Sitka Tribe of Alaska’s office building on the corner of  Siginaka Way and Katlian Street is pictured Tuesday. The building’s HVAC system was replaced using Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding. The Supreme Court recently ruled that Alaska Native corporations are also eligible for CARES Act funding. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Lorraine Thompson Dies; Well-Known in Fisheries

Lorraine Rude Thompson
January 24, 1923 - January 6, 2020

Lorraine Thompson, who with her husband Tommy was well-known in Southeast fisheries for many years, passed away January 6 in Petersburg. She was 96.
Graveside services were held in Petersburg, and a service will be planned in the spring.
Constance Lorraine Rude, born January 24, 1923, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was the daughter of J.O. and Amy Brekke Rude.
After earning his degree, Doc Rude moved his young family to Ketchikan to practice medicine. However, when his Norwegian language skills were discovered he was asked to move to Petersburg in 1928, which he did.
Doc Rude and Amy took their four kids on many adventures aboard their Chriscraft, driving as far away as Telegraph Creek, and Lorraine developed a deep appreciation for all that nature had to offer. After a childhood spent exploring the forests and waterways surrounding her Petersburg home, she returned to Minnesota to earn her biology degree at St. Olaf College. After graduation she returned home to Petersburg to teach during the war years.
At the end of World War II, Lorraine’s childhood sweetheart, Tommy Thompson, returned from serving in the Aleutians and the two were married on September 10, 1945. Five years later Harold was born and Lorraine dedicated herself to motherhood. She went on to have Mark, Amy Jo, Grechen and Thomas. Lorraine was the consummate mother, a member of the PTA, and always up for a picnic, an outing to ice skate, hike or pick berries.
Raised in the Lutheran Church, Lorraine continued to be a very active member of both the Petersburg and Sitka Lutheran Churches. She enjoyed teaching Sunday school and singing in the choir, baked countless pies and oversaw many a youth group activity.
Her husband Tom was busy working at Petersburg Cold Storage and later PFI, so during the summer months Lorraine packed provisions into backpacks, put the kids in waders and headed out for weeks at a time to their small cabin on the south side of Blind Slough. Her niece Kay Cisney (Bennett) spent many summers helping her beloved Aunt Lorraine to care for her younger cousins. Lolo passed her love of the natural world on to her children and never lost the thrill of seeing a beautiful sunset, a soaring eagle, birds and flowers, rocks and shells.
In 1981 Tom and Lorraine moved to Sitka to run Sitka Sound Seafoods as a family business. Lorraine manned the front desk with clippers at the ready for fishermen who needed a haircut. It was a wonderful era full of hard work and lots of fun making the fleet feel a part of the family.
After retiring, the Thompsons enjoyed traveling with friends and family. Tom passed away preparing his boat for an outing in November 1997, and Lorraine stayed on in Sitka surrounded by family until her move back to Petersburg to The Mountain View Manor in October 2011, where sons Tommy and Harold visited her every day.
Lorraine is survived by her sister Audrey Gilbert of Annapolis, Maryland; her five children (Harold, Mark, Amy Jo, Grechen and Thomas); eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
The  grandchildren, their spouses and children are Daniel and Jessica Stockel and son Cameron; Kaari and Greg Berry and sons Hudson and Mason; Brooke and Tim Chartier and daughter Loraine; Kirsten Stockel; Ky Stockel; Anna Thompson; Soren Thompson; and Kate Thompson.
Lorraine was treasured all of her life for her strength, her open heart, her quick wit, and her genuine kindness. She will be missed.

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 8-4-21)

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 11:27 a.m. Wednesday.

New cases as of Tuesday: 323

Total statewide – 72,584

Total (cumulative) deaths – 385

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 1,738

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 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Active cases in Sitka – 123

Hospitalizations (cumulative) in Sitka – 37

Cumulative Sitka cases – 873 (797 resident; 76 non-resident)

Cumulative recovered – 748

Deceased (cumulative) – 2

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

• • •


Sitka Vax Stats 

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

Partially vaccinated – 5,682 (77%)

Fully vaccinated – 5,242 (71%)

Total population (12+) – 7,385

Sitka has vaccinated fully vaccinated 79 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:





August 2001

The Assembly agreed Thursday to place ballot questions on cell phone usage, downtown traffic lights and a fire hall before the voters in the Oct. 2 municipal election. Assembly members emphasized the election results would be used as a rough guide, not a mandate, on policy issues.

August 1971

Sitka student Phillip R. Wyman is among new admissions for the fall at Washington State University.