OPEN AIR CONCERT – From left, musicians Ross Venneberg, Brian Neal, Wade Demmert and Roger Schmidt perform an outdoor brass concert for residents of the Pioneers Home Monday. The professional musicians, who are hunkered down in Sitka, are regulars at the annual Holiday Brass Concert. The Pioneers Home has been closed to visitors during the pandemic. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Wayne Young

Wayne arrived in Sitka 9/15/1959 to help with the mill start up. He was only 22 years old. He was born and raised in Everett, Washington.

After two weeks of solid sunshine, he fell in love with Sitka, and decided to make Sitka his home. He would always joke and say, “ then the real weather returned.”

Upon moving to Sitka, Wayne developed many years of strong bonded friendships with Bob Schell, Jerry Strelow, Alan Dill, Mike Hornaman, Oren Flolo, and many others, many who had all moved to Sitka in their early twenties starting their careers.

Wayne worked as a statistical director at the mill, and was employed until the mill closed in 1993, where he worked with his loyal side kick, Bonnie Richards for twenty plus years in the technical department.

After the ALPS Mill closed in 1993, Wayne worked as the local bailiff at the Sitka Court for seven years. He and his wife Nancy became process servers in 1999, and did this for seven years. Wayne did not enjoy serving people, but tried to say a kind word and treat people with dignity.

You would always find these group of guys having their weekends filled with fishing, hunting trips, snow mobiles, motorcycles, reloading, shooting, cooking parties in the kitchen, or “meetings” in the shed. 

Wayne was famous for giving people nicknames (whether you wanted it or not), and had his own sayings, that would bring a smile to everyone. We always meant to write the Wayne Young dictionary of words and songs. He was known for his wonderful sense of humor, and was famous for his remarkable pranks.

Wayne had a special knack for connecting with people of all ages. His children’s friends all loved him, and his house was always a place you find the young crowd gathering. Even during his final days at the house, many of his visitors where the younger guys who had just come to love/admire him. With the loss of his son, Tom, in 2004, it meant the world to Wayne how many of them continued their friendship with him.

Wayne also worked as an assistant guide/cook for his father in law, Ben Forbes, over the years, as needed on trips. Later in life, Wayne would say the only thing that he could shoot an animal with was a camera.

Nancy and Wayne have a houseful of animals. One of his biggest hardships during his struggle with cancer, was having to live in Washington during his treatments. He missed his animals, and also his two loving grandsons, Wayne and Jason Young.

He was extremely blessed with childhood friends where he grew up in Everett, Washington that opened their home during the last two years while he had months of treatment in Washington State. Marty and Ray we can’t thank you enough!

Wayne loved trading. His favorite saying, “ Bring your colored beads and glass”. Wayne’s specialty was mostly guns, as he collected them and was highly knowledgeable on the subject, but to sweeten the deal it could include cameras, pictures , computers, cars…amongst other surprises.

As we would say, he was one of the last of the good guys. He fought a hard battle with dignity and the gentleman that he always was. We will miss him dearly. 

Wayne was truly grateful to spend his last month at home which was only possible through the Home Health Agency and Dr Baciocco.




Nancy Young (wife) Sitka

Melinda Young (daughter) Alan Abdill (partner) Maui, Hawaii

Tom Young (son) deceased , Leslie (wife) Wayne & Jason Young (grandsons), Sitka

Randy Marx, (stepson) Wasilla, Alaska, Savannah (daughter)

Anne Haggerty, (stepdaughter), Brian Haggerty (husband) Villa Hills, KY

Katie Unkraut, Jennifer Haggerty, Ben Haggerty (grandchildren), Villa Hills KY

Margo Young (David) brother’s wife, Everett, WA

Vickie Goverde (niece), Everett, WA

Jayne Puckett (niece), Everett, WA

David Young (nephew), Everett, WA

Mary Whitcomb (favorite mother-in-law), Sitka

Bruce and Betty Joe Whitcomb (brother and sister-in-law), Sitka

Joel Whitcomb (nephew), Sitka, Vivian (wife) Destiny (daughter) ORE 

Kelly Whitcomb Tincher (niece) Cliff Tincher (husband) Shane (son), Sitka

Loving animals: Buddy, Jenner, Kitkat, & Scharnhorst (Sugarbabe).



Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 7-7-20)

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 11:15 p.m. Tuesday.

New cases as of Sunday: 19

Total statewide – 1,184

Total (cumulative) deaths – 17

Active cases in Sitka – 8 (3 resident; 5 non-resident)

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

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 78.

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 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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