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)

Services to be Sept. 5 For Gilbert R. Sam Sr.

Gilbert Roy “Gibby” Sam Sr.

Services for Gilbert Roy “Gibby” Sam Sr., a lifelong Sitka resident, have been scheduled 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 5, at St. Michael’s Cathedral.

Gilbert passed away in Sitka on August 20, his 65th birthday.

He was born in Sitka August 20, 1955, the son of Katherine Maberry and Henry Sam Sr. He grew up in Sitka, and graduated from Sitka High School in 1974. He joined the U.S. Marines not long after graduation.

After his discharge he returned to Sitka, and married Audrey Johnson on Feb. 23, 1979, in Sitka. They were married for 29 years, and had five children, Elmenda Johnson (who preceded him in death), Isabelle Sam, Tanya Ulrich, Sharon Sam and Gilbert Sam Jr.

Gilbert worked in maintenance at SEARHC for 20 years, over the years earning numerous certificates.

An artist, he did carvings of many different subjects, loved to draw and made many paintings and designs – some of his designs were put on T-shirts.

He also enjoyed cooking for an army, either in the house or on the grill; and liked to work on cars.

His sense of humor will be missed.

Gilbert was preceded in death by his parents, Katherine Maberry and Henry Sam Sr.; his wife, Audrey; his daughter, Elmenda Johnson; his paternal grandparents John and Isabelle Sam; and other extended family members including Albert and Gail Davis, Edward and Sara James, David Davis, Frank Sam, Elizabeth (Betty) Garrity, Irma Button, Buddy Howard, Lester Davis, Ronald Davis, Philip Nielsen and Doug James.

He also was preceded in death by Audrey (Sugie) Johnson; in-laws Joseph and Agnes Johnson Sr., Cindy and Tony Johnson Sr., Wilber Johnson, Chuck Johnson, Blake Ricaporte, Virginia (Gina) Sam, Norma (Queenie) Johnson, Leonard Gamble, Art Gamble, Nick and Georgie Chercasen, and Angel Platt.

He is survived by his children, Isabelle Sam of Anchorage, Tanya Ulrich of Juneau, Sharon Sam of Sitka and Gilbert Sam Jr.; 17 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Numerous brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.

Pallbearers will be Henry Johnson Sr., Ernie Barnes, Ray Howard, Gilbert Sam Jr., Douglas Johnson Jr. and Demetri Lestenkoff III.

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.