EARTH DAY – Pacific High School freshman Hailey Kane plants a Tlingit potato in a garden next to the U.S. Forest Service District office building on Halibut Point Road, Friday. More than a dozen Sitkans, including several from Pacific High's gardening class, helped plant the heirloom potatoes as part of local Earth Day events. This was the third year for the program which is a collaboration between the USDA Forest Service Ranger District and Sitka Tribe of Alaska. Program organizer Michelle Putz said the low-maintenance potatoes originated in Mexico or South America and have been planted in Tlingit gardens for more than 200 years. Last year the garden yielded 90 pounds of spuds. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Lee Charles Saunders

Lee Charles Saunders


The family of Lee Charles Saunders invites all to join them in prayer “for one who is gone too soon.”

Lee was called to be with the Lord on Jan. 13, 2018, at the age of 59.

He was born May 20, 1958. He arrived in Sitka 17 years ago, and had called it home ever since.

Lee, his family said, was “one of God’s rare miracles. He truly loved unconditionally.”

He was a talented artist – he really loved his music, and playing the guitar. “His artistry is shown all over this island, with many homes and places he put his touch on,” the family said.

Over the last couple of years he enjoyed catching and smoking fish in his spare time, and he liked football – he was a big Seahawks fan.

Lee held many jobs in Sitka, his first being with Pete Hagan at K&D Painting. He also worked bartending at the American Legion, and helped anyone with anything – he had a big heart.

As a member of the American Legion he took pride in helping with the upkeep. He loved the kids, and he played Santa Claus for Christmas; the Easter Bunny on Easter; dressed up and handed out candy at Halloween; and helped with Legion fundraisers.

“Lee will be remembered in the hearts of all who knew his kind and gentle soul,” family members said. “His love for life will be carried on by those who survive him.”

Lee will join his mother, Virginia Louise Yost Haley, and his father, Gerald Alan Saunders, as the angels take him home.

He is survived by his sister, Diana Fulps, of Vancouver, Wash.; brothers Ronald Saunders of Vancouver, Ricky Saunders of Olympia, Wash., Larry Saunders of Tumwater, Wash., and Danny Yost of Orlando, Florida; and his sister-in-law, Kathy Rozier, of Sitka.

“Uncle Lee” also is survived by many nieces and nephews, who will miss him.

A celebration of Lee’s life will be held 1 p.m. Feb. 24, at the American Legion Post 13.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to Kathy Rozier, C/O American Legion Post 13, 205 Lincoln St., Sitka, AK 99835.



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