SMILE! – The Pacific High School graduating class poses outside Harrigan Centennial Hall Saturday afternoon prior to their commencement ceremony. Because of COVID-19 concerns the ceremony was not open to the public. Pictured are Eric Alvarado,Chelsea Taylor, Madison Roy-Mercer, Lindsey Bartolaba, Melissa Gibson, Douglas Johnson, Korbin Tugmon, George Stevenson, Jayvan Iya-Kowchee and Elizabeth Newell. Sitka High School will hold its graduation ceremony Monday, May 24. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Theresa VanVeen Dies; Celebration of Life Set


From left are Theresa Renee VanVeen, Matthew Moon Davis and Richard (Matt) Davis. (Photo provided to the Sentinel)


A beloved mother, partner, daughter, sister, niece, cousin, and friend, Theresa Renee VanVeen left this world unexpectedly on July 8, 2020, from complications arising from a severe asthma attack. She was 28 years young.

Theresa was born on June 14, 1992, in Sitka to Eric VanVeen and Catherine VanVeen. She graduated from Sitka High School and lived briefly in Anchorage, Juneau, and New Mexico where she met her love, Matt Davis. Their son, Matthew Moon, was born July 2017 and will be turning 3 years old at the end of the month. 

Theresa was a compassionate and honest individual with a keen business sense. She loved traveling, making memories with family and friends, and working as CFO for the family business, VanGreen’s Cannabis. Above all things, Theresa loved being a mother and loved her family. She loved fiercely and with everything that she was. Nothing made her happier than spending time with the ones she cared about. 

Theresa will be remembered for her warm hugs, bright smile, infectious laugh, and her big brown eyes that could see straight into your soul. She was a dreamer, a feeler, gentle and kind, yet ferociously protective of those she loved. 

She was preceded in death by her grandfather, Patrick Bean Sr.


Theresa is survived by her son Matthew Davis, partner Richard (Matt) Davis, mother Catherine VanVeen, father Eric VanVeen, sister Aaryn VanVeen, grandmothers Brenda Bean and Betty VanVeen, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins from the Bean, VanVeen, and Puletau-Lang families. 

She is deeply missed by all who knew and loved her.

An outdoor celebration of life will be held 1-3:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 18, on the Sitka Fine Arts Camp lawn. Drinks will be provided. Due to COVID concerns around sharing food buffet-style, Ashmo’s food truck (one of Theresa’s favorites!) will be on location for those who would like to purchase food; 50% of all food sales is being generously donated to Matthew Moon’s future fund account at ALPS Federal Credit Union. 



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 5-17-21)

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 12:45 p.m. Monday.

New cases as of Sunday: 50

Total statewide – 66,814

Total (cumulative) deaths – 358

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 1,542

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. Friday.

Active cases in Sitka – 7

Hospitalizations (cumulative) in Sitka – 5

Cumulative Sitka cases – 372 (325 resident; 46 non-resident)

Cumulative recovered – 364

Deceased (cumulative) – 1

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

• • •


Sitka Vax Stats 

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

Partially vaccinated – 4,978 (71.64%)

Fully vaccinated – 4,612 (66.37%)

Total population (16+) –6,949

Sitka has vaccinated (with at least one dose) 1,245 (84.24%) 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

Sitka High boys track team ran to a 2nd-place finish in Juneau while the girls finished fourth. Sitka long-jumper Derek Hirai leapt 19’9.5” for the 2nd highest jump in the state this year. ... Others doing well were Thor Hartwig, Matt Mangini, Damien LaMar, Jeff Loiselle, Logan Wild, Elgin Hollins, Brian Friske, Brian Mork, Mike Bagley, Cody Campbell ....

May 1971

New Loyal Order of Moose officers, installed Saturday, are Earl Arnold, Grant Laiblin Jr., James Gardner, William Wakefield Jr., Eddielee Hodnett, Basil Riley, Lloyd Van Doren, James Firestone Sr. and Lynden Kincaid.