Bobbie Lee Whitson, 92, Passes Away in Arizona

Bobbie Lee (Allen) Whitson


Bobbie Lee (Allen) Whitson,  92, formerly of Sitka, passed away Tuesday morning, July 6, 2021, surrounded by her loving family.

She was born Oct. 9, 1928, the youngest of four children born to Oscar Allen and Edna Stone Allen, on a “Sheep Ranch” in Colcord, Oklahoma. Unfortunately, only three months after giving birth to Bobbie, her mother passed away due to complications from pneumonia. Bobbie couldn’t handle cow’s milk, and the family thought they might lose her too, but her Uncle John came up with the brilliant idea to give her goat’s milk, and the baby survived to live almost 93 years.

She graduated from Jay High School in Jay, Oklahoma, and on November 26, 1947, Bobbie married Joe Raleigh Whitson, a handsome man with a big laugh and a tremendous sense of humor.

Bobbie, Joe, and their five children laughed and loved from Oklahoma to Wyoming to Oregon before settling in Sitka in September 1967. She co-owned a fabric store, and later was the crafts manager at Ben Franklin until she retired in 2012.

She was a member of Women of the Moose and the Emblem Club. She also commercially fished with her husband Joe for many years on their boat the Sea Trek.

After decades raising their family here, Bobbie and Joe are still remembered as a couple who loved their friends, took solace on the water and in the natural beauty of Alaska and, above all else, for loving their family.

Bobbie’s life was full of joy, but not without loss as well. Bobbie lost her husband Joe in 1999, and her youngest son, Duane, in 2005. These were hard blows to her, but Bobbie dedicated herself to spending time with the family she had left in this world, particularly with her “Grands.”

In her retirement, she moved to Burlington, Washington, where she was part of Quilters by the River, and traveled with her family members’ “Geezers on Wheels” RV caravan to visit her extended family, and to experience the beauty of America. She came to enjoy the warmth and desert beauty of Yuma, Arizona, and relocated there in 2019 with her daughter Jodi. She joined the Freedom Baptist Church, and reveled in having lots of family and friends visit during the winter months, where they entertained each other with remembered stories of their lives together.

Bobbie was an avid quilter, and she made it a family tradition to have a quilt ready for every family event. She spearheaded the creation of dozens of quilts for the many marriages, births, graduations, and other important milestones for her very extensive family. Now Bobbie, together again with her husband Joe, and son Duane, is making quilts out of starlight and dreams.

Bobbie was preceded in death by her parents Oscar and Edna, stepmother Lottie, brothers Richard Allen and Otis Allen, sisters Doris Weygand, Loneta Asher, Beatrice Enlow, husband Joe Whitson, and son Duane Whitson and son-in-law Joe Mettler.

Bobbie is survived by her sisters, Ethel Krier, Lorene Reece, Elnora Burton and Patricia Bingham; daughters Jodi Mettler and Kay (John) Harrison; sons Rick Whitson (Shelly) and Danny Whitson (Julene Howard); daughter-in-law Kelley Whitson; 19 grandchildren; 34 great-grandchildren; and five great-great-grandchildren.


Services will be held August 21 at Valley Baptist Church in Sedro-Woolley, Washington.

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At a Glance

(updated 9-12-2023)

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 8:57 a.m. Tuesday, September 12.

New cases as of Tuesday: 278

Total cases (cumulative) statewide – 301,513

Total (cumulative) deaths – 1,485

Case Rate per 100,000 – 38.14

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

COVID in Sitka

The Sitka community level is now "Low.'' Case statistics are as of Tuesday.

Case Rate/100,000 – 152.50

Cases in last 7 days – 13

Cumulative Sitka cases – 3,575

Deceased (cumulative) – 10

The local case data are from Alaska DHSS.






March 2004

Photo caption: Fire engines and ambulances shine in the sun outside the new fire hall Saturday during an open house. Hundreds turned out to look over the $4 million facility, which is twice the size of the building it replaced. It features a state-of-the-art exhaust system and much larger offices and a large training room.


March 1974

The Sheldon Jackson Museum will have a special showing of replicas of ancient Tlingit hunting weapons. The replicas were made by A. P. Johnson, a Tlingit  culture instructor and metal arts teacher at SJC.


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