Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy and First Lady Rose Dunleavy send their condolences to the family and loved ones of former Governor Bill Sheffield, who passed away today. Sheffield served as Governor from 1982-1986.
“The First Lady and I express our deepest sympathies to the family of former Governor Bill Sheffield,” said Governor Dunleavy. “Originally from Spokane Washington, Sheffield was relocated to the territory of Alaska by Sears Roebuck in 1953 and spent the rest of his days in the state serving his community”.
Sheffield was the fifth governor of the state, during a period when Alaska’s economy was booming from North Slope oil revenue. He pushed for and signed into law a bill that moved Alaska into one time zone, where the state had previously been split in four. Sheffield was also instrumental in the opening of the zinc and lead producing, Red Dog mine. After his public service ended, he sat on the new board of the Alaska Railroad, which he had advocated for the state to buy while governor. He later become CEO of the Alaska Railroad corporation and then the director of the Port of Anchorage.
William Jennings Sheffield Jr. will be remembered for his many contributions to the state. From building a chain of nineteen hotels that he later sold, and became Westmark’s, to serving as President of the Alaska Visitors Association, the Alaska Chamber of Commerce and national director of the U.S. Jaycees. He also served as a member of the Anchorage City Planning Commission and the Anchorage Charter Commission.
Governor Dunleavy has ordered that Alaska and United States flags fly at half-staff at a date to be announced in the future, after consulting with the family of former Governor Sheffield.