Michael Helmrich Dies; Former Resident was 69

Michael Harry Helmrich

Michael Harry Helmrich, of Doniphan, Missouri, died March 31, one month after a diagnosis of a fast-moving cancer.

The former Sitka resident was 69.

Mike was born July 16, 1950, in Amite, Louisiana, the son of Harry Herman Helmrich and Yvonne Cora Helmrich. He was preceded in death by his father and mother.

Those left to mourn his passing include his beloved wife, Jackie Nigro Helmrich; his brother, Mark Helmrich; Aunt Joyce Perrin; and Jackie’s cousins, Diana Lea Jones and Janine Jones.

Mike attended Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana, graduating with a bachelor of arts degree in business.

In 1987, Mike met his wife, Jackie, in Sacramento, California, and together they lived a life of adventure for 35 years, with Mike leading the way with his unending love for the land, woods, and waters. He was an avid hunter and fisherman.

Mike and Jackie were musicians, with Jackie singing and Mike playing guitar and also singing with his beautiful voice. He was the musical director for their music. Because of the music, they traveled to Alaska for a gig, and once there fell in love with Sitka, where they settled from 1998 to 2012. Mike lived his Alaska dream, hunting and fishing in the Alaska Wilderness.

Mike and Jackie continued to play music full time in Sitka, and in addition Mike became a boat captain doing fishing charters in the summer.

In 2016 Mike felt the pull to get back to his Southern roots, and he and Jackie moved to Missouri. There they fell in love with their new home, which provided enough land for Mike to be able to enjoy hunting on his own property.

Those who knew Mike knew that “what you see is what you get.” He was always true to himself and had a great sense of humor with a positive approach at life, his family said. He always had a smile and kind word for everyone.


“He will be missed by so many friends and family,” the family wrote. “Mike will be loved forever and never forgotten by his wife, Jackie.”

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At a Glance

(updated 5-25-22)

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 11:55 pm Wednesday, May 25.

New cases as of Wednesday: 1,911

Total cases (cumulative) statewide – 251,425

Total (cumulative) deaths – 1,252

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 3,776

Current Hospitalizations – 46

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

COVID in Sitka

The Sitka community level is now "medium.'' Case statistics are as of Wednesday.

Cases in last 7 days – 25

Cumulative Sitka cases – 2,658

Hospitalizations (to date) – 32

Deceased (cumulative) – 6

The local case data are from Alaska DHSS.





May 2002


From Sitka’s Past by Robert DeArmond: May 14, 1878 – The steamer California brought a cannery crew to Sitka for one of the first two salmon canneries in Alaska. The cannery, located at Starrigavan, operated for only two seasons and was abandoned.

May 1972

 The work of four Sitka artists will be represented in the Ketchikan Arts and Crafts Guild Traveling Show. The artists are Alice Bergdoll, Linda Larsen, Marilyn Nevers and Clint Miller.