ON THE ROAD AGAIN – One of The RIDE buses goes down Katlian Street past the city boat grid this morning. After four months of being shut down because of antivirus precautions, the public transportation service resumed operations today. All routes remain the same except the Blue Line bus route, which now turns around at Whale Park instead of the Gary Paxton Industrial Park. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Marilyn M. Thrasher

Marilyn M. Thrasher

Former Sitka resident Marilyn M. Thrasher passed away at the E. Dene Moore Care Center, a nursing home in Rifle, Colorado, on Nov. 9, 2017.
Marilyn Bernice Morgan was born July 10, 1928, in Stillwater, Oklahoma, to schoolteacher parents William A. and Blanche P. Morgan. She spent most of her early life in south central Oklahoma where her parents taught school in several communities. 
As a young girl, Marilyn developed an interest in dance and music.  In elementary school she played in a school rhythm band and performed in numerous dance recitals. She played piano competitively and went on to play flute in both high school and college symphonic and marching bands.
 While artistically inclined, Marilyn had a bit of a tomboy side, participating in the 4-H program with projects in beekeeping, dairy cows and chickens.  She graduated from Healdton High School in 1946 and went on to enroll in the School of Home Economics at Oklahoma A&M College (now Oklahoma State University) in Stillwater.  While attending a church social event with her cousins, she was introduced to Frank Thrasher of Sallisaw, Oklahoma.  They married on May 30, 1949, the same day Marilyn graduated from college.
Following his graduation from Oklahoma A&M in January 1951, Frank’s employment took the family to Wichita, Kansas, Blackwell, Oklahoma, and then to Stewart, Nevada, where Marilyn briefly taught home economics for the Bureau of Indian Affairs before completing an Elementary Education Teaching Certificate through the University of Nevada, Reno.  In 1962, the family returned briefly to Okmulgee, Oklahoma.
In August 1963, the family moved to Sitka when Frank accepted a position teaching vocational shop at the BIA’s Mt. Edgecumbe High School.  In 1964, Marilyn began her elementary teaching career when she accepted a position as a second-grade teacher with Sitka Public Schools, teaching for several years at the Mt. Edgecumbe Elementary School and later at Baranof Elementary School, retiring at the end of the 1984 school year.
Frank passed away in Sitka in 1987, and is buried inSitka National Cemetery, where Marilyn will join him again.
In retirement, Marilyn remained active in the community filling a number of roles in Sitka United Methodist Church, participating in Sitka Woman’s Club, supporting the Sitka Summer Music Festival, and volunteering with the Sitka Historical Society.
In 2007, she received the Woman of the Year Award from the Sitka Woman’s Club.
In 2009, Marilyn moved to Rifle, to be closer to family. Declining health and an injury prompted her move into the E. Dene Moore Care Center early in 2013.
Marilyn is survived by her three sons: Patrick (Ann) of Rifle, Colorado, Glenn (Celia) of Wellington, New Zealand and Terry (Tamara) of Fairfield, California; granddaughters Hayley (Paul) Wrezinski, Rhiannon (Aerran) Riley, Sarah Thrasher, Rebecca Thrasher, and Nicole (John) Heller; and great-grandchildren Liam and Amelia Wrezinski.
 A service will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 27, at Sitka United Methodist Church followed by a private interment at Sitka National Cemetery.  A reception open to the community and provided by the Methodist Church will begin at 12:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations to the Alzheimer’s Foundation.



Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 7-13-20)

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 10:30 a.m. Monday.

New cases as of Sunday: 60

Total statewide – 1,539

Total (cumulative) deaths – 17

Active cases in Sitka – 4 (2 resident; 2 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 14 (11 resident; 3 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 87.

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

* These numbers reflect State of Alaska data. Local cases may not immediately appear on DHSS site, or are reported on patient’s town of residence rather than Sitka’s statistics. 




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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