John E. Smelcer, of Chugiak, graduated from the Harpur College of Arts and Scicnes at Binghamton University in New York with a PHD in English. Binghamton is one of the four university centers of the State University of New York system.

Longtime Eagle River resident Patricia Opheen Redmond, 55, died unexpectedly Aug. 18, 2011, at Alaska Regional Hospital.

Known as “Trish” by her friends and co-workers and “Patti” by her family, she was born in 1955 in Sunnyvale, California and raised in Minnetonka, Minnesota. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering in 1978. Trish earned a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Alaska in 1990, and was a registered professional civil engineer.

Christy Newlon and CJ Elliott will wed September 10, 2011 at Beach Lake Lodge in Chugiak.

Christy is the daughter of David and Becky Newlon of Wasilla. CJ is the son of April Moulds-Elliott and Carl Elliott of Whitehall, Mich.

The couple enjoyed an adventure-filled courtship of hiking, biking, boating and snowmachining after first meeting in 2008.

Carrieann Sawyer, of Hamilton, Ontario, will marry William “Tim” Hall of Waco, Texas on September 3, 2011 at Talkeetna Baptist Church. The couple lives in Palmer.

The bride is the daughter of Mrs. Christine Sawyer and the late Mr. William Sawyer. She graduated from McMaster University with a B.A. in Social Science and is a certified paralegal specializing in real estate. She enjoys fishing with her new family, working out with her new husband-to-be, riding motorcycles and competing in body figure compeitions in both Canada and the U.S.

Nicole Stefan, of Eagle River, married Donny Holtz of Jefferson Hills, Pennsylvania, in a ceremony July 9, 2011 at St. Therese of Lisieux Roman Catholic Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The bride is the daughter of Alissa and Scott Stefan of Eagle River. She is a 2003 graduate of Chugiak High School and a 2008 graduate of California University of Pennsylvania, where she received a Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education. She works for Kids Plus Pediatrics in Pittsburgh.

Brandy A. Jayne, of Eagle River, and a 2009 graduate of Eagle River High School, was promoted to Cadet Second Class and started her third year at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. This significant milestone comes with a commitment to the Air Force and to her country.

Melissa L. Apodaca, of Chugiak, was named to the Dean’s List at Northern Michigan University for the Winter 2011 semester with a 4.0 grade point average.

Former Alaska Department of Labor commissioner Jim Robison, of Eagle River, died Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011 in Anchorage.

Robison also served as executive president of the Alaska AFL-CIO, was president of the Alaska State District Council of Laborers and vice president of the Tri Trades Public Service Council and Operating Engineers.

Born in Kansas, Mr. Robison came to Alaska in 1947.

He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Carolyn; along with children Randy, Rhonda, Dale, Duane and Devin Robison, Michelle Steinke and Phillip Summers.

Joseph Kornegay, 71, of Houston died Monday, May 30 at his home with his family at his side.

Former Eagle River resident Loretta Brien Sommer, 70, surrounded by family and close friends, died on May 27 at her home in Sun City, Ariz., of cancer.