Remembrance event set for former publisher

Community invited Saturday to share stories of John Brewer

John Brewer.

John Brewer.

PORT ANGELES — Memories of the late John Brewer will be shared Saturday at a remembrance in Port Angeles.

Brewer, who died at the age of 76 on April 19, was a newsman whose 50-year-career spanned the nation before he arrived to serve as publisher for the Peninsula News in 1998. By the time he retired in 2015, he additionally was overseeing the Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum.

Brewer also was deeply involved in the community, serving in a variety of ways, from donating time and expertise on boards and clubs, to — after retirement — reposting Peninsula News stories on social media to make sure they got out to as many as possible, to undertaking small acts of kindness to those he knew.

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

The gathering, which will draw people from all over the nation, has been organized by Brewer’s widow, Barbara Wise, and her friends, for the community.

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

“I’m so grateful for the outreach, the outpouring of the community and their kindness,” Wise said Tuesday.

The remembrance will be an opportunity for people to share stories about Brewer. It will be emceed 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 flipped over and Brewer drowned.

The two had been fishing together for about a quarter of a 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 evening at about 6:30 and he would say, ‘I know you’ve had quite a day today,’” Johnson said.

“What he was doing was reminding me to stop working.”

Brewer worked for The Associated Press for 19 years 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.

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 Multicultural 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.

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


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

More in News

Print edition available today, e-edition only this Wednesday

Peninsula News has a print edition available to… Continue reading

Port Angeles High School graduates, from left, Uri Crawford, Samantha Combs and Jordan McTear, decorate a vehicle in preparation for Friday’s graduation parade from Ediz Hook to the high school. Dozens of adorned cars and trucks carried grads through the streets of Port Angeles as a lead-up to the graduation ceremony that evening at Civic Field. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula News)
Congrats, grads!

Port Angeles High School graduates, from left, Uri Crawford, Samantha Combs and… Continue reading

Dash Air to leave Port Angeles

‘Nothing to do’ with viability of air service, owner says

Clallam County art barn to get new roof before fair

Commissioners approve $85,000 contract with company from Kent

Sequim schools drop proposal to bump back start time

Survey respondents prefer to keep Greywolf Elementary at 8:30 a.m.

Sequim chamber to host tax credit event

The Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce will host a family… Continue reading

Scheduled Hood Canal bridge closures canceled

Overnight closures of the Hood Canal bridge on state Highway… Continue reading

Weekly flight operations scheduled

There will be field carrier landing practice operations for aircraft… Continue reading

Three-year-old Archie Hanson takes a spin on a merry-go-round pushed by his mother, Justine Hanson of Port Angeles, with sister Arlene Hanson 7 months, during Sunday's grand reopening of the Dream Playground at Erickson Playfield in Port Angeles. The playground was rebuilt earlier this month by volunteers after an arson fire destroyed much of the playground equipment in December. Although there are still details to attend to and minor adjustments to be made, the facility will be open daily from dawn until dusk.
Grand reopening at Dream Playground

Three-year-old Archie Hanson takes a spin on a merry-go-round pushed by his… Continue reading

Wind returns for Day 3 of Race to Alaska

Teams pushing north along Vancouver Island

Port Townsend pool on track to open in July

Task force favors Chimacum Park for replacement