Geraldine Kennedy, 96, Dies at Her Sitka Home

Geraldine (Geri) Isabelle Kennedy

Geraldine (Geri) Isabelle Kennedy, 96, died at her Sitka home of age-related causes on May 15, 2020.

She was born at home, in Wrangell, on December 24, 1923, to Nettie (Carrasco) and Paul Young Jones. Vital Statistics says Dec. 21, but her family all swear by Dec. 24.  She was the fifth of seven kids – her siblings were Harold, Pauline, Irene, Ernestine (Babe), Frank and Maxine.

Geri’s primary school years were spent in various boarding schools in Southeast Alaska, always with a sibling or two.  She graduated in Ketchikan in 1941, then attended one year of school at Haskell Institute in Lawrence, Kansas.

After World War II, she married William (Bill) Kennedy, also of Ketchikan, on June 15, 1946, at St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church on Woodland Avenue.

Geri worked retail jobs, child care for various friends and relatives, and at Fidalgo Cannery for many summers through the 1970s. 

She was not a member of any local clubs or organizations, but she did re-discover her Native culture in the early 1980s. She learned every craft that offered a class; NW Coast basketry, carving, design (formline), engraving, weaving, and regalia-making. Her basketry skills were very appreciated by many, for many years. Liked and loved by just about anyone she met throughout her life, she always had a smile to share, and was good with a surprise occasional one-liner when dealing with life’s challenges

Geri was preceded in death by all of her immediate family, parents and siblings, her husband William (in 1995), and her son Billy (in 1962).

She is survived by her three daughters and one son; Joanna Hendricks (William Kendricks) of Ketchikan, Arlene Kennedy of Sitka, Susan LaFray David LaFray) of Boise, Idaho, and Rob Kennedy (Ann Ludeman Kennedy) of Port Orchard, Washington.

Numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren, as well as nieces and nephews, and many others who knew her affectionately as “Aunty Geri” also survive.


No funeral or memorial services are scheduled at this time. Memorial plans for Ketchikan and Seattle will be announced when made.

Login Form



At a Glance

(updated 5-18-22)

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 18.

New cases as of Wednesday: 1,675

Total cases (cumulative) statewide – 249,522

Total (cumulative) deaths – 1,252

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 3,762

Current Hospitalizations – 44

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 – 54

Cumulative Sitka cases – 2,633

Hospitalizations (to date) – 32

Deceased (cumulative) – 6

The local case data are from Alaska DHSS.





May 2002

Sitka’s state parks will remain open, thanks to an 11th-hour $80,000 appropriation approved by the state House Finance Committee, Rep. Peggy Wilson said. “It happened because everybody pulled together .... E-mails, letters, telephone calls came to Juneau from Sitka en masse,”she said. 

May 2002

 Laurence and Zelma Doig will leave the Sheldon Jackson campus this year after 30 years of service. Doig, in fact, has already been installed as skipper of the M/V Anna Jackman. Mrs. Doig, who has been librarian, will join her husband in Juneau at the end of May.