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 Agnes Sampson Sawyer

Agnes Sampson Sawyer

   Agnes Sampson Sawyer, 93, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, on August 4, 2019, and embarked on her next adventure on a Sunday morning, her favorite day of the week.
She was born Feb. 14, 1926, in Princeton, New Jersey to Prof. Edward Sampson, and Alfreda Cope Lewis of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
She grew up in Princeton, N.J.,  and spent her summers with her grandparents along the shore of Somes Sound, Northeast Harbor, Maine, a long-standing family tradition until the mid 1970’s when she and Don moved permanently to Southwest Harbor, Maine. She graduated from Westover School in Middlebury, Connecticut, in 1944, and during her college years she spent a summer in the hills of Kentucky as part of the Frontier Nursing Service, which was a formative experience for her.
She attended Russell Sage College in Troy, New York, graduating in 1948 with a degree in Sociology. That Fall, she married Donald Lunn Appleby Sawyer and together they had five children. She worked as a nursery school teacher and Certified Nurse’s Aide.
The Episcopal Church was always an important part of her life and she was a long-time and well-loved member of Church of Our Father in Hulls Cove. She spent many years involved with a Christian Healing ministry.
Aggie was always on the move, taking a brisk walk into town most days, hiking the mountains of Mount Desert Island, skiing, sailing, tennis, camping, or working in the vegetable garden; you could even find her sledding down the hill with her grandchildren.
She was a kind and loving soul with a generous spirit and she was happiest when she was helping and nurturing others. Aggie made all feel welcome, and loved to express this with an invitation to tea at her cherished home, “May Place.” The tea  would occasionally be accompanied by Uncle Frank’s Gingerbread, a recipe she held close. She loved having her family about her; dinner with extended family often contained animated discussions, or drawn out tales of colorful forbears. One of her common complaints was that family would continue to talk long after her bedtime, yet she couldn’t bear to leave and possibly miss a good story or shared laughter.
Dogs were another big love and were constant companions in her life. She will be so happy to see Ferdy and Jemima again and her childhood terrier, Cary, who was known to occasionally bite the mailman. He is recorded to have survived the encounter(s).
At the age of 90, her love of adventure was as strong as ever when she moved to Sitka. In her final years, as communication became difficult, those around her, and even those meeting her for the first time, could feel her love and gentle spirit expressed through her eyes.
Aggie is survived by her four daughters, Karen O’Brien and her husband, Bill, of Austin, Texas, Copey McEntee and her husband, Thomas, of Leesburg, Virginia, Mim McConnell and her husband, Mike, of Sitka, and Anna Letaw and her husband, Jim, of Woodbine, Maryland.; son, Lunn Sawyer and his wife, Denise, of Southwest Harbor; and 12 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
A celebration of life will be held 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, at St. Peter’s By-the-Sea Epsicopal Church, with a reception following at the See House. In lieu of flowers, gifts in her memory may be made to St. Peter’s Outreach Committee, P.O. Box 1130, Sitka, AK 99835.



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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