NEW ROUND – Sitka Fire Chief Craig Warren chats with Patrick and Catharine Weaver this afternoon at the fire hall during a COVID-19 vaccination clinic. The Weavers were waiting fifteen minutes after receiving the Moderna version of the COVID-19 vaccine. About 100 Sitkans were scheduled to receive their first dose today. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses for full efficacy. Sitkans can sign up to receive vaccinations at (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Rev. Kenneth W. Smith

Rev. Kenneth W. Smith

Rev. Kenneth W. Smith, of Ferndale, Wash., passed away Sept. 7, 2017, at the age of 90.
Born in Lackawanna, N.Y., Ken left High School early to join the fight in World War II. His journey through the European Theater awoke empathy, compassion and courage that would serve him well in the years to come.
Returning home, he attended Sterling College, where he met the love of his life, Betty Marie Ramsey. They married on Aug. 18, 1950, in Arkansas City, Kansas.
Ken and Betty began their Christian service as mission teachers at Sheldon Jackson College in Sitka. Answering his call into the ministry, Ken earned a master of divinity degree at San Francisco Theological Seminary and began his 40 years as a Presbyterian minister serving at the Chapel by the Lake, in Auke Bay.
After 22 years, the family moved to Hawaii and served 12 years at the Waimea United Church of Christ on Kauai. Called back to Alaska, Ken served another eight years at Eagle River Presbyterian Church.
Church members and non-church members alike were struck by his vigorous devotion to congregation and community. He directed and presided over the “Go See Seminar” mission trips throughout Southeast Alaska aboard the Anna Jackman, one of several vessels in the legendary “Presbyterian Navy.”
Entering retirement, Ken maintained a robust schedule, holding numerous community and volunteer posts, and writing 19 books.
Ken was known for his humor, empathy toward all people, and innovative programs. He was involved in numerous building projects in each of his congregations, and in many community projects as well. He would see a need, and start projects himself to get momentum going. Ken often commented that being a pastor was the “best job in the world.”
His congregations fondly remember his inspired, thoughtful sermons, his mind-bending puns, and the creative energy and practical love he applied to everyone and everything he was involved with. Ken loved and embraced all people and cultures, truly living a life dedicated to Christ.
Cherished activities included mowing lawns; careful cultivation of sourdough pancake batter for prodigious community breakfasts; crafting his inventive weekly children’s sermons; singing, writing, and always serving others. Boundlessly energetic, he was also a man of humility, and questing insight.
He is survived by wife Betty Marie Smith; his sons, Kevin J. Smith (Anne Fons), Mark E. Smith (Robin Merritt), Gerald R. Smith (Janel) and Kenneth A. Smith (Daniel Collison); daughter Janet A. Smith (Robert P. Jones); granddaughter Kathleen B. Smith, and grandson, Jackson P. Smith (Jessica).
Kenneth was pre-deceased by his mother and father, William and Marjorie Smith; his brothers, James and Gerald; and his son, Philip A. Smith.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Sept. 16 at Birchwood Presbyterian Church.
Memorials can be made out to the Presbyterian Mission (Presbyterian Church USA), P.O. Box 643700, Pittsburgh, PA, 15264-3700;
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August 5, 2020

A Note To Our Readers

Reopening: Phase One:


On March 30 the Daily Sitka Sentinel began taking precautions against the coronavirus, which was starting to show up in Alaska.

We closed our building to the public and four key employees started working remotely. Home delivery was suspended to protect our carriers from exposure to the virus.

Four months later, the virus is still with us and the precautions remain in effect.

In appreciation for the willingness of our subscribers to pick up their daily paper at drop-off sites, the Sentinel was free to all readers, and subscriptions were extended without charge.

As of August 1 the Sentinel is once again charging for subscriptions, but the present method of having subscribers pick up their papers at designated sites will continue.

The expiration date of all subscriptions has been extended without charge for an additional four months.

We thank our readers for their support in these uncertain times, and especially those who paid for the paper despite the free offer.

We look forward to the time when we can safely resume home delivery.

To check on the expiration of your subscription or to make a payment please call 747-3219. The subscription email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . We also will be mailing out reminder cards.

The single copy price is again 75 cents. The news racks do not require coins to open, but we ask that the 75 cents for a non-subscription single copy sale be paid with coins in the slot.

– The Sitka Sentinel Staff


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Alaska COVID-19 
At a Glance

(updated 1-15-21)

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 10:55 a.m. Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 296

Total statewide – 49,835

Total (cumulative) deaths – 228

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 1,126

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

The City of Sitka posted the following update on COVID-19 cases in Sitka as of 5 p.m. Thursday.

Active cases in Sitka – 17

Hospitalizations (cumulative) in Sitka – 5

Cumulative Sitka cases – 301 (274 resident; 27 non-resident)

Cumulative recovered – 281

The local case data are from the City of Sitka website.




January 2001

Photo caption: Sarah and Jeremy Pickard and Dr. James Brooks show off Lauren Marie Pickard, the first baby born in Sitka this year. She arrived at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital at 10:05 a.m., Jan. 4, weighing 7 pounds, 8 ounces and measuring 20 inches. She’s the first child for the Pickards,who moved here in May with the U.S. Coast Guard.

January 1971

Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Foster and daughter Marchele have ended a two-week vacation trip to Idaho. They bought a new Mustang in Seattle, drove it to Sandpoint, Idaho, to visit relatives and stopped in Everett, Wash., to visit Mrs. Foster’s cousin, whom she hadn’t seen in 13 years. Mrs. Foster and Marchele returned by plane and Foster is following with the car, on the ferry.