Tuesday, July 5, 2022: Radio wake: Remembering Sen. Dennis Egan

Dennis Egan was appointed to the Alaska Senate in April 2009 by Gov. Sarah Palin, to fill a vacancy when Kim Elton left to serve the Obama Administration (Photo of Egan addressing the Alaska Senate in March 2014 by Skip Gray).

Senator Dennis Egan was a rare breed of a politician. As a kid he grew up in the Governor’s mansion, savvy to Alaska politics at an early age. He went on to become a pioneer radio broadcaster and then a player in local and state politics – but at heart, he was a guy who enjoyed sharing humor and good will across the aisles.

Egan’s family says plans for his memorial are still in the works — but on this Tuesday’s Juneau Afternoon, friends and former colleagues of Dennis Egan take part in a “radio wake” — to celebrate his memory and share a few of their favorite stories about a man who left his mark as a politician, businessman and a genuine Alaskan character.

Rhonda McBride, Producer of Juneau Afternoon

Rhonda McBride hosts this Tuesday’s program.  You can catch Juneau Afternoon, Tuesday through Friday, live at 3:00 p.m. on KTOO Juneau 104.3.  The rebroadcast airs at 7:00 p.m. on KTOO. You can also listen online at ktoo.org.

Editor’s note: Special thanks to KCAW in Sitka for assisting in this program. 


Dennis Egan: Broadcaster, businessman, politician and a practitioner of "creative mischief."

Guests: Sen. Jesse Kiehl, Bill Corbus, Bruce Botelho, Beth Kerttula, Jim Powell and Christopher Clark.
A young Dennis Egan poses for a family portrait with his parents, Neva and Bill Egan, circa 1959. Bill Egan was the state of Alaska’s first governor (Photo courtesy of University of Alaska Fairbanks, Ralph J. Rivers Papers 1956-1966, UAF-1972-49-161).

It’s impossible in a one-hour radio show to fully celebrate the life of Sen. Dennis Egan, who died on Tuesday, June 28 at the age of 75.

From an early age, Dennis Egan had a reputation as a “prolific mischief-maker and prankster” (Photo courtesy of Leslie Egan).

But this conversation is a good start. Whether it was his notoriety as Gov. Bill Egan’s mischievous son, or working as a box boy at Foodland, or running a radio station, Egan wore many hats in his lifetime.

He served in the Alaska Army National Guard, as the Mayor of Juneau and as state senator. He also battled multiple sclerosis with humor and determination — and that included greeting his friends and colleagues with some choice expletives, always delivered with affection.

Dennis Egan, at the radio controls with his wife, Linda. Egan was a disc jockey and radio host, whose used the on air name of Jay Roberts (Photo courtesy of Leslie Egan).
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