FAREWELLS – TOP: Staff and faculty of Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School wave to students and families as they drive by in the school parking lot this morning during a "reverse parade." Today was the final day of school in the district. ABOVE: Also today, Blatchley Middle School held a Rites of Passage ceremony in the parking lot. Principal Ben White hands out certificates to eighth-graders who will be attending high school in the fall. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Gary James Stevens

Gary James Stevens

Fisherman Gary James Stevens passed away in Wrangell on Feb. 12, 2017, just two days after his 75th birthday.

He was born Feb. 10, 1942, to James C. Stevens and Patricia Youens, one of five children.

Gary spent most of his life commercial fishing, first on his father’s boat then later building and fishing and shrimping on the Miss Susan. He would regularly donate his catch to local businesses, benefits and charities. For years he would take the herring eggs harvested in Sitka back to Wrangell, where he would lay them out for anyone who wanted them to take them home – a treat for most of the town.

When shrimping season began it was quite common to see people stopping by the house day and night to pick  up shrimp or his companion Linnea would drive down to the dock and meet people.  

As a fisherman throughout Southeast, Gary was a member of  the Pioneers Alaska, the Moose Lodge in Sitka, the Elks Lodge in Wrangell, and the Sons of Norway in Petersburg.

“We are sure, however, that he knew he was very loved,” a family member said. “He will be missed, never forgotten. A true character, a great man, and an excellent example of a giving, loving heart.”

Gary is survived by his two sons, Gary A. Stevens and Mark C. Stevens; his brothers Carl Stevens and Walt Stevens; and sister Rhonda Black.

He is also survived by his longtime companion Linnea Brooks, her sons Frank Churchill Jr., and Rick and (Tracy) Churchill and their two children Kaylauna and Talon Churchill, who affectionately referred to him as “Poppa,” as did Brandon and Aliyha, children of Adrienne and Matt Kenfield.

Gary also leaves behind several nieces and nephews whom he truly adored.

All are welcome to join the family for a service and celebration of his life, at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 5, at Harbor Light Church in Wrangell, followed by a reception at 3 p.m. at the Wrangell Elks Lodge.

The family suggests that in lieu of flowers donations be made to a favorite charity.











Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 5-22-20)

By Sentinel Staff

The state Department of Health and Social Services has posted the following update on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alaska as of 11:00 a.m. Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 2

Total statewide – 404

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 44, and the cumulative number of deaths is 10.

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.



Welcome to the Sitka Sentinel's web page. In order to make the Sentinel's news more easily available during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have taken down the paywall to access articles on this page. Just click on an article headline to read the story. 

March 23, 2020



For the duration of the COVID-19 disaster emergency declared by federal, state and local authorities, the Sentinel is taking additional measures to reduce virus exposure to its employees and contractors as well as to the public, while continuing to publish a daily news report for Sitka.

To the extent possible, Sentinel news and sales staff will be working from home. For the protection of our carriers, home delivery of the newspaper will be stopped effective Tuesday, March 24.

The Sentinel will continue to publish on its website sitkasentinel.com. Access to the website will be free to all users. The Sentinel will also produce a print edition Monday through Friday. It will be available to all readers without charge, at locations throughout town.

Initially, these locations are those where the Sentinel's newspaper vending machines are already in place. The coin mechanisms will be disabled or the doors removed to permit easy access. The Sentinel will work with the stores where the paper is usually sold, to designate a place inside or outside the store where the free edition can be made available.  

Home delivery subscriptions are on hold, and after the end of the disaster emergency, subscriptions will be extended at no charge for the number of days that there was no home delivery.

The Sentinel will make its print edition available to the public as early in the day as possible. with all personnel taking precautions to prevent spread of the virus.

The Sentinel is calling upon its customers to observe the COVID-19 emergency precautions already in place, particularly in maintaining a six-foot social distance from others at newspaper distribution sites.

Following is the statement issued by the Sentinel on March 16, stating the Sentinel's emergency procedures, which remain in effect.

The Sentinel office at 112 Barracks Street is closed to the public. We encourage people to use the phone, email or the U.S. Postal Service as much as possible.There is a slot in the front door of the office for ads, news items and payment checks. Emails may be sent to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and the phone number is (907) 747-3219.                                                                          

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