OPEN AIR CONCERT – From left, musicians Ross Venneberg, Brian Neal, Wade Demmert and Roger Schmidt perform an outdoor brass concert for residents of the Pioneers Home Monday. The professional musicians, who are hunkered down in Sitka, are regulars at the annual Holiday Brass Concert. The Pioneers Home has been closed to visitors during the pandemic. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Martin Fredrickson Dies; Former Fire Chief was 81

Martin Fredrickson

Longtime Sitka resident Martin (Marty) Fredrickson passed away February 3, 2019, at Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau, after a long battle with cancer.
He was 81.
Marty was born January 31, 1938, in Sioux Lookout, Ontario, Canada. In 1955 he left high school and joined the Royal Canadian Navy.
He married Opal Helgesen (Olsen), from Hydaburg, on November 1958, in Seattle, Washington.  They had five daughters. 
In 1959 Marty completed his service in the Navy and the young family left Victoria, British Columbia, looking for a place to set down roots.  Marty and his family moved to Sitka in 1960.  The small town of snow-capped mountains, dense forest and seemingly endless islands to explore was exactly the kind of place he had in mind.
As soon as he arrived, he became an active member of the community.  He found a job at Alaska Pulp Corporation and began volunteering with the Sitka Volunteer Fire Department.  Volunteering with the fire department turned out to be something he loved, and he worked his way up to become the Sitka Fire Chief.  After becoming chief, Marty held jobs at Allen Marine and again at Alaska Pulp Corporation, and always remained involved in the Sitka Volunteer Fire Department. 
He was a member of the Alaska State Firefighters Association and held a position on their governing board. He spent a lot of time educating the communities in Southeast Alaska on fire safety.   Also during this time, he joined the Sitka Rotary Club and Sitka Elks Lodge, and spent years working on their many community projects and enjoying the camaraderie. 
Marty’s family life was as busy as his professional and community life. Whether it was hiking the trails of Indian River, or Thimbleberry Lake or out on the boat, fishing and exploring the waters around Sitka, there were many adventures with family and friends.
In later life, his love of the outdoors and a concern for a sustainable fishing industry led him to become a board member of the Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association (NSRAA).  He married Karen Collier in 1999.
In his retirement, he spent his days with family, fishing and the fire department.
He was especially proud of his eight  grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.  He enjoyed hockey, a good book, a cribbage game, Neil Diamond, Swedish pancakes and homemade cookies. He was the best “jitter-bugger” in town.  His most favorite gift was a box of cherry cordials with bites out of the bottom of each one and all the filling gone. (Not one daughter ‘fessed up. 
Out in the community, Marty always brought a smile, a story and good natured advice.

Marty is survived by his daughters, Rhonda Bowen (Mike) of Port Angeles, Washington; Maureen Fredrickson (Bill Peters) of Sitka; Robin Bergey (Guy) of Juneau, Florence Woodbury (Scott) of Portland, Oregon, and Amy Fredrickson of Port Angeles.
Grandchildren are Matt Bowen, Wes Bowen (Mandi Ahles); Jeff Wolfe (Sabrina Dale), Joel Wolfe (Jeannie) and Kate Bergey; Max Woodbury and Jake Woodbury; and Aleksia Fredrickson.
Great-grandchildren are Karley Bowen-Woodruff (Tyler) and Tyler Bowen, Claire Wolfe, Emma Wolfe and Eli Wolfe.
Also surviving are his sisters Irene Fredrickson of Kenora, Ontario, and Eleanor Kmetic  of Orleans, Ontario, and their extended families; and his faithful best friend and companion, his poodle, Toby. 
He was preceded in death by his father, Martin Fredrickson, and mother, Rosanna Rheault Fredrickson of Reddit, Ontario, Canada.
“We are honoring our father’s wishes with no public funeral service,” his daughters said. “Should you wish to honor Marty, please consider a memorial donation to the Sitka Volunteer Fire Department.”



Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 7-7-20)

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 11:15 p.m. Tuesday.

New cases as of Sunday: 19

Total statewide – 1,184

Total (cumulative) deaths – 17

Active cases in Sitka – 8 (3 resident; 5 non-resident)

Recovered cases in Sitka – 12 (10 resident; 2 non-resident)

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 78.

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



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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