DAY OF CARING – Kelsi Kubik, left, and Denise Gossman of GCI take a break from volunteer work to look at the bears feeding on salmon at the Fortress of the Bear Monday during the United Way Day of Caring. Volunteer groups from Sitka businesses did volunteer work at non-profits, including the Fortress of the Bear, Sitka Fine Arts Camp and the SAFV shelter during the annual event. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Willis Leroy Donnally, Former Sitkan, Mourned

Willis Leroy Donnally

Former Sitkan Willis Leroy Donnally went to be home with the Lord on July 3, 2019, just 12 days before his 83rd birthday. A resident of Delta Junction, he was in Fairbanks at the time of his passing.
He was born July 15, 1936, in Everett, Washington. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1956, served two terms, and had an honorable discharge after nine years of serving his country.
He moved to Sitka in 1967 with his wife Claudia and four children, Jody, Katy, Pat and Erin. While in  Sitka, he ran his own commercial fishing boat, and together with his wife operated a fish processing plant, Claudia’s Fisheries.
In 2005, he moved to Delta Junction, into a beautiful log cabin, built by himself, family, and friends. He resided there until he went home to be with the Lord.
“Those who knew our Dad/Grandpa/Uncle knew that he was a one of a kind special character,” his family said. “He not only enjoyed fishing immensely, but more so the telling of a few pretty big fish stories along the way.”
He loved to go moose hunting and fishing with his favorite partner, his son, Pat.  
He enjoyed conversation and meeting new people and offered a warm welcome to those he met.
He celebrated his most favorite holiday, St. Patrick’s Day, with family, having a corned beef & cabbage dinner enjoyed by all. At Christmas time he always took pleasure in his tradition of reading his family “The Legend of the Candy Cane” story.
“Dad was a loving man who will be very much missed,” his family said.
He was preceded by his father, Harvey Andrew Donnally, mother, Earna Cheldelin, and stepfather, George Cheldelin.
He is survived by his former wife, Claudia, of Sitka; daughter Jody Grall and husband Doug of Edmonds, Washington, daughter Katy Rouse and husband John of Sitka, son Pat Donnally and wife Dee of Delta Junction, and daughter Erin Hansen and husband John of Sitka.
His grandchildren are Dale Lindstrom and wife Paula, Jenny Metlicka and husband Scott, Jr. Lindstrom, Kori Lindstrom, Haley LaDuke and husband Jake, and Lee Burkhart. 
His great-grandchildren are Shaylene, Kali, Bubba and Emily Metlicka. Reyana, Kiyara, Robert, Sydney, Ashton Lindstrom. Landon and Sawyer LaDuke. He also is survived by his numerous nieces and nephews of Washington.
    He loved all his family dearly.
A celebration of life and a fishing adventure will take place with family next July 2020 in Delta Junction.



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