FULL FIELD – Bathtub toy ducks float down Granite Creek toward a finish line at Halibut Point Recreation Area Saturday afternoon during the annual Sitka Rotary Club duck race. First place, two Alaska Airlines round-trip tickets, were won by Ron and Leah Kari. This year all 3,500 ducks were sold by June 14. Money raised at the event is donated to dozens of Sitka non-profits. (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.



Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 7-6-20)

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 1:25 p.m. Monday.

New cases as of Sunday: 28

Total statewide – 1,166

Total (cumulative) deaths – 16

Active cases in Sitka – 6 (3 resident; 3 non-resident)

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

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 74.

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 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.                                                                          

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