MASKED UP – Mt. Edgecumbe High School students receive prizes for their costumes this afternoon outside the school library. This year’s Halloween costume contest was held outdoors with everyone wearing masks in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Sitkans are trying to have a degree of normalcy while acting responsibly during the pandemic. Businesses are having Halloween-themed  sales over the weekend. Also, Sitka merchants will be hosting the downtown Trick-or-Treat event Saturday from 3 to 6 p.m. with everyone asked to observe social distancing recommendations. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Services Scheduled For Betty Jo Edenshaw, 58

Betty Jo Edenshaw

Betty Jo Edenshaw journeyed to the other shore on Sept. 19, 2020, in Sitka, Alaska. She was 58. Her Tlingit name was Daas.oox, of the Sitka L’uknax.ádi (Coho) clan from Kayaashka Hít, the Mother Coho House on Katlian Street. Betty was loved dearly by her partner, Robert Nielsen, a large family, and many friends. 

Cultural services will be at 314 Katlian Street, Kayaashka Hít, the Mother Coho House at 4 p.m. Sunday, October 4. Funeral services are scheduled 1 p.m. on Monday, October 5, at St. Michael’s Russian Orthodox Cathedral.

Pallbearers are Carl Lindstrom Jr., Krynn Von Sheerschmidt, Marty Dundas Jr., Robert Breece, Darrel D.A. Austin, Alex Johnson-Rice, Douglas Johnson, and Kenneth K.L. Nielsen.

Honorary pallbearers are Jim Button, Patrick Wicken, Robert Kirkman, Stan Filler Sr., Lu Primacio, Donny Garrity, John Howard, Julene Howard, Margaret Carlson, Marla Kitka, Ray Kitka, Lillian Fred, Michael Mick Lang, Bert Worrell and Gilbert Sam Jr.

Betty Jo was born at Mt. Edgecumbe/Sitka hospital on November 8, 1961, to John C. Willett and Katherine (Maberry) Willett. She was raised on Katlian Street, and she was a Sitka High School alumna of the class of 1980. She also lived and worked in Juneau, Hoonah, Ketchikan, Wisconsin, at a logging camp, and other places, making many friends along the way.

Betty Jo was very well known for her talented artwork, and her drawings were out of this world. Family and friends were always happy receiving a blanket or hat when she was on a crochet kick! She shared countless memories of picking berries—diving right in there and picking many—but how many berries ended up in the bucket was a good family chuckle. She also enjoyed fishing with Robert around Sitka’s waters. Her far-away family will miss her mailed birthday cards.

Betty was an avid Seattle Seahawks football fan and enjoyed John Mellencamp music and her game shows –  Let’s Make a Deal, The Price is Right, Family Feud, Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. Her news favorite was David Muir News. She played poker, did crossword puzzles, and was hard to beat at Scrabble.

In her younger years she was a Sitka Softball League player for Howey’s Nuggets and the Kiksadi Club women’s teams, and she played Sitka High School volleyball. She was a life member of the Women of the Moose, a member of the Elks Emblem Club, and American Legion Auxiliary, and was an active Greater Sitka Pool League player—she was among 2019s Top 5 Sitka Women Shooters.

Her most recent work included being a hotel housekeeper at Sitka Hotel and Aspen Hotel. She also drove bus for The Ride and drove taxi in Sitka.

Her cancer fight was a battle she was winning. A fire at her home ended her time with us.

Betty is survived by her loving partner Robert Nielsen, and her daughter Katie Thomas (Marty Dundas Jr.) of Peoria, Illinois. Her grandchildren are Troy Petrey of Sitka; Drew, Kyler, and Kristina Petrey of Peoria; and Makia Silva of Angoon.

She also is survived by siblings: Henry Sam Sr. of Anchorage; Lillian Marie Saldivar (Henry) of Juneau; Cathy Lindoff of Hoonah; Troy Cantrell (Cat) of Pineville, Louisiana; Lorrie Sommers of Fitchburg, Wisconsin; Tommy Maberry of Columbus, Nebraska; Sharon Kelly of Indianapolis, Indiana; Stacy Maberry (Kathy) of Indianapolis, Indiana; and Faleene Worrell (Bert) of Longview, Texas; and a large extended and loving family, and many friends who will always remember her happy smile, warm hugs, and caring nature.

She had a special place in her heart for her Clan Leader Uncle Herman Davis Sr.; Robert Kirkman, Lu Primacio, Margaret Peterson, Marla Kitka and Stan Filler Sr. She will be missed by many.

She was preceded in death by her parents, John C. Willett and Katherine (Willett) Maberry; stepfather Herman Maberry; Aunt Betty Garrity; brothers John Koshman Willett, Gilbert Sam Sr. and Richard Sam; sister Carol Breece; and niece Manda Johnson.


Robert, Katie, and the family appreciate all prayers, thoughts, and support. Donations from those unable to attend are being graciously received by Kathy Thomas, 2898 Sawmill Creek Road Apt C, Sitka, AK 99835; (738-9862); VenMo: @Kathy-Thomas-173; PayPal: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Many family members are sadly unable to attend services due to COVID-19. Gunalchéesh.

August 5, 2020

A Note To Our Readers

Reopening: Phase One:


On March 30 the Daily Sitka Sentinel began taking precautions against the coronavirus, which was starting to show up in Alaska.

We closed our building to the public and four key employees started working remotely. Home delivery was suspended to protect our carriers from exposure to the virus.

Four months later, the virus is still with us and the precautions remain in effect.

In appreciation for the willingness of our subscribers to pick up their daily paper at drop-off sites, the Sentinel was free to all readers, and subscriptions were extended without charge.

As of August 1 the Sentinel is once again charging for subscriptions, but the present method of having subscribers pick up their papers at designated sites will continue.

The expiration date of all subscriptions has been extended without charge for an additional four months.

We thank our readers for their support in these uncertain times, and especially those who paid for the paper despite the free offer.

We look forward to the time when we can safely resume home delivery.

To check on the expiration of your subscription or to make a payment please call 747-3219. The subscription email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . We also will be mailing out reminder cards.

The single copy price is again 75 cents. The news racks do not require coins to open, but we ask that the 75 cents for a non-subscription single copy sale be paid with coins in the slot.

– The Sitka Sentinel Staff


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Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 10-30-20)

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 9:40 a.m. Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 380

Total statewide – 14,837

Total (cumulative) deaths – 81

Active cases in Sitka – 17 (14 resident; 3 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 62 (49 resident; 13 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 430.

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.

* These numbers reflect State of Alaska data. Local cases may not immediately appear on DHSS site, or are reported on patient’s town of residence rather than Sitka’s statistics. 




October 2000

Photo caption: Their Halloweeen party over, Sitka Tribe of Alaska staff members and their families turn heads as they stroll down Katlian Street Friday. Several Halloween events were held over the weekend. This afternoon kids were invited downtown to trick or treat at businesses; and tonight parties and more trick or treating expeditions will bring out more ... whatever.

October 1970

The only method through which the United States will adopt a 200-mile limit for its contiguous fishing zone is by a change in international law which would require consent of two-thirds of the nations at an international conference, the assistant Secretary of State for Fisheries and Wildlife told fishermen in Sitka.