It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Ahtna Board member Dorothy Shinn. Shinn was a member of the Udzisyu (Caribou) clan and the daughter of Ruth and Chief Harry Johns. She lived in the Copper River Valley nearly her entire life, marrying the love of her life, Raymond Shinn, on May 18, 1968. They raised four children (Ruthie, Laurel, Scott and Jolene) in Tazlina, where Dorothy was an active member of the church and the community. She went to be with her Lord and Savior on December 9, 2021. Shinn was laid to rest at Fort Richardson with her beloved Raymond, who passed in 2002.
Shinn was a member of Ahtna’s initial Board of Directors and continued to serve off and on throughout the years. She was reelected to the Board in 2020 and served until her passing. Shinn was passionate about Ahtna culture and education. She held an Associate of Applied Science in Human Services from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Kuskokwim Campus, and most of her work experience was in social work.
Shinn was the former Corporate Secretary for Ahtna Development Corporation and served as a Behavioral Health Aide for Copper River Native Association (CRNA) from 2010 to 2018. She had many years of experience serving on boards and foundations, including the Ahtna Heritage Foundation (AHF), CRNA, Native Village of Tazlina, Cross Road Medical Center and KCAM.
Shinn was generous, whether it be providing a ride or a meal or just her soothing presence. She was a mother to everyone, and her house was a second home to many friends and relatives. She had a way of putting people at ease with a story, a song, or a joke. We will dearly miss her warmth and strong leadership.