EVERYONE'S A WINNER – An enthusiastic Tanner Ystad, age 6, carries a barbecue grill to his mom after choosing it as a prize during the Sitka Sportsman's Association's 64th Sitka Salmon Derby Awards Ceremony Thursday at Centennial Hall. Tanner's 19.1-pound salmon earned him 55th place in the derby. Derby fishers chose from 88 donated prizes in order of their derby rankings. This year 12-year-old Emmit Johnson won the derby with a 31.2-pound king. Emmitt received Alaska Airlines round-trip tickets and $4,000 cash for his catch. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Rev. Frank Edward Ockert

Rev. Frank Edward Ockert


Rev. Frank Edward Ockert, DD, was born on February 25, 1924, and departed this earth on June 10, 2018.
The dash between those two dates was filled with an abundance of love, kindness and generosity for all who came into contact with him. He touched many lives throughout his 94 years of living by giving of himself in various ways which included being chaplain for the Civil Air Patrol, both in Florida, where he was chaplain for the entire state, and in Sitka. He was a member of CAP for 49 years.
Frank also was chaplain for the Police Department in Pasco County, Florida, and in Wrangell, Alaska. He served as the volunteer chaplain at SEARCH for more than 24 years, and intermittently at Sitka Community Hospital.
He was chaplain for the American Legion, at both the local Post 13 and the state level; and was a member of  the local Ministerial Association. He An Americorps volunteer at UAS, he was an English as a Second Language instructor for three years.
He was a member of the B26 Bomber Group and the Marauder Historical Society, and served on the first board of Sitka Faith in Action (now Brave Heart).
He was a published poet – Judge Larry Zervos declared him Poet Laureate for the State of Alaska; and he wrote the Prophet Sharing poem, published on the Sitka Sentinel’s Friday church page, from February 1998 to May 19, 2017.
He was born in Mecosta County, Michigan, to Michael and Gladys Myer Ockert. He had three brothers and three sisters. He lived in Remus, Michigan, through high school, at which time he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He served in England, France, Holland, and Germany during World War II.
After the war, he attended Olivet Nazarene College to earn his degree in theology, while working fulltime to provide for his family. He pastored churches in Illinois, Michigan and Florida.
He and his wife Jackie moved to Wrangell, in 1979, where they lived for 12 years. After he retired they decided to move back to Florida, but that was short-lived because they missed the grandchildren. Knowing that Wayne and EJ had moved to Sitka they moved back to Alaska in October 1992.
Frank is survived by his loving wife, Jacqueline Groppe Ockert of Sitka; sons Dennis Ockert and Ron (Annie) Ockert all of Florida, and bonus daughter EJ (Wayne) Treadway of Sitka; and his sister Marguerite (Jay) Spencer of Michigan.
His grandchildren are Tod (Anna) Ockert from Alabama, Jay (Dawn) Ockert of South Carolina, Eric Ockert of New York, Mark (Jen) Silverberg of Massachusetts, Porter (Cocoa) Treadway of Juneau, Jon Treadway of Anchorage and Steven Treadway of Anchorage.
His great-grandchildren are Emily Ockert (New York), Noah and Viena Ockert (Alabama), Ryan, Ella, Macy (Massachusetts), Gavin and Jayden (South Carolina), Autumn Treadway and Ally Martin (Sitka) and Owen Treadway (Kansas).
Also surviving is life-long friend of 70-plus years, Bill Spurrier, a fellow crew member on many of the missions he flew during the war.
Frank was loved by his many nephews and nieces.
He was preceded in death by Frank Jr. (6 weeks old), his brothers Joe, Don and Mike, and sisters Bertha and Ruth.
Services will be held at Sitka Church of the Nazarene 1 p.m. on Friday, June 22, to be followed by the interment ceremony at Sitka National Cemetery.
Honorary pallbearers are Gene Burton, Frank Sutton, Jeff Wright, Dave Miller, Herb McClenahan, Mark Matiukas, Keith Perkins, and Bill Spurrier.
“Please bring a story about Frank to share with the family at a reception following interment,” the family wrote. “No flowers please.”


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