SMILE! – The Pacific High School graduating class poses outside Harrigan Centennial Hall Saturday afternoon prior to their commencement ceremony. Because of COVID-19 concerns the ceremony was not open to the public. Pictured are Eric Alvarado,Chelsea Taylor, Madison Roy-Mercer, Lindsey Bartolaba, Melissa Gibson, Douglas Johnson, Korbin Tugmon, George Stevenson, Jayvan Iya-Kowchee and Elizabeth Newell. Sitka High School will hold its graduation ceremony Monday, May 24. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Ruby (Howard) Lanham Dies in Idaho at Age 65

Ruby (Howard) Lanham

A service for Ruby Lanham, born and raised in Sitka, will be held at the Caldwell Church of Christ in Caldwell, Idaho, at 11 a.m. on Nov. 30, 2019.
Ruby passed peacefully in her sleep in the home she shared with her love of 44 years, Dennis, at her side, on Nov. 18. Dennis and their son were there to say goodbye. She was 65.
Ruby was born August 31, 1954, the daughter of Helen (Liberty) and George Howard. She was Alaska Native, of Tlingit descent, of the Kaagwaantaan (Wolf) clan and Eagle tribe.
 Ruby was the youngest of 17 children. She attended local schools in Sitka and then married Dennis Lanham August 9, 1975, while Dennis was active duty Coast Guard. They were stationed in California for a year and returned to Sitka to call it home.
In May 1981 they welcomed their one and only child, Dennis Lanham. Ruby went on to work in the kitchen at Sheldon Jackson College and SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital, where she worked as a CNA.
In September 2007, Dennis and Ruby retired to Sequim, Washington, where they built their home. There Ruby tested and passed the State exam to be a licensed Nail Tech.
Dennis and Ruby then decided to move to Caldwell to live closer to their son and grandchildren. Ruby had deep Faith and talked about how lucky they were that Dennis selected Caldwell Church of Christ for them to join. She loved attending family functions, dinners and parties. She kept all of the family close in communication, sharing needed prayers and general love.
Ruby was also an active member of the Elks Lodge and Moose Lodge, and loved the Seahawks, dancing and karaoke. Among her and Dennis’ other pleasures was riding their motorcycles.
Words cannot express the love that Ruby had for so many. “She had a gift for making you feel special/loved and important ... she was a shining example of love,” her family said. “Her heart was beautiful, she welcomed you with a smile and a hug each time you saw her; you could see the genuine person she was in everything she did. This sudden loss is indescribable for all of her family.”
Ruby is survived by her husband, Dennis, son Dennis (Stephanie Sandidge); two beautiful grandchildren,  Kyle and Laneva; her sisters Shirley Howard of Sitka, Diane Howard of Seattle and Georgina Lundy of Bremerton, Washington; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Ruby was preceded in death by her parents, George and Helen Howard, and 14 siblings, most recently Glenn, Louis, Marlene, Roger and George Howard. 
All are welcomed to the spreading of Ruby’s and her brother Glenn’s ashes August 2020 in Naquasena Bay. Glenn passed just five months before Ruby.
Family and friends will be having a celebration of life in Sitka, with the date to be announced soon.


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 5-17-21)

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 12:45 p.m. Monday.

New cases as of Sunday: 50

Total statewide – 66,814

Total (cumulative) deaths – 358

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 1,542

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. Friday.

Active cases in Sitka – 7

Hospitalizations (cumulative) in Sitka – 5

Cumulative Sitka cases – 372 (325 resident; 46 non-resident)

Cumulative recovered – 364

Deceased (cumulative) – 1

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

• • •


Sitka Vax Stats 

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

Partially vaccinated – 4,978 (71.64%)

Fully vaccinated – 4,612 (66.37%)

Total population (16+) –6,949

Sitka has vaccinated (with at least one dose) 1,245 (84.24%) 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:





May 2001

Sitka High boys track team ran to a 2nd-place finish in Juneau while the girls finished fourth. Sitka long-jumper Derek Hirai leapt 19’9.5” for the 2nd highest jump in the state this year. ... Others doing well were Thor Hartwig, Matt Mangini, Damien LaMar, Jeff Loiselle, Logan Wild, Elgin Hollins, Brian Friske, Brian Mork, Mike Bagley, Cody Campbell ....

May 1971

New Loyal Order of Moose officers, installed Saturday, are Earl Arnold, Grant Laiblin Jr., James Gardner, William Wakefield Jr., Eddielee Hodnett, Basil Riley, Lloyd Van Doren, James Firestone Sr. and Lynden Kincaid.