Services Scheduled For Betty Jo Edenshaw, 58

Betty Jo Edenshaw

Betty Jo Edenshaw journeyed to the other shore on Sept. 19, 2020, in Sitka, Alaska. She was 58. Her Tlingit name was Daas.oox, of the Sitka L’uknax.ádi (Coho) clan from Kayaashka Hít, the Mother Coho House on Katlian Street. Betty was loved dearly by her partner, Robert Nielsen, a large family, and many friends. 

Cultural services will be at 314 Katlian Street, Kayaashka Hít, the Mother Coho House at 4 p.m. Sunday, October 4. Funeral services are scheduled 1 p.m. on Monday, October 5, at St. Michael’s Russian Orthodox Cathedral.

Pallbearers are Carl Lindstrom Jr., Krynn Von Sheerschmidt, Marty Dundas Jr., Robert Breece, Darrel D.A. Austin, Alex Johnson-Rice, Douglas Johnson, and Kenneth K.L. Nielsen.

Honorary pallbearers are Jim Button, Patrick Wicken, Robert Kirkman, Stan Filler Sr., Lu Primacio, Donny Garrity, John Howard, Julene Howard, Margaret Carlson, Marla Kitka, Ray Kitka, Lillian Fred, Michael Mick Lang, Bert Worrell and Gilbert Sam Jr.

Betty Jo was born at Mt. Edgecumbe/Sitka hospital on November 8, 1961, to John C. Willett and Katherine (Maberry) Willett. She was raised on Katlian Street, and she was a Sitka High School alumna of the class of 1980. She also lived and worked in Juneau, Hoonah, Ketchikan, Wisconsin, at a logging camp, and other places, making many friends along the way.

Betty Jo was very well known for her talented artwork, and her drawings were out of this world. Family and friends were always happy receiving a blanket or hat when she was on a crochet kick! She shared countless memories of picking berries—diving right in there and picking many—but how many berries ended up in the bucket was a good family chuckle. She also enjoyed fishing with Robert around Sitka’s waters. Her far-away family will miss her mailed birthday cards.

Betty was an avid Seattle Seahawks football fan and enjoyed John Mellencamp music and her game shows –  Let’s Make a Deal, The Price is Right, Family Feud, Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. Her news favorite was David Muir News. She played poker, did crossword puzzles, and was hard to beat at Scrabble.

In her younger years she was a Sitka Softball League player for Howey’s Nuggets and the Kiksadi Club women’s teams, and she played Sitka High School volleyball. She was a life member of the Women of the Moose, a member of the Elks Emblem Club, and American Legion Auxiliary, and was an active Greater Sitka Pool League player—she was among 2019s Top 5 Sitka Women Shooters.

Her most recent work included being a hotel housekeeper at Sitka Hotel and Aspen Hotel. She also drove bus for The Ride and drove taxi in Sitka.

Her cancer fight was a battle she was winning. A fire at her home ended her time with us.

Betty is survived by her loving partner Robert Nielsen, and her daughter Katie Thomas (Marty Dundas Jr.) of Peoria, Illinois. Her grandchildren are Troy Petrey of Sitka; Drew, Kyler, and Kristina Petrey of Peoria; and Makia Silva of Angoon.

She also is survived by siblings: Henry Sam Sr. of Anchorage; Lillian Marie Saldivar (Henry) of Juneau; Cathy Lindoff of Hoonah; Troy Cantrell (Cat) of Pineville, Louisiana; Lorrie Sommers of Fitchburg, Wisconsin; Tommy Maberry of Columbus, Nebraska; Sharon Kelly of Indianapolis, Indiana; Stacy Maberry (Kathy) of Indianapolis, Indiana; and Faleene Worrell (Bert) of Longview, Texas; and a large extended and loving family, and many friends who will always remember her happy smile, warm hugs, and caring nature.

She had a special place in her heart for her Clan Leader Uncle Herman Davis Sr.; Robert Kirkman, Lu Primacio, Margaret Peterson, Marla Kitka and Stan Filler Sr. She will be missed by many.

She was preceded in death by her parents, John C. Willett and Katherine (Willett) Maberry; stepfather Herman Maberry; Aunt Betty Garrity; brothers John Koshman Willett, Gilbert Sam Sr. and Richard Sam; sister Carol Breece; and niece Manda Johnson.


Robert, Katie, and the family appreciate all prayers, thoughts, and support. Donations from those unable to attend are being graciously received by Kathy Thomas, 2898 Sawmill Creek Road Apt C, Sitka, AK 99835; (738-9862); VenMo: @Kathy-Thomas-173; PayPal: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Many family members are sadly unable to attend services due to COVID-19. Gunalchéesh.

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At a Glance

(updated 8-17-22)

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 12:15 pm Wednesday, August 17.

New cases as of Wednesday: 1,444

Total cases (cumulative) statewide – 277,007

Total (cumulative) deaths – 1,296

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 3,843

Case Rate per 100,000 – 198.11

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

COVID in Sitka

The Sitka community level is now "High.'' Case statistics are as of Wednesday.

Case Rate per 100,000 – 211.20

Cases in last 7 days – 18

Cumulative Sitka cases – 3,022

Hospitalizations (to date) – 29

Deceased (cumulative) – 7

The local case data are from Alaska DHSS.






August 2002

 Electric department officials are asking Sitkans to conserve electricity over the next few days while the city recovers from a three-hour power outage caused by a mudslide knocking out a span of the main hydropower transmission line near Heart Lake.


August 1972

Legionnaires of the American Legion, Sitka Post No. 13, have been appointed to key committees in the state department. They are George H. Inman Jr., Carroll E. Kohler, Raymond C. Perkins and Edward J. Flynn.