2020 TOURIST SEASON – The 285-foot super yacht Lonian is tied up at the Old Sitka Dock Friday while its support vessel, the 217-foot Hoder equipped with a helicopter and ROV, is seen anchored in the distance. The 14-passender Lonian, which was launched in 2019, is owned by billionaire Lorenzo Fertitta, former owner of UFC. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Elinora Brandner Dies; Former Sitkan was 104

Elinora H. Brandner 


Former Sitkan Elinora H. Brandner, 104, of Medford, Wisconsin, died July 21 at Country Gardens Assisted Living, Medford, where she had resided for the past 11 years, most recently under the care of Hope Hospice.

Memorial services will take place at 1 p.m. Friday, July 24, at Immanuel Ev. Lutheran Church, Medford, with Rev. James Krueger officiating. Interment of her cremated remains will be in Medford Evergreen Cemetery. Visitation will be at the church from noon until the time of services at 1 p.m.

Elinora was born on May 10, 1916, the daughter of the late John Jakob and Alma Marie (Schoenfeldt) Frey. She attended Frey School in the Town of Browning, was a graduate of Medford High School, and a 1935 graduate of Taylor County Normal School, Medford. Her marriage to Herbert Julius Brandner took place on February 22, 1941, in Independence, Wisconsin.

Herb was called into service in 1943, and for the next three years they lived in California, Kansas and Texas. They returned to Wisconsin in 1946 and their son Dale was born in 1951. In 1953 the family moved west to Bellingham, Washington.

In 1957 they moved to Ketchikan, and in 1959 they settled in Sitka. Elinora worked at National Bank of Alaska and First National Bank Alaska for 14 years, retiring in 1974.

The Brandners moved to Bellingham in 1979 and spent the next 20 years traveling all over the U.S., Canada, and Mexico with friends and family. They would often return to Medford during the summers. They moved to Phoenix, Arizona, in 1999 and finally returned to Medford in 2009, settling into Country Gardens shortly after that. Elinora loved to travel in her motorhome with her husband, Herb. She was always very active in local clubs and volunteering. Elinora loved going into the Medford area schools to spend time with children. She was a member of Immanuel Ev. Lutheran Church of Medford.

She is survived by grandchildren Tara (Col. William) Gibson of Fairfax, Virginia, and Jared (Douglas Williams) Brandner of Anchorage; and three great-grandchildren, Taylor, Ty and Lucy Gibson.

Elinora was extremely lucky to have many nieces and nephews, who always made the time to be involved in her life.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband (on Nov. 12, 2015), son, Dale Gordon Brandner in 2018; siblings Viola Clausnitzer, Oscar, Hilbert, John and Ralph Frey.


In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be given to Immanuel Ev. Lutheran Church, Medford in her name. Hemer Funeral Service of Medford and Rib Lake serving the family. For online condolences, please visit hemerfuneralservice.com.

August 5, 2020

A Note To Our Readers

Reopening: Phase One:


On March 30 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 8-10-20)

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 1;45 p.m. Monday.

New cases as of Sunday: 69

Total statewide – 3,775

Total (cumulative) deaths – 26

Active cases in Sitka – 21 (15 resident; 6 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 16 (12 resident; 4 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 154.

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

* These numbers reflect State of Alaska data. Local cases may not immediately appear on DHSS site, or are reported on patient’s town of residence rather than Sitka’s statistics. 




August 2000

Bring your wand if you’re coming, leave your disbelief at the door (no Muggles allowed), because room 220 at Blatchley is a place where the decorations, outfits and conversations are all very, very Harry Potter. “If you want to levitate, go ahead,” said Lacy Simons addressing the young wizards of the Harry Potter Reading and Writing Club. Simons, a VISTA volunteer, formed the club ....

August 1970

Photo caption: Youngsters who participated in the summer reading program at Kettleson Memorial Library include, from left, Lari Cook, Nancy Erickson, Yumiko Hayashi, Kyoko Ikenoue, Lu Ann Beidel, Tiffany Rose, Jessica Roth, Gwendolyn Roth, Rhonda Audette, Heather Owen, Susan Kohler, Glenn Oen, David Oen, Eric Oen, Stephen Weddell, Robert Weddell, Randy Turner, Takahiko Hosei, Douglas Henie, Lance Robards and Timothy Von Clasen.