Marta A. Ryman Dies; Lifelong Sitkan was 84

Marta Amee Ryman

Marta Amee Ryman, Seikooni, T’akdeintaan and Taax’ Hít (Snail House), 84, left this world on October 13, 2020 after a lengthy illness.  At the time of her death, she was a beloved resident of the Sitka Pioneer Home.

Marta was born in 1936 to Flora and James D. Williams in Sitka, in the territory of Alaska. 

Marta was dearly loved by all who knew her.  She met the love of her life, James N. Ryman in Sitka, and they were married June 4, 1960, raised three daughters and spent 60 years together.  

After graduating from Sitka High School in 1954, Marta worked at the Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital. In 1962 she started working for the State of Alaska Employment Service until her retirement 25 years later.

She will be remembered for being a generous and gentle woman who was involved in many organizations including lifetime membership in the Alaska Native Sisterhood, where she earned the Mildred Sparks Koogeina award, and Soroptimist International of Sitka, holding many offices including that of president. She was active in March of Dimes, and the Sitka Presbyterian Church.

Marta served on the Citizens Advisory Committee for the University of Alaska Southeast, and was on the board of Alaska Pacific Bank.  She was on the Shee Atika Inc. Board of Directors from 1987 to 2010, serving as chairman from 1993 to 1998.

She was awarded the William Paul Sr. Award for her support and outstanding service to Shee Atika Inc. and its shareholders. In 2011 she was nominated by the Alaska Native Sisterhood and honored at the SAFV Honoring Women Annual Dinner for making a difference in the lives of women and children.       

Marta was devoted to her family and loved spending time with her children and grandchildren. She made gathering and celebrating almost every holiday and all birthdays a priority. During the Easter season she worked selflessly to make beautiful loaves of Easter bread for family and as donations.

Also important to her was dancing with the Noow Tlein dance group, sewing, and beading her own stunning regalia, and attending Celebration and the AFN convention.

She was gifted with a green thumb and was most proud of her spectacular roses, which she generously shared with her friends.

Marta was always ready to help families in need at a moment’s notice,  and especially enjoyed giving gift bags she put together during the holidays for the ladies in the Pioneer Home.

She enjoyed fishing with her husband and family, especially during the Sitka Salmon Derby, reeling in many big ones over the years. Picnics were also a favorite outing in the Ryman house, an opportunity for Marta to make her amazing potato salad.

Still, she had time for traveling, shopping and bingo, activities she thoroughly enjoyed with family and friends.    

Marta was preceded in death by her parents, James and Flora Williams, sisters Juanita Sanborn, Sylvia Carlsson, and Eleanor Thomas, brothers Eugene, Richard and James S. Williams, Wilfred, Clarence and George Dick, as well as niece Denise Dovell and nephews Terran Williams and Chuck Benson.

Marta is survived by her loving husband, James N. Ryman, daughters, Nikki Nevers, Monica Eastham and Julie Phipps, and sister, Marie Olson of Juneau.

She is also survived by her beloved grandchildren, Kari Ann Niles, Samson Stengl and Sophia Eastham, and great-grandchildren Dalaini and Ivy Niles.   Marta is survived by  many nieces and nephews including Dale Williams, Tatia McMillan, Marta Coleman, Diane and Dennis Benson, Laura Curtis, Linda Olson, Kathy Cazimero, Sharon Hallam, Barbara Raines, April Organik, Karen, Sonny and Eddie Dick, Jonathan Williams, Robert and Richard Sanborn, Wilfred Dick Jr., Clarence Dick Jr., Clifford and Jeffrey Thomas and many grand-nieces and grand-nephews.  

 A private service is planned with family and close friends on October 23, at St. Gregory’s Catholic Church. Pallbearers are Lou Phipps, Del Stengl, Samson Stengl, Don Seesz, Ed Young and Henry Johnson. Honorary Pallbearers are Edwin Francis, Fred Fayette, Frank Magnuson, Robert Sanborn Jr., Richard Sanborn, Robert Schell, Dave Turcott, and Dale Williams. Burial will immediately follow at Sitka National Cemetery. A celebration of her life will be held when the family can safely gather with family and friends.   


The family suggests donations in remembrance of Marta to to help fight Alzheimer’s and all forms of dementia or to the American Heart Association. Cards may be sent to the Ryman family at P.O. Box 1032, Sitka, AK 99835. Arrangements have been made by Prewitt’s Funeral Home and Bev’s Flowers.

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At a Glance

(updated 1-12-22)

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 11:55 am Wednesday.

New cases as of Tuesday: 2,414

Total statewide – 167,008

Total (cumulative) deaths – 953

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 3,311

Current Hospitalizations – 81

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

COVID in Sitka

The COVID alert rate for Sitka is “high,” based on 130 new COVID cases in the past 7 days. Case statistics are as of Sunday.

New cases in Sitka – 7

Cases in last 7 days – 130

Cumulative Sitka cases – 1,467

Deceased (cumulative) – 6

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





January 2002

Classified ads, Rentals: 3-bdrm. house on the beach. $900; 3-bdrm duplex, washer/dryer $945; Great downtown house, 2 bdrms., 2 baths, furnished,
W/D, hardwood floors $850; 2-bdrm. roomy apartment $945..


January 1972

The City and Borough Assembly Tuesday approved an ordinance establishing a transportation committee to advise the assembly and promote transportation services for the municipality. Members are Cecil McClain, Ray Mabey, Clarence Kramer,
Dick Cushing and Burt Hansen.