HEEDING THE CALL – Sarah Jordan holds up one of the colorful fabric face masks she is making at home today. City, health care and emergency response leaders in Sitka issued a “call to action” today, asking residents to sew face masks to donate to SEARHC, to help prevent and slow the spread of COVID-19.
(Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Esther Lillian Liberty

Esther Lillian Liberty

Esther Lillian Liberty passed away peacefully at her home on June 7, 2018, lovingly surrounded by close family. She was 79.

 Esther was born on February 28, 1939, in Juneau, the eldest daughter of Harvey and Marietta Williams Sr. She was Raven, T’akdeintaan of the Kaa Shaayi Hit (Severed Head House) and her Tlingit name was Seiyeikú.

Esther grew up in Sitka and graduated from Sitka High School. She moved to Juneau in 1988 and worked for the Alaska Marine Highway System from 1990 until retiring in 2001. 

Esther truly lived life to the fullest through a simple life with simple pleasures, from going out for a drive to enjoy nature, to just watching people as God’s beautiful creations.

She was a fighter, a courageous, strong woman who always had a positive outlook in life, just as she wanted everyone to have. She loved everything purple as it was her favorite color, from her trinkets to clothes, and even her nails. Ever so thoughtful, she would never forget to shop for others while she was out of town.

Some of her favorite times out and about were to watch movies, eat at restaurants, and have Easter brunches with family. She had always loved and treasured family gatherings especially on Thanksgiving Days and Christmases, and enjoyed cooking; she also made the best potato salad.

She always made sure to have Christmas presents for everyone, especially the kids in the family. Esther loved to spend time with all her grandchildren, especially the youngest, Samuel, as well as all her great-grandchildren.

She loved to travel and explore, most importantly to visit and spend time with family. “We miss you, Gramma.” 

Left to honor Esther and remember her love are her children Carl Liberty Sr. of Sitka, Virgil (Bel) Liberty of Juneau and Michelle Liberty of Spokane, Washington; grandchildren Carl “Milton” Liberty Jr., Samuel Liberty, Michael (Janna) Liberty, Natasha (Gabe) Johnson, and Shelby Pruett; great-grandchildren Logan, Aurora, Azrial, Tyren, Tavyn and Lilliana; siblings Harvey (Kathi) Williams Jr., Marion Berry, and Walleen Williams; Virgil’s mother-in-law Rose Calunsag; brother-in-law Bill Trivett; cousin Glenn (Liz) Howard, nephews and nieces Harvey (Shana) Williams III, Todd (Kirsten) Berry, Ron (Mi) Berry, Sheryl DesBiens, Glenda (Tim) Drevas, Tara (Dale) Hume, YéilYádi Olson, Marsha (Allen) Heilbrun, Nicole (Kevin) Fischbeck, Kimberly (Ty) Brill, Jamie Trivett, Michael (Jennifer) Williams, Kevin (Jessica) Williams, Daniel (Kim) Whitson, Daneen Whitson, Levi Harriman, Jessica Meacock, and Krista Meacock. 

She was preceded in death by her ex-husband, Virgil Liberty Sr.; son Jay Liberty and daughter LaVon Liberty; her parents Harvey Sr. and Marietta Williams; Aunt Mabel Moy; brother George Williams; brother-in-law Gary Berry; sisters JoAnne Chartrand, Harvietta Olson and Dorothy Trivett; and niece Jodine Meacock.

To celebrate her life and memory, a service will be held at Word of Life Christian Church in Juneau 1-3 p.m. on June 30, 2018. Her ashes will be spread with those of her daughter, LaVon Liberty. 

“The family would like to give a special note of thanks to everyone from the hospice care, dialysis center, her favorite nurse Marilyn, Abby, Tammy, family, friends and coworkers who helped care for Esther during her last few moments with us,” the family wrote.





Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 3-31-20)

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 3 p.m. Tuesday. 

The list includes the total cases (and what portions are travel and non-travel-related or still being investigated):

 Total - 133 (40, 93)

 Anchorage area – 65 (24, 41)

 Homer – 2 (1, 1)

 Kenai – 1 (1, 0)

 Seward – 1 (1, 0)

 Soldotna – 2 (1, 1)

 Sterling – 2 (0, 2)

 Fairbanks area – 35 (7, 28)

 Palmer – 3 (2, 1)

 Juneau – 9 (1, 8)

 Ketchikan – 13 (2, 11)

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is nine, and the cumulative number of deaths is three.



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.