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)





Services Scheduled For Agnes Sampson Sawyer

Agnes Sampson Sawyer

   Agnes Sampson Sawyer, 93, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, on August 4, 2019, and embarked on her next adventure on a Sunday morning, her favorite day of the week.
She was born Feb. 14, 1926, in Princeton, New Jersey to Prof. Edward Sampson, and Alfreda Cope Lewis of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
She grew up in Princeton, N.J.,  and spent her summers with her grandparents along the shore of Somes Sound, Northeast Harbor, Maine, a long-standing family tradition until the mid 1970’s when she and Don moved permanently to Southwest Harbor, Maine. She graduated from Westover School in Middlebury, Connecticut, in 1944, and during her college years she spent a summer in the hills of Kentucky as part of the Frontier Nursing Service, which was a formative experience for her.
She attended Russell Sage College in Troy, New York, graduating in 1948 with a degree in Sociology. That Fall, she married Donald Lunn Appleby Sawyer and together they had five children. She worked as a nursery school teacher and Certified Nurse’s Aide.
The Episcopal Church was always an important part of her life and she was a long-time and well-loved member of Church of Our Father in Hulls Cove. She spent many years involved with a Christian Healing ministry.
Aggie was always on the move, taking a brisk walk into town most days, hiking the mountains of Mount Desert Island, skiing, sailing, tennis, camping, or working in the vegetable garden; you could even find her sledding down the hill with her grandchildren.
She was a kind and loving soul with a generous spirit and she was happiest when she was helping and nurturing others. Aggie made all feel welcome, and loved to express this with an invitation to tea at her cherished home, “May Place.” The tea  would occasionally be accompanied by Uncle Frank’s Gingerbread, a recipe she held close. She loved having her family about her; dinner with extended family often contained animated discussions, or drawn out tales of colorful forbears. One of her common complaints was that family would continue to talk long after her bedtime, yet she couldn’t bear to leave and possibly miss a good story or shared laughter.
Dogs were another big love and were constant companions in her life. She will be so happy to see Ferdy and Jemima again and her childhood terrier, Cary, who was known to occasionally bite the mailman. He is recorded to have survived the encounter(s).
At the age of 90, her love of adventure was as strong as ever when she moved to Sitka. In her final years, as communication became difficult, those around her, and even those meeting her for the first time, could feel her love and gentle spirit expressed through her eyes.
Aggie is survived by her four daughters, Karen O’Brien and her husband, Bill, of Austin, Texas, Copey McEntee and her husband, Thomas, of Leesburg, Virginia, Mim McConnell and her husband, Mike, of Sitka, and Anna Letaw and her husband, Jim, of Woodbine, Maryland.; son, Lunn Sawyer and his wife, Denise, of Southwest Harbor; and 12 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
A celebration of life will be held 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, at St. Peter’s By-the-Sea Epsicopal Church, with a reception following at the See House. In lieu of flowers, gifts in her memory may be made to St. Peter’s Outreach Committee, P.O. Box 1130, 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.