Update: Local union steward dies unexpectedly

By December 20, 2011Community

Stephen Wright, president of the Juneau chapter of the Alaska State Employees Association, has died. He was 58 years old.

Wright worked for the state Department of Fish and Game in the Commercial Fisheries Division, coordinating federal grants and contracts. He previously worked for Environmental Conservation and Governmental Coordination. He’d worked for Fish and Game for about a decade.

Wright was a union steward for ASEA, which represents the General Government Bargaining Unit.

He was known statewide for his work on behalf of GGU members. He was a long-time president of the Juneau chapter, which has about 18-hundred members.

He also represented Juneau GGU members on the ASEA State Executive Board, which sets policies for the union and employs the business manager.

Wright came to Alaska to earn a degree in fisheries biology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Commercial Fisheries Assistant Director Geron Bruce says Wright had various experiences in the fishing industry, including working in processing and as a fisheries observer in the Bering Sea.

Wright was well-known and well-liked at Fish and Game headquarters.

“He was always one to contribute to the sense of community around the office. Whatever it was, if it was something going on and people were getting together he was part of it and was always cheerful and brought a sense of collegial good feeling,” Bruce says. “Whether it was working on editing a report, some kind of meeting, or a social event, he always had that kind of cheerful, collegial attitude.”

Wright was also an officer of the Mt. Juneau-Gastineaux Lodge of the Masons.

He died Sunday from unknown causes. Juneau police spokeswoman Cindee Brown-Mills says Wright’s body was found by cleaning staff in a Breakwater Inn hotel room. Pollice were notified about 1:30 p.m.

Brown-Mills says police do not suspect foul play. The state medical examiner will perform an autopsy. It could be as long as two months before the cause of Wright’s death is known.

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