Winter in Unalaska by Sam Zmolek
Your voice in the Aleutians.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
The community of Unalaska is a busy place to live. Our community calendar is full of events and activities. About Town is your source for coverage of community events and sports. KUCB staff writes many of the stories, but we also accept contributions from community members for this section of our website. If you'd like to submit a story to About Town, send it to

In Memoriam: Jamie Lynn Sunderland (1966 - 2023)

Belinda Sunderland
Jamie Sunderland in the summer of 2019 with his constant companion, Nitro the Cardigan Corgi.

Cherished husband and father Jamie Sunderland, of Dewey, Arizona, passed away on Sunday, April 23, 2023. After a long battle with cancer, he passed peacefully with his family by his side.

Jamie began life 56 years ago in the farmlands of North Dakota. His childhood struck a balance between small-town hijinks and long summers of hard work. His parents, Chuck and Karen, worked many different jobs over the years, such as owning the local Sears store and teaching at the town school.

Right out of high school, Jamie joined the Army and started the adventure of a lifetime. During his ten years of service, he met his soulmate Belinda, got married, and they traveled the world together as Cold War linguists. He left the Army in 1994 as a Sergeant, but that wasn’t the end of his public service. He and Belinda moved to Alaska to start the next chapter of their life together.

After leaving the military, Jamie knew he wanted to help people and work in a challenging environment. Their daughter, Maren, was born in Palmer not long after he accepted a job as a police officer on the small island of Unalaska. Before long, his young family settled there, 800 miles from the nearest city.

For the next 20 years, Jamie poured himself into the small Aleutian island. He worked as the Director of Public Safety, combining his passion for emergency preparedness with his love for the community. He volunteered much of his free time toward public events, fundraisers, and activities at the local Methodist church. It was there, on that small, windy island in the Bering Sea, that he built friendships that would last him a lifetime.

Dewey, Arizona, was where Jamie retired after a long career of service. He and Belinda moved into their family home and built an oasis from it. His love of the outdoors blossomed as he learned more about the local flora and fauna. This fed into his other hobbies of home improvement, camping, gun collecting, gardening, and many more activities that kept him busy in the sun.

Jamie lived his life determined to do right by people. He believed that a great leader knew when to lead and when to serve. And he was also a good friend, someone who knew how to make you laugh. All of his dry one-liners felt like an inside joke that everyone was in on. He had a generous heart, a logical mind, and a gentle soul.

Jamie is survived by his wife Belinda and his daughter Maren. He is also survived by an extended family from North Dakota; men and women who have loved him and seen him grow into the man he became. He leaves behind a lifetime of friends who miss his jokes, his cooking, and his cocktails. He also leaves behind many more whose lives were changed for the better because of him.

And in the oasis he built with Belinda, the birds still sing every morning. The fruit trees, newly planted, blossom in the sun. The little world he nurtured lives on.