PAINTING WEATHER – Downtown Sitka is pictured from the vantage point of commercial painter Keith Fredrickson’s 60-foot man lift today. Fredrickson Painting Inc. was taking advantage of the partly sunny weather to get a coat of paint on the Sitka Hotel, foreground, today. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Services for Bob Allen To Be at St. Michael’s

Robert Ernest Allen Sr.

Robert Ernest Allen Sr., known to all as Bob, left this life peacefully on Monday, March 2, at home, surrounded by his family. He was 83.
Bob Allen lived an Alaskan life, full stop.
He was born May 22, 1936, in Arcata, California. He arrived in the Alaska Interior at age 14 with his parents and siblings, and never looked back.
His first job was running a water taxi on the Tanana River. He helped his dad stoke the boilers on the old sternwheelers that served as the main source of transportation on the river, and he and his mom sold tickets to the Nenana Ice Classic. While he was still in high school, Bob acquired a fish camp, assembled a dog team, and ran a trapline. He was fond of telling people that he was the valedictorian of his high school class in Nenana, before quickly acknowledging that it was a graduating class of one student. 
After high school, Bob worked in construction, and served as a construction engineer in the U.S. Army at Ladd Field near Fairbanks. He used his benefits from the GI Bill to train for his multi-engine airplane rating, becoming the first Alaskan pilot to pass the flight test administered by the newly-established Federal Aviation Administration. He flew his own Piper Vagabond before trying his luck with prospecting. After selling a very small amount of gold and the plane, he bought a boat and fished for crab in and around Juneau. There he met and married Betty Martin in 1962.
Bob fished for king crab in Kodiak in the early 1960s. He was anchored up on the 100-foot F/V Fern on March 27, 1964, when he felt the first tremors of the Good Friday Alaska earthquake. Bob and his crew rescued dozens of cold, terrified tsunami survivors from the communities of Kaguyak and Old Harbor before he found Betty and their three young children, who had evacuated to Cape Chiniak.
After the quake, Bob and Betty bid on a contract to salvage metal from marine cable damaged by the disaster. They used the savings to buy a boatyard in Sitka in 1967.
Bob’s work ethic, Alaskan ingenuity, ability to solve mechanical problems, and willingness to take risks transformed the old boatyard into an incubator for a remarkable array of marine-based businesses that continue to evolve and thrive today.
With the help of his wife, children and grandchildren, the businesses Bob founded have employed thousands of Alaskans in marine architecture, boat-building and maintenance, tourism and transportation.
Giving back to the community was a founding business principle for Bob Allen. Before his first tour boat ever made a profit, Bob ran trips on the water for schoolchildren at no charge. And the companies that Bob founded have continued his personal example of saving lives. Boats built by Allen Marine rescued survivors of the 9/11 disaster in New York, and were the first to pick up passengers of United Flight 1549 when the jet landed safely on the river in the “Miracle on the Hudson.”
Bob was adopted into the Gaanaxteidí clan by Tom Young Sr., caretaker of Ishka Hit, the Salmon Hole House, to which Bob belonged. His Tlingit name was Shtoowóos’. Betty Allen always insisted that Bob was “a better Indian than me.” Bob was also a starosta (worker) in the Russian Orthodox Church, where his “saint’s name” was Michael. 
Bob Allen had a statewide reputation as a successful business owner, but his greatest legacy is his family. He is survived by his wife Betty, his brother Jack Allen (Tracy) and sister Dorothy Poulos (Jim); children Valerie Martin (Steve), Natalie Allen, Rob Allen (Robin), Jennifer “Kipper” Oen (Eric) and Dave Allen (Lauren); and grandchildren Jamey Cagle (Melinda), Claire Gentry (Michael), Evan Martin (Emily), Stephen Martin (Krisy), Chris Oen (Kaley), Sarah Leclerc (Hank), Zaide Allen, Zia Allen and Sabena Allen.
He also leaves 19 great-grandchildren, one great-great grandchild, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Bob was never happier than when he had a baby on his lap.
He joins his beloved granddaughter Melinda, who predeceased him, as well as his parents, Chester James “Red” Allen and Florence Elizabeth “Betty” Allen, and his older brother, Buck Allen.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the fund for rehabilitation of St. Michael’s Cathedral.
A Panikhida service will be held 7 p.m. Friday, March 6, at the Cathedral. A traditional Russian Orthodox funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, March 7, at St. Michael’s, followed by private interment at Sitka Memorial Park.
A reception will be held at about 2 p.m. at Odess Theater on March 7; all are welcome to pay their respects. 

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 5-8-21)

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 11:50 a.m. Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 114

Total statewide – 66,120

Total (cumulative) deaths – 343

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 1,508

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. Thursday.

Active cases in Sitka – 7

Hospitalizations (cumulative) in Sitka – 5

Cumulative Sitka cases – 367 (321 resident; 46 non-resident)

Cumulative recovered – 359

Deceased (cumulative) – 1

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

• • •


Sitka Vax Stats 

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

Partially vaccinated – 4,898 (70.469%)

Fully vaccinated – 4,486 (64.56%)

Total population (16+) –6,949

Sitka has vaccinated (with at least one dose) 1,249 (84.51%) 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

Richard Nelson, Alaska writer and cultural anthropologist, will be speaker at the University of Alaska Southeast, Sitka Campus, commencement exercises at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School

May 1971

The Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game announced today that the 100-ton herring quota in District 13, outside of the Sitka Sound area, has been harvested. The 750-ton quota for Sitka Sound was taken by April 7.