Whitey Risteen, Former Sitkan, Dies in Arizona

Francis Albert “Whitey” Risteen

Former Sitkan Francis Albert “Whitey” Risteen passed away peacefully at his home in Yuma, Arizona, on November 15. He was 89.

He was born December 4, 1933, in Avery, Idaho, to Clarence and Helen Risteen. He graduated from Potlatch High School and went to work as a logger in Avery.

He married Donna Schwartzman in 1954 in Potlatch, Idaho, and they moved to Sitka in 1964 where Whitey went to work at Alaska Lumber and Pulp Co., eventually working his way up to welding foreman.

He lived life to the fullest in Sitka, working, fishing and hunting in Sitka and Tok. He coached Little League and was a founder of the Sitka Sportsman’s Little League team. 

He liked boating and picnics with family and many friends, enjoying Alaska’s beauty and people.  He played Santa for Santa’s Helpers and had a boat in the Christmas boat parade, and was a lifelong member of the Moose Lodge.

Whitey was preceded in death by his first wife, Donna, and his son Scott Anthony Risteen.

He is survived by his wife Darlene; son Rick Risteen (Rayna); daughter Cleo A. Boatwright; granddaughters Lisa Matthai and Stacey Lekberg; grandsons Joel, Wade and Toby Risteen; and many great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

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July 2004
Photo caption: Junior League All Stars will compete in a tournament in Wrangell. From left are Bryn Calhoun, Chris Scott, Sean O’Neill, Ross Venneberg, Caleb McGraw, Richard Carlos, Jacob Houston, Coby McCarty, Bryan Lovett and Daniel Erickson.


July 1974

Photo caption: Volunteers leave the Yaw Building Library with loads of books being transferred to the new Orin and Betty Stratton Library on the Sheldon Jackson campus. SJC librarian Evelyn Bonner expressed appreciation to the community for the help.


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