Memorial event for former publisher next week

John Brewer

John Brewer

PORT ANGELES — Ask anyone who knew the late John Brewer, and you’ll hear tales of how he helped in some way. Some of those memories of the consummate newsman and community volunteer will be shared next Saturday, June 8.

The remembrance for Brewer, who died April 19 during a fishing trip in Montana, will be from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Vern Burton Community Center, 308 E. Fourth St. in Port Angeles.

The public gathering, which will be attended by people from all over the nation, will be emceed by Randy Johnson, Clallam County commissioner and a close friend of Brewer’s who was with him on the fishing trip when a boat flipped over and Brewer drowned. Brewer was 76.

Brewer’s retirement from the helm of the Peninsula News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum in 2015 capped a 50-year journalism career that spanned the nation.

Nineteen of those years was as a reporter, editor, bureau chief and executive for The Associated Press in Los Angeles, New York and Seattle.

For 10 years, he was president, chief executive officer and editor-in-chief of The New York Times Syndication Sales Corp., in charge of The New York News Service, The Times’ features syndicate and New York Times Licensing and Permissions, which handled trademark and merchandise licensing for newspaper.

He led the PDN from 1998 to 2015 and was the publisher of the Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum for the last two years of his tenure.

Brewer was always hands-on throughout his career as a newsman and in his involvement in the community.

After his retirement, his energy didn’t flag. He continued to share PDN stories and provide information while continuing his community activities and also acting as something of a statesman on the North Olympic Peninsula, often sought for advice.

Brewer was heavily involved in the Port Angeles Business Association, Kiwanis and Nor’Wester Rotary, and he was the former president of the Port Angeles Chamber of Commerce, Port Angeles Downtown Association and Community Multi-Cultural Alliance.

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

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


Leah Leach is a former executive editor for the Peninsula News.

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