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)

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

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.