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)

Julie Shearer

    Celebration of life for Julie Ann Shearer will be held 1 p.m. March 31, 2012, at the Salvation Army Church. A reception will follow.
    “As of March 25, 2012, Julie Ann Shearer, 37, lays in peace in the arms of God,” her family said. “Although she left us early, she touched many hearts with her smile and her heart of gold. Her family Levi, Mason, Dave and Scott are the true loves of her life. So many times she would say how blessed she was to have the best family in the world.”
    Julie Ann Shearer was born April 22, 1974, in Ketchikan to Sharon and Samuel Shearer. She attended Sitka High School. Having a child at a young age made Julie grow up fast, her family said.
    For many years she was a ward clerk in the Surgery Clinic at SEARHC, and she loved seeing the many people that her job offered. She solved many problems, most of them not hers, whether at work or in the family.
    Julie and David Thomas, her best friend and soulmate, started their lives together in 1997. They were engaged to be married; Dave said that he will love her forever.
    Special times included hiking with the three sons and Dave, and trips to Juneau for the Gold Medal Tournament.
    Julie enjoyed many things in life but above all she wanted nothing more than to please all the people around her, be it a friend or even a stranger.
    Spending time with her family, and the outdoors were things that Julie found fun and exciting.
    Julie is survived by her dad, Samuel Shearer, Seattle; her mom and stepfather, Sharon and Frank Joseph, Sitka; sisters Stacy Joseph and Kaari Joseph of Sitka and Skye Joseph, Wasilla; sons Levi Shearer, Mason Shearer and Scott Thomas, Sitka; and her best friend, soulmate and fiance Davis Thomas, Sitka.
    Also surviving are her uncles Harvey Kitka of Sitka and Claude Joseph of Hawaii; aunts Gina Kitka of Sitka and Lynn Joseph of Hawaii; nieces Josie Reeves and Zeylinn Joseph-McGraw, both of Sitka; and nephews Mackenzie Reeves, Fiery Littlefield and Robert Littlefield, of Sitka.
    She was preceded in death by grandparents Robert Shearer Sr., John and Mary Cooper and John ‘‘Buddy’’ Joseph Jr.
    “Anyone who had the opportunity to meet Julie found a true friend and a great person,” her family said. “She loved to live life and lived it to love the people who surrounded her. Words cannot express the void that was left from her departure.
    “We will miss you always, Julie. Love, your family and friends.”
    Cards or donations may be sent to: Levi Shearer, P.O. Box 900, Sitka, AK  99835.



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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