Paul Lunas

Dr. John Paul Lunas, who was in private practice in Sitka from 1971 until 1990, died June 29 while reading at his kitchen table in Dover, Pennsylvania. He was 87.

A memorial service was held July 8 in York, Pennsylvania.

Paul Lunas.

Paul was born March 11, 1936, in Montclair, New Jersey, the son of Lawrence John and Pauline H. (MacGahan) Lunas.

After graduating from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1958, he attended Duke University, earning a medical doctor degree in 1962.

On Sept. 3, 1963, he married Frances Jean (Jill) Jorgensen, and in 1963 they and their newborn son Bill moved to Mt. Edgecumbe, where Paul worked for the Public Health Service at the BIA hospital. In 1964 daughter Terese was born, and in 1967 the family moved to Portland, Oregon, where Paul attended  Oregon Health and Science University, completing his internal medicine residency in 1970. Daughter Kirsten was born in Portland in 1968 and son Frederick in 1969.

 In 1971 Paul bought a private practice in Sitka. Here, the family enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping and experiencing life in Sitka.

He loved to read aloud to his children, and often made up stories to tell them, including one about mice who lived in the cuckoo clock of Sitkans Fred and Chloe Bahovec.

Paul enjoyed running and often took his kids along to run in Totem Park. He also loved to solve logic problems, and pose them to his children.

He acted in community plays, and had an extensive record collection.

The family had a hobby farm and vegetable garden in town, and their yard was a busy place.

In 1984 Paul and Jill divorced and Paul married Sharron. He adopted her three sons, Bill, Phil and Colin. In 1990, they moved to Cortland, New York, where Sharron’s adult daughter and her family joined them.

Paul practiced briefly as an internist in Cortland, then as a traveling emergency room physician around the state. He retired in 2018, and spent  time gardening, fishing, reading and visiting grandchildren.

He was a member of Mensa and the Triple Nine Society, and was a past president of the Alaska Heart Association.

Paul’s first wife, Jill, died in a car accident in Oregon in 2009.

He is survived by his wife Sharron and nine children both natural and adopted; 25 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; and sister Anne (Jerry) Vincent of Charlotte, North Carolina.

His son Bill  Jorgensen (formerly Lunas) and wife Jean live in Ammon, Idaho; Terese and husband Ken Meerdick live in Federal Way, Washington; Lisa Kirsten and husband Dan McElligott live in Beaverton, Oregon; and Frederick (Fritz) Warren and his wife Melissa MacGahan live in Lisbon Portugal.


Login Form



July 2004 

Homes for sale: Stunning view, 4 bdrms., 3 baths, master suite,hardwood-laminate floors, new appliances $369,000; Three-level family home, apt. 3 bdrms., 2 kitchens, 13/4 baths, $232,000.


July 1974

    Lee Salisbury, speech and theater arts professor at the University of Alaska, will be drama instructor for grades 7-12 at the Regional Fine Arts Camp. The camp is sponsored by the Southeast Alaska Regional Arts Council and is held on the Sheldon Jackson College campus. Jim Hope is camp director.


Local Events


Daily Sitka Sentinel on Instagram!


Daily Sitka Sentinel on Facebook!