GRAB AND GO - Library patron Tina Johnson, left, and Joanna Perensovich, information services librarian, wear masks in the Sitka Library this afternoon. The library no longer has couches for patrons, but does have computer desks widely spaced apart for people to access for one-hour periods. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Henrietta I. Kelsey


Henrietta I. Kelsey

Henrietta I. Kelsey passed over to heaven on May 17, 2018, at the age of 92 at Sitka Community Hospital.

She was born September 7, 1925, in Jersey City, New Jersey. “Babe,” as she was called, was very tiny when she was born and the doctors said she wasn’t going to live very long. She certainly showed them!

She loved roller-skating in the city streets when she was young and went to New York City often to see movies when they cost a nickel. She loved shows and musicals and saw Frank Sinatra quite a few times.

She worked as a telephone switchboard operator for a newspaper company and later as a secretary.

She married the boy who lived down the street, John Kelsey, in 1950 and they moved to Massachusetts.

Hennie loved to crochet and eventually everyone in the family got a hat, scarf or afghan from her. Besides crocheting, she loved playing the organ, watching old movies, traveling, baking cookies, and family dinners with everyone, as she loved to get dressed up. She was a “classy lady.”

John and Hennie moved to Sitka in 2002 to be near one of their daughters. They loved Sitka.

John preceded her in death, in 2009. Hennie recently moved into the Pioneers Home, and enjoyed the friends that she met there.

She loved her family dearly. Surviving her are daughter Janice and son-in-law, Edward Conway, of Sitka, and daughter and son-in-law, Diane and Tim Sampson, of New Hampshire. Her grandchildren are Kevin Conway, Emily Conway, Jason Hubbard, Jared Hubbard, and Jeff Hubbard and his wife Tara. Hennie had one great-grandchild, Jeff and Tara’s daughter Etta, who was named after her.

Hennie was loved very much by her family and will be greatly missed by those who knew her. “A mom’s hug lasts long after she lets go.” 


No services will be held. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a memorial donation to a charity of your choice.



Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 7-10-20)

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 noon Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 51

Total statewide – 1,323

Total (cumulative) deaths – 17

Active cases in Sitka – 5 (2 resident; 3 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 13 (11 resident; 2 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 80.

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 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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