Gerald Fleming holds a seven-pound Kohlrabi, a type of wild cabbage, outside the Sentinel earlier this week. The master gardener, who has been growing super-sized vegetables outside his Dodge Circle house for decades, said this year also was especially good for growing turnips in Sitka.  (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Eleanor Maxson

A memorial service for Eleanor Maxson will be  held 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18, at the United Methodist Church, in honor of her life and solid spirit.
Eleanor’s life ended Jan. 11 at the Sitka Pioneeers Home, surrounded by her family.  She was 100 years old.
A retired school teacher, Eleanor had lived in Sitka since 1989.
She was born Aug. 1, 1911, in Kearney, Neb., the daughter of Thomas Jefferson Zike, a United Brethren minister, and Lora Lucinda Randolf.
Her mother died during the 1918 influenza epidemic when Eleanor was just 7. This required her to grow up quickly and assume a mothering role for her younger siblings.
Eleanor earned a teaching degree from York College in York, Neb.  There she met and married Theron Maxson from Walla Walla, Wash., in 1932.  They settled in Spokane, Wash., where she began her teaching career in a one-room school house teaching grades K-12.  Most of her students arrived to school each day by horseback or horse-drawn wagon.  The Maxsons had one daughter, Mary Anne.
In 1955 the Maxsons moved to Hastings, Neb., where Theron served as president of Hastings College. Eleanor assumed the role of “first lady” and spent much of her time hosting events and entertaining guests.
During this time they had the opportunity to travel internationally.  She often told stories of her travels through Europe, Egypt, Iran, Asia and the Far East.  The Maxsons  were passionate about visiting Third World countries and felt their mission was to promote education.  They were instrumental in the establishment of Payup University in Ching Mai, Thailand.
Known to those close to her as “Granny,” she was practical, kind, thoughtful, forgiving, tolerant and forward-thinking. She watched world news daily and read the local paper nightly, and was always aware of what was relevant at the moment.
She was an avid reader and spent countless hours reading to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  Granny loved to watch college and pro basketball and football, and knew most of the players by name.
Sitka residents may remember seeing a light blue 1968 International Scout driven by a little old lady, barely visible over the steering wheel, driving out Sawmill Creek Road with a yellow lab named Huck sitting shotgun.  Granny loved all animals and Huck was her best friend and protector during her later years.
Her greatest joys were her close knit family and their lake home on Deer Lake near Spokane, where she loved to skinny dip.
Gran moved into the Pioneers Home in June 2009.  She told family daily about the wonderful care she received there.  She was known by residents and caretakers for her kindness and gracious spirit.
She will forever be held in the hearts of her daughter, Mary Anne Maxson; her adopted daughter Duangporn Tengtrirat, Melbourne, Australia; her grandchildren, Kristi (Bill) Cotharp, Darcy (James) Michener of Sitka,  Marc (Maria) Brown, Seattle, and Mark (Michelle) Kaelke, Juneau; and great grandchildren, Ahna, Jess, Sophia and Emma.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Salvation Army.  There will also be a celebration of life ceremony at the Pioneers Home Chapel 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 1

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 8-13-20)

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 11:40 a.m. Thursday.

New cases as of Tuesday: 82

Total statewide – 3,963

Total (cumulative) deaths – 27

Active cases in Sitka – 22 (16 resident; 6 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 16 (12 resident; 4 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 166.

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. 




August 2000

This week Sitka hosts a reunion of two Sitka families who first met here in the late 1800s. Among those attending will be Bert Wilber,who was born on the SJ campus in 1899..... He is descended from Dr. Bertrand K. Wilbur, a missionary physician, who became friends with Rudolph Walton, a Tlingit man of the Kiksadi clan, who was born in 1867 and was one of the first students of the Sitka Industrial School.

August 1970

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