Community Multicultural Alliance.

He was a former president of Allied Daily Newspapers of Washington, a statewide press association, and served on several community boards even after his retirement.

Brewer is survived by Wise, two sons and two brothers. He was preceded in death by Ann Brewer.

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