World War II Veteran Louis Soha Dies at 96

Louis Soha

Louis Soha, a retired Alaska Airlines pilot with ties to Sitka, died in Oakville, Washington, on March 6. He was 96.

He was born on March 5, 1924, to Michael and Sophie Soha in Crystal Falls, Michigan, the youngest of seven children. His father was killed in a mining accident several months after Lou was born and he was raised by his mother and older siblings. Possessed of innate intelligence and natural athletic ability, he was valedictorian of his graduating high school class, All Upper Peninsula in football, a Golden Gloves finalist and a semi-professional baseball player.

Together with four of his older brothers, and virtually every boy in his Crystal Falls High School class of 1942, he enlisted in the service immediately upon graduation. During the war, his mother Sophie had five sons serving in active combat theatres in Europe, North Africa, Burma and the South Pacific. He saw combat as a Marine Corps fighter pilot flying Corsairs in the South Pacific. Among other medals, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for valor in combat. Following his honorable discharge, he ventured to Alaska where he flew as a bush pilot out of Fairbanks and Fort Yukon until he joined Alaska Airlines in 1950, retiring from Alaska Airlines in 1984 after a career that included flying aircraft ranging from the piston driven Norseman, DC-3 and C-130 to modern Boeing jets. Throughout the 1960s and ’70s he flew the milk run in Southeast Alaska with Sitka being his favorite station.

Lou met the love of his life, Evelyn O’Hara, in Fairbanks. Married in 1950, they went on to raise 10 children, first in Fairbanks and Anchorage and then in Seattle, until finally settling in Oakville, Washington. Throughout their married life, Lou and Evelyn traveled extensively throughout the United States, Western and Eastern Europe, the United Kingdom and the Middle East. Alaska, however, remained their favorite destination and they spent many happy hours pulling their Airstream behind their trusty Ford F250, exploring the wilds of Alaska and Northern Canada and mining for gold out of Chicken, Alaska. In their retirement they often returned to Sitka to visit family, including their daughter, Barbara Morse, and her family.

Lou was a classic member of the Greatest Generation. He was forever proud of his Polish heritage and his Marine Corps service, although he rarely discussed the particulars of his wartime experiences and it was typical that his family became aware of his DFC only when one of his sons was doing random on-line family research. Above all, he was fiercely devoted to his loving wife and family and to his Catholic faith.

Lou was predeceased by Evelyn in 2006 and by a son, Paul Soha, in 2019. He will forever be held in loving memory by his nine surviving children, 33 grandchildren and more than 30 great-grandchildren. A graveside funeral service was held at St. Joseph’s Catholic cemetery in Elma, Washington, that included a Marine color guard and a Piper Cub “flyover.” “Semper fi” Louis Soha!

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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

Police blotter: Two juveniles who were seen throwing their belonging at each other were told to stop or face arrest. ... A woman was reported arguing with her husband and friends, all of whom agreed she had been drinking too much. ... A man said he thought a neighbor had his missing cat, but the neighbor showed police his cat and her six kittens. A watch will be kept for the missing cat.


May 2002

 There will not be a commercial herring spawn and help fishery in the Sitka area, Jim Parker, Fish & Game fisheries management biologist, announced.  There’s been good herring spawn but herring haven’t spawned in the macrocystis kelp beds.