Joan Didrickson Lewis Dies in Sitka at Age 77

Joan “Joni” Didrickson Lewis

Joan “Joni” Didrickson Lewis, a Sitka resident for most of her life, passed peacefully on November 7, with her only son, Larry, at her side. She was 77.

She was born in Juneau on October 9, 1943, the daughter of John Alfred and Mabel (Jones) Didrickson. She was Aanyeiwdu.oo, of the Deisheetaan clan.

She was raised in Sitka, and graduated from Sitka High School. She later received an associate of arts degree from the University of Alaska Southeast.

Joni found great joy in the outdoors, playing in the woods and beachcombing. The oldest of six children, for many years, she was a “tomboy.” She also loved engaging in traditional food gathering, as well as the eating of those “soul foods.”

She was an avid reader, priding herself on a booklist that ranged widely in subject areas. She also immersed herself in traditional Tlingit arts, particularly in beadwork and weaving, and completed many beautiful projects.

Having endured many hardships of her own, she was committed to helping others, whether it was those struggling with addiction, or survivors of domestic violence.

Just as can be said of so many, she loved her friends and family; however, being a decided extrovert, she loved the company of others, and what most will remember of her was her contagious laugh.

Survivors include her son Larry Garrity, his partner, Dionne Brady-Howard, and their children, Vanessa Bradley of Sitka; Jordan of Eagle River; Jamie Garrity of Vancouver, Washington; and Tyler Garrity and Izzy Jackson, both of Sitka.

Also surviving are her sisters, Chris Judy and her husband, Larry Judy, of Big Lake, Alaska, and Jewel Didrickson of Eagle River; brother Clyde Didrickson of Juneau; and numerous nephews, nieces and cousins.

Services are pending, and may be held in the summer if coronavirus restrictions are lifted.


In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Sitkans Against Family Violence (SAFV).

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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.