VIGIL – More than 300 people share seven minutes of silence on Totem Square during a vigil for George Floyd, who died last week while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The large turnout for event made it difficult for participants to maintain the six-foot social distance that organizers had hoped for. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Suzanne Wilstam

Suzanne Wilstam

Suzanne Wilstam (previously Sabath) passed away in Eureka, California, on March 14, 2018, at the age of 75.
Suzanne was born July 3, 1942, at the Naval Air Station Hospital (now the Naval Air Station North Island) in San Diego. Her father, Lt. Cmdr. Alfred Wilstam Jr. died in a wartime accident at Barber’s Point, O’ahu, Territory of Hawaii, in 1943. Her mother, Dorothy Deane (Hunt) Wilstam, died in 1992.
Suzanne and her only sibling, Lani, were raised in Coronado, California, by her mother and beloved grandmother, Miriam “Mimi” Hunt. In 1952, the family moved to Porterville, California, where she graduated from Porterville High School in 1960.
After graduation, Suzanne attended Porterville College, and later transferred to San Francisco State University, where she studied psychology, and performed in classical music ensembles on campus.
Suzanne married her Porterville neighbor Allen Bain in 1964, and together they had three children: David, Doug, and Amy. Suzanne and Allen divorced in 1979.
In 1981, she married her second husband, Fritz Sabath. The family moved to Massachusetts for a business opportunity and lived there for three years. In the mid 1980s, the family moved back to Eureka, and then to Los Angeles, where Suzanne worked in a number of occupations, including a position as a victim’s advocate for families affected by homicide, a job she truly valued.
The chance to purchase a McDonald’s franchise prompted Suzanne and Fritz to move to Sitka, where they owned and operated the McDonald’s restaurant for about 10 years. They enjoyed their time in Sitka, adopting several wolf-hybrid dogs and even handing out dog treats through the drive-through window at their restaurant.
In 2000, she and Fritz left Sitka to move to Eureka, where they opened a new bar and café, The Saffire Rose. Amid the economic downturn, they reluctantly closed the cafe and in 2007 divorced. Fritz Sabath passed away in 2009.
Suzanne lived a fulfilling life as a mother, sister, wife, and friend. She was known for her great sense of humor and concern for others. Throughout her life Suzanne wore many hats – entrepreneur, victims advocate, small business owner, classical singer, and avid volunteer. Her greatest joys in life included her family, caring for animals, travel, and music. 
She is survived by her sister, Lani Blazer; children David Bain (Martin Keleti), Doug Bain, and Amy Bain (Graham Horwood); granddaughters Mackenzie Bain, Lily Bradley and Sloane Horwood; step-granddaughter Ashley Moraitis; and many nieces and nephews, and their children.
In keeping with her wishes, there will be no services. Those wishing to honor her life can make a donation in her name to a local mental health organization or community animal shelter.



Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 6-2-20)

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 10:20 a.m. Tuesday.

New cases as of Monday: 20

Total statewide – 487

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 47, 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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