Berniece Brown Dies in Ore.; Lived in Sitka for 50 Years


Gretchen Berniece Davidson Brown

Gretchen Berniece Davidson Brown, the last surviving grandchild of Oregon pioneers W. F. Davidson and Anna Catherine Coleman, and E. A. Breyman and Mary Elizabeth Eldriedge, passed away Oct. 27 in Gresham, Oregon, after a short illness.

She was born May 13, 1922, on the family farm at St. Paul, Oregon. A 1945 graduate of the University of Oregon, Berniece worked for many years as a welfare caseworker in Linn and Douglas Counties in Oregon before moving to Sitka with her husband and four children in 1966.

Berniece and her husband Don owned and operated Mud Bay Logging Company and were part owners of Sitka Fuels.  

Once a friend of Berniece, you were a friend for life. In addition to her many beloved St. Paul, Oregon, friends and relations, and the Hilyard House friends of her college years, Berniece was part of a wonderful group of women in Sitka who were devoted to each other. They sustained one another with great affection and good humor.

She left Sitka in 2016 and returned to Oregon.

Always a champion of education, Berniece made sure that any of her children who wanted to completed undergraduate and graduate degrees. Her generosity was legendary. 

Affectionately known as “Grambo” by her grandchildren, Berniece did her best to live up to her nickname, enjoying her time with Justin, Vanessa and Heather Brown as well as Mary and Benedict Goekjian.  

In addition to her grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, Berniece is survived by daughters Gretchen, Ellen, and Laura Brown as well as several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Donald Brown, her son Jerome Brown, and her sister Dorothea Davidson Nelson.  

Gifts in Berniece’s memory can be made to the St. Paul Mission Historical Society, P.O. Box 158, St. Paul, OR  97137 or to Brave Heart Volunteers, P.O. Box 6336, Sitka, AK  99835 or online at



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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.