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)

Celebration of Life Set For Doris Main, Age 57

Doris Annette Main

A celebration of the life of Doris Annette Main will be held 4 p.m. Friday, March 22, at Sitka United Methodist Church. A potluck will follow.
Doris died in Sitka on the morning of March 13, 2019. During her 57 years, she blessed many people as a loyal friend, family member and co-worker and will be missed by many.
Doris Annette Schaefer was born March 25, 1961, in Sitka to Katherine and Jack Schaefer. She went to elementary and middle school at the Seventh-Day Adventist Church school, then attended high school at Auburn Academy in Washington.
As a child, Doris took piano lessons, and enjoyed skating on Swan Lake and participating in school and church events with her friends.
She studied anthropology in college briefly in Washington, which reflected her love of culture that began in Gambell, Alaska, while studying her family’s history through ancient artifacts. In her 30s, she attended nursing school at Bartlesville Wesleyan College (now Oklahoma Wesleyan University). She worked as a nurse in Oklahoma at Barnsdall and Pawhuska nursing homes before returning home to Sitka, where she worked until retirement at SEARHC.
Doris loved music from a very young age, playing piano, singing, dancing, and enjoying the expression of music throughout her life. She was the lead singer in the band Sassy during the booming 1980s Sitka music scene.
She met Alan Crookes at a high school summer camp and married him shortly after, forming what some referred to as AC/DC (Alan and Doris Crookes). During that time, Dawson and Murray were born and the family lived in Gildersleeve logging camps in Southeast.
In another era of her life, she married Miles Main and gained three new children, Stacey, Michelle, and Jeff, and many grandchildren (and now great-grandchildren).
Doris loved everything outdoors, regularly hiking trails, camping, and boating. She loved cleaning fish and would find partners to share a large portion of their fish with her if she would clean, freeze, smoke, and jar the catch. Many people living inside and out of Alaska looked forward to receiving the fish she processed.
Doris was recognizable by her infectious, beautiful smile and warm, loving presence. She was the first one to help people in need, giving freely during hard times. Giving gifts was one of the most prominent ways that she showed love to family and friends. Another way she showed her love was to publicly embarrass family through song and dance.
Doris was preceded in death by her father, Jack Schaefer, her step-father Thomas Anderson, her brother Harold Schaefer, and her ex-husband, Miles Main.
Surviving Doris are her mother, Katherine Anderson; siblings Jack and Wes Schaefer, Thomas Anderson and Kimberly Peacocke; niece and nephew Melody and Benjamin Peacocke; children Dawson and Murray Crookes; and grandchildren Rowan, Aerie, Noah, Alana and Lucia Crookes.
Also surviving are a myriad of cousins, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces, extended family, step-family, professional, and chosen family.



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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