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)

Neland Jerome Haavig

Neland Jerome Haavig

Neland Jerome Haavig, a longtime resident of Sitka, Walhalla, N.D., and Mesa, Ariz., passed away on March 15 at Narrows Glen Senior Facility in Tacoma, Wash. He was 94.
He was born May 18, 1923, in New Rockford, N.D., Dakota, to Sylvester and Helen (Hanson) Haavig. He graduated in 1941 from Noonan North Dakota High School, where he excelled in athletics and received a football scholarship to Minot State College.
World War II interrupted his studies and he went to Seattle to join the Navy, entering into active service in 1943. He served in the Pacific theater on the cruiser USS Chicago, and in the Atlantic on the aircraft carrier USS Guadalcanal.
After his honorable discharge, he returned to North Dakota to begin his life with his high school sweetheart and wartime bride Joyce L. Helgeson from Columbus, N.D.
In the fall of 1945, Neland enrolled at North Dakota State University in Fargo and graduated in 1950. His first teaching job was in McHenry, N.D. During his tenure there, he attended summer school at the University of North Dakota where he earned a master’s degree. Neland was promoted to superintendent of schools in McHenry and went on to be the superintendent in Noonan, Drake, and Walhalla, N.D.
In March 1964, on the day of the Alaska Good Friday earthquake, Neland accepted the school superintendent position in Sitka. This wonderful opportunity took him, his pregnant wife, seven children, and two vehicles on a camping trip through Canada to the Alaska State Ferry Terminal in Prince Rupert, British Columbia. They boarded the MV Matanuska and docked in Sitka on July 10, 1964.
For the next 15 years Neland was busy as the year round superintendent and as a commercial salmon troller during the summer fishing seasons. (This was true to his Norwegian heritage. His great-great-grandfather was a fisherman on Bomlo Island, Norway.) He retired as superintendent in 1979 and he continued to fish commercially until 1987 when he fully retired.
Neland and Joyce then began the snowbird phase of their life. They summered in Walhalla most of the time and wintered in Venture Out Park and Sunland Village in Mesa. Neland enjoyed entertaining and he was known for his halibut fish and chips.
 After no longer summering in Walhalla, they spent a few summers in Medford, Ore., before moving to Narrows Glen in Tacoma in January 2017.
Neland is survived by his wife, Joyce; and daughters Carole Andrews, Pasco, Wash.; Cynthia Haavig, Portland, N.D.; Leslie Hansen (Richard) University Place, Wash.; Kristi Haavig (Jake Allmaras) Medford, Ore.; Maren Haavig (Mark Neidhold), Juneau.
His sons are Steven Haavig (Paula Scavera) Juneau, and Paul Haavig, Sitka.
Grandchildren are Stephany Andrews, Tate Andrews, Brett Haavig, Erika Haavig, Adam Hansen, and Kristofer Hansen; and great-grandchildren are Ander Call, Averie and Bryce Haavig; and Beckett, Maddox, and Paxton Hansen.
Neland was preceded in death by his parents, his son Neland J. Haavig Jr.; son-in-law Thomas Andrews, and two sisters, Arlene Stevenson and Sallymae Hunter.   
This spring, a celebration of his life is planned, and he will be interred at Sitka National Cemetery.
Neland was dearly loved by his family and friends. The family is grateful to all the professionals at Narrows Glen and Franciscan Hospice Tacoma who provided care, guidance, and support during Neland’s last days.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contribution to a favorite charity in Neland’s name.

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


Login Form



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.