DAY OF CARING – Kelsi Kubik, left, and Denise Gossman of GCI take a break from volunteer work to look at the bears feeding on salmon at the Fortress of the Bear Monday during the United Way Day of Caring. Volunteer groups from Sitka businesses did volunteer work at non-profits, including the Fortress of the Bear, Sitka Fine Arts Camp and the SAFV shelter during the annual event. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Cory Allen Mickelson

Cory Allen Mickelson


Cory Allen Mickelson was a proud resident of Sitka from his birth on Nov. 6, 1980, until moving to Washington state in 2000, where he lived until returning to Alaska in 2015.

Throughout his school years here Cory was an outstanding athlete who loved spending time in the outdoors with friends and family, catching reptiles of any kind, being on the water and camping.

He was greatly influenced by his time playing football, baseball and basketball, with his dad Mark as his coach, and the many wild adventures he had with friends. Before originally leaving Sitka he worked for Rennie’s Masonry & Concrete and Maple Leaf Construction. Both John and Jim were influential in shaping Cory’s strong work ethic while having fun working hard.

In Washington, Cory became the proud father of his daughter Natalie and son Jack.

He became an active member of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local #302 while quickly becoming a well-known and respected journeyman crane operator with Sicklesteel Cranes of Mount Vernon and Ness Cranes of Seattle.

He continued pursuing his passions for the outdoors and sports while working toward his private pilot’s license and supporting his family.

In 2015 he returned to Sitka and in June 2016 he moved to Juneau to begin working for Triplette Construction. He loved his work and it showed through the respect he earned, his dedication and his ever widening skill set. 

Cory was big in stature as well as character who inherited his quick wit from his beloved Grandpa Ed. He had the ability to lighten the mood with his unforgettable sense of humor and his untamed loyalty to his friends and family. His sister Tera aptly described him as strong and sensitive, fierce and protective.  There is no doubt that Cory had a positive impact on many people throughout Southeast Alaska, Northwest Washington and beyond.

It was a devastating tragedy when Cory’s life ended the evening of June 15 while he was felling trees in the forest near the channel in Juneau. His passing was not prolonged and his fiancé was with him in his final moments; he left this world knowing what it was to love and be loved. 

Cory is survived by his daughter, Natalie Mickelson of Ferndale/Bellingham, Wash.; son Jack Mickelson of Sitka; parents Mark and Sheri Buggins of Sitka; brother Erik Buggins of Sitka; sister Tera Allard of Ferndale, Wash.; and fiancé Halli Winstead of Juneau and Tumwater, Wash.; paternal grandmother Virginia Buggins of Oregon City, Ore.; and numerous ands, uncles and cousins in Alaska, Oregon and Washington.

Cory was preceded in death by maternal grandparents Ed and Hazel Howard, of Cypress Island, Wash., and paternal grandfather Albert Buggins of Oregon City, Ore.

A celebration of Cory’s life will  be held Wednesday, June 28, at Halibut Point Rec, in the large shelter. The potluck will begin at 4 p.m. Friends are invited to come with memories to share with Natalie, Jack, and Halli.  


In lieu of flowers the family suggests contributions to the Memorial Fund for Cory Mickelson at Wells Fargo Bank for the benefit of his children.  

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