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)

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.”




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.                                                                          

Login Form

Most recent Sentinels — PDF edition

July 6, 2020

July 7, 2020

July 8, 2020

July 9, 2020

July 10, 2020