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)

Donald F. Ulrich

Donald Franklin Ulrich, who was born in Sitka Aug. 10, 1919, will be laid to rest 2 p.m. Sept. 26 at Sitka National Cemetery.
    He died Aug. 29, 2012, in the Veterans Home in Yountville, Calif., where he had been living since September 2006.
    Don’s father was Franklin P. Ulrich, who had arrived in Sitka to take charge of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey observatory in 1917, and his mother was Lois “Mimi” (Senn) Ulrich. He had four sisters, Virginia (Jiggs) Deaton, Doris Grundy, Elizabeth Teaster and Mary Ann Rabern; and two brothers, Robert and Richard “Bud” Ulrich.
Don attended school in Sitka, high school in Burlingame and San Mateo, Calif.; and junior college in San Mateo and Utah State University.
World War II was about to begin,  and Don enlisted in the U.S. Navy.  He rose through the ranks and ended his active career as a lieutenant commander. When he was serving aboard the USS Ulvert M. Moore, his commander was Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr.  When President Roosevelt died, Don was given the sad duty of waking his commander and giving him the news of his father’s passing.
One of the highlights of Don’s service was meeting Eleanor Roosevelt.
When Don returned home to California, he met and married Virginia Ovenshire.  They had three sons, Robert, Larry and Chris, and one daughter, Donna.  Don and Virginia made their home in Castro Valley, Calif., where Don was an insurance broker.  He became a partner in Adams and Ulrich Insurance Agency, and retired in 1976.  Don then moved to Anderson, Calif., where he lived until moving to Yountville.  He was extremely grateful for the excellent care he received at the Veterans Home during the last years of his life, his family said.
    Don’s favorite pastimes were smoking his pipe and fishing.  He fished in as many lakes, streams and rivers (and occasionally an ocean) as time allowed.
    He loved Alaska, and got to make a return trip to Sitka in 2008, with his son Robert and daughter-in-law Lenda.  During that visit, he was presented with a Certificate of Welcome by the city Assembly.  Members also honored him as a World War II hero, which he so richly deserved.  Robert and Lenda expressed a big “thank you” to all the Sitka people who made Don’s trip so pleasurable, in particular Sitka Historical Society director Bob Medinger and Jim Case, who took Don through the Sitka Historical Society Museum, the Sitka Pioneers Home and the “White House,” at Seward and  American streets, where Don’s family had lived.
Don was predeceased by his parents; his sisters and brothers; and his son, Chris Ulrich.  He is survived by his sons Robert (Lenda) Ulrich of Sparks, Nev., and Larry (Donna) Ulrich of Trinidad, Calif.; and his daughter Donna (Jim, deceased) Toles of Cobb, Calif.  He is also survived by four grandchildren, Tyler Ulrich of Reno, Nev., Karrie (Chris) Tackett of Sparks, and Jessica and Hunter Toles, both of Cobb.  Don is also survived by many nieces and nephews.



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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