SUMMER FLING – Erika Youngberg and one-year-old son Axel enjoy the light surf at Sandy Beach Saturday as temperatures climbed to 68 degrees under clear skies. The Youngbergs were among some 100 people sunbathing, splashing and swimming to deeper water before the weather turned to showers as was forecast for Sunday. (Sentinel Photo by Reber Stein)





William McNally Dies; Former Sitkan was 72

William McNally

William Floyd McNally was born Feb. 13, 1947, during a raging snowstorm. His dad, Harold McNally, had to drive his mom, Marguerite, to the small hospital in Yale, Michigan, following behind a snowplow.
He was raised on the family dairy farm in Brown City, Michigan. He went home to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the early morning hours of July 5, 2019.
Bill attended schools in Brown City and later went on to Mott Community College and then Michigan State University, where he graduated with his B.S. degree, He was in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts and played on the high school football team. He was also in the band, and the school was so small he was asked to play football and then be in the band during half time. He made the choice of playing football.
After Bill graduated from Michigan State in 1969, he became a conservation officer for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. After eight years, Bill left Michigan and headed for his new job in Alaska working for the National Marine Fisheries Service as a Special Agent and then as the supervisor of the Sitka office. He retired from NMFS in 2002, after 24 years of service.
In 1985, on a blind date, Bill met the love of his life, Mary Jo, who had just moved to Sitka from Minnesota. He always said, ‘‘Thank God for imports!’’ After he retired from NMFS, they opened Fly Away Fly Shop in downtown Sitka. There they never worked harder nor loved what they did more. Countless friendships were made throughout their business-owning years, friendships that are deep and meaningful even today. Bill could teach someone to fly-cast in only hours – he was a great teacher!
After closing the fly shop in 2009, they began their travels. They left in the fall of 2010 for their first winter ‘‘down south.’’ Every year after, they made their way south, visiting friends and family from Washington State to Key West. They loved driving the roads of America after living for 40 years with only 15 miles of road in Sitka.
Bill loved Sitka Young Life and was devoted to making cinnamon rolls for the Friday morning boys’ group. He loved his friends and his church family and was always willing to help them and strangers alike. He had a hearty laugh and was bigger than life itself. He was caring and giving and always concerned about others more than himself.
In 2017, Bill and Mary Jo said their good-byes to Sitka and headed to Post Falls, Idaho, where they established their new home and life. They had many plans to fish the rivers and lakes of Northern Idaho and Western Montana, but illness and poor and failing health never allowed those dreams to come true. He got sick only three weeks after they moved into their new home and he fought a valiant battle for a long 17 months, believing he was going to once again be strong and healthy enough to fulfill those dreams. Sadly, that didn’t happen, and he passed away peacefully at home on July 5 with Mary Jo by his side.
Bill is survived by his wife Mary Jo, his sister and brother-in-law Kathy and Jim Num, and mother-in-law Sue Linder, all of Post Falls, Idaho; ‘‘adopted children’’ Jeff and Jakala Bowling and their two children Jeffrey  and Jackson of Spokane, Washington; Tim and Bree Davis and their two children Morgan and Jacob of Waverly, Georgia; Michele (Stephenson) and Jason Warren and son Aidan of Cary, North Carolina; brother and sister-in-law Charlie and Lori Aldean of Woodbury, Minnesota; and nieces and nephews Jacob and Sarah Aldean and their three children; Chuck and Emily Aldean and their two children; and Carla and Dan Cheng and their three children.
A memorial service will be held at Grace Harbor Church on Sunday, August 25, at 4 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Sitka Young Life, P.O. Box 2046, Sitka, AK 99835.

August 5, 2020

A Note To Our Readers

Reopening: Phase One:


On March 30, 2020, the Daily Sitka Sentinel began taking precautions against the coronavirus, which was starting to show up in Alaska.

We closed our building to the public and four key employees started working remotely. Home delivery was suspended to protect our carriers from exposure to the virus.

Four months later, the virus is still with us and the precautions remain in effect.

In appreciation for the willingness of our subscribers to pick up their daily paper at drop-off sites, the Sentinel was free to all readers, and subscriptions were extended without charge.

As of August 1 the Sentinel is once again charging for subscriptions, but the present method of having subscribers pick up their papers at designated sites will continue.

The expiration date of all subscriptions has been extended without charge for an additional four months.

We thank our readers for their support in these uncertain times, and especially those who paid for the paper despite the free offer.

We look forward to the time when we can safely resume home delivery.

To check on the expiration of your subscription or to make a payment please call 747-3219. The subscription email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . We also will be mailing out reminder cards.

The single copy price is again 75 cents. The news racks do not require coins to open, but we ask that the 75 cents for a non-subscription single copy sale be paid with coins in the slot.

– The Sitka Sentinel Staff


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Alaska COVID-19 
At a Glance

(updated 6-21-21)

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 12:21 p.m. Monday.

New cases as of Sunday: 13

Total statewide – 68,112

Total (cumulative) deaths – 366

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 1,602

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

The City of Sitka posted the following update on COVID-19 cases in Sitka as of 5 p.m. Sunday.

Active cases in Sitka – 4

Hospitalizations (cumulative) in Sitka – 6

Cumulative Sitka cases – 390 (341 resident; 49 non-resident)

Cumulative recovered – 386

Deceased (cumulative) – 1

The local case data are from the City of Sitka website.

• • •


Sitka Vax Stats 

The State of Alaska DHSS reported Friday the following statistics on vaccinations for Sitka.

Partially vaccinated – 5,340 (72%)

Fully vaccinated – 4,967 (67%)

Total population (12+) – 7,385

Sitka has vaccinated fully vaccinated 77 percent of its senior population (1,478 total), age 65 and older. 

Vaccination data for the City and Borough of Sitka can be found online at:





June 2001

Sitka police and federal authorities are investigating a report three counterfeit $100 bills were passed at a Sitka jewelry store. “It’s difficult to solve it, if you don’t get a good description of them, especially if they are transient or tourists.” said SPD Lt. John Bocza.

June 1971

Photo caption: David Bruce, 10, caught this 64-pound king salmon Saturday fishing with his grandfather, Philip “Peewee” James near Olga Strait. The big fish was 46 inches long with a girth of 32 inches. David and his grandparents live at Mt. Edgecumbe.