Robert Francis Meachum will be remembered during a service at the Northern Light United Church at 3 o’clock Tuesday afternoon, January 8th.
Meachum was a public defender who recently worked out of the Dillingham and Juneau offices. For over 25 years, he defended those accused of crimes or advocated for those who could not afford their own attorney. Many of his clients included those involved in juvenile delinquency and child-in-need-of-aid (CINA) cases, and involuntary mental health commitments.
Author John Straley, who has worked as an investigator for the Public Defender’s office in Sitka, is expected to read a poem.
Family, friends, attorneys, and judges from throughout the Lower-48 and Alaska are expected to attend. Juneau judges, who worked with Meachum earlier in their careers, will be clearing their calendar at the Dimond Courthouse to attend the service on Tuesday afternoon.
Meachum suffered from a combination heart attack and stroke in Dillingham just before Christmas. He was transported to Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage for treatment. He passed away on New Year’s Day at the age of 57.
Meachum is survived by his wife Freda Westman of Juneau and their four children Cecelia, Gabe, Dabney, and Hunter.
A live stream and archive of the service can be found here.
- It aims to preserve Alaska Native culture by giving tribes and tribal organizations the ability to oversee local child welfare problems, rather than social workers coming in from outside their communities. That often results in children being removed from their communities.
- Dressed in full Gwich’in regalia, Potts recounted growing up in a modest dirt-floor hunting cabin in Eagle, losing someone close to suicide, and taking the conventions theme of strength in unity to get back to enjoying life again.
- The Juneau School District wants to consolidate its two high school football programs and cheer squads. Superintendent Dr. Mark Miller said at a press conference Thursday afternoon that the decision to send a formal request to the Alaska School Activities Association has been two years in the making.
- Three helmets, two hats, a headdress and a beaded shirt are from as far back as the 1600s to about 1890. They will be stored through the National Park Service, with access being granted to the Tlingit clans.