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)

Services Scheduled For Mrs. Elizabeth Teal, 92

Mrs. Elizabeth Teal

It is with disbelief that the family and loved ones of Mrs. Elizabeth Teal, announce her passing on July 6, 2019, in Sitka. She was 92.
Mrs. Teal was born Martha Elizabeth Ryan on May 26, 1927, one of 12 children of Mr. and Mrs. Albert H. Ryan of Alki Beach, West Seattle.
When she was 10, she experienced the loss of her beloved Mother. During the following eight years, she was placed in 14 different foster homes, an experience that shaped who she was. She often said, “I wanted nothing but my Mother to return but I knew I couldn’t give up, I couldn’t ever give in.”
As a young woman, she worked numerous jobs to help a brother through college. Bob Ryan graduated from Wharton’s School of Business and ran his own wealth management firm until his death in 2012.
During World War II, Mrs. Teal worked on engines, a skill she never divulged, due to its not being ladylike. Manners were important to Mrs. Teal; that’s why she was always, “Mrs. Teal,” and never, “Elizabeth.” If you knew her well, she was simply Bette.
In 1950, Mrs. Teal married the love of her life, Col. W.B. Brinton, who at the time was a King County Commissioner. He built her dream home at 1904 Walnut Avenue SW, where they raised their three sons, Dorian Shelby Brinton, Bryan William Brinton, and James Robert Brinton. All three sons were Eagle Scouts.
Mrs. Teal was an avid outdoorsman and world traveler. She often traveled by ship to Europe to visit her sons, who attended the Munich International School. She instilled in her sons a love for the outdoors. Together they climbed Mt. Rainer, went spelunking in the Big Four Ice Caves, and skied the Alps,  along with taking countless hikes and camping trips.
Mrs. Teal’s boys were her life. All three sons were decorated veterans of the Vietnam War. Tragically, after returning safely from multiple tours in Vietnam, her son Jim Brinton set out on a kayak trip from La Push, Washington, to Tokyo, Japan, in 1971 and died attempting this feat. Less than a year and a half later, her son Dorian Brinton never resurfaced during a scuba diving lesson. He was studying to be an oceanographer. At this time, Mrs. Teal moved to Alaska to start a new life.
In 1973 she adopted her daughter Rosebud Sue Petra Thiel, granddaughter of Athabascan Chief Simon Francis. They made their home in their log cabin Mrs. Teal had built on the corner of 7th and Kellum in Fairbanks. In 1981, she adopted her daughter Blossom Juliana Teal after meeting Blossom’s great-aunt Alvira Downey on a trip to Kotzebue.
In 1983 Mrs. Teal sued the State of Alaska for the right to adopt her daughters and won, but in the process she lost her home on Kellum. This didn’t stop her from creating a home for her girls.
During this time, she earned her badge as a police officer for the City of Kotzebue, and in the late 1980s, early 1990s Mrs. Teal became a corrections officer in Fairbanks. She loved this profession and excelled at it. As a corrections officer, she pushed for more art programs and extended the Fairbanks Correctional Center’s book program. Reading was always important to Mrs. Teal.
Mrs. Teal was an audacious soul filled with stories and laughter. In 1993 she adopted her grandson Joseph James Martinez. She loved him dearly. She often said while people lived one life, she found herself in many because that’s what you do rather than give up, “Sometimes you have to start life over.” Sadly, her last son, Bryan Brinton was killed in 1994 when his truck ran over a mine in Bosnia. A photojournalist, he was photographing the effects of the war.
In 1997 Mrs. Teal moved from Kotzebue to Sitka. This was supposed to be a short-term move while her daughter Blossom attended Mt. Edgecumbe High School but she fell in love with the rainforest. This is where she raised her grandson.
During her life, Mrs. Teal touched many lives. She believed in tenacity and had true grit. She was an avid reader, a fluent speaker in German, French, Latin, Gwitch’n Athabascan, and Inupiaq.
Mrs. Teal believed in asking questions and held many intriguing conversations with anyone who wanted to talk or with anyone who was good at listening. Mrs. Teal believed in giving and the power of God’s love. Above all, she believed in a good walk.
Mrs. Elizabeth “Bette” Teal leaves behind her daughter Rosebud Sanchez (husband Johnny Sanchez) of Long Beaqch, California, and grandsons Joseph James Martinez of Sitka and Marcel Thiel, and Johntae Sanchez, of Long Beach; daughter Blossom Twitchell (fiancé Frederick Olsen Jr.), and grandson Allistair Twitchell, and granddaughters Teslin and Lucca Bea Twitchell, all of Sitka.
“Our Mother and Grandmother joined her beloved sons Jim, Dorian and Bryan Brinton; her loving husband Col. Wilmer Bryant Brinton; her mother Ethel and father Albert; her 12 siblings; and the faithful family dog Miki MacKenzie Teal,” her family said.
On behalf of Mrs. Teal, her family thanked the staff of SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital and Sitka EMS for providing exemplary medical service to her throughout the years.
A memorial service will be held 5 p.m. August 7 at St. Michael’s Russian Orthodox Church. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests letters be written to an inmate.



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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