Lawrence Poitra, Former Sitkan, Dies in Juneau

Lawrence Darrell Poitra

Lawrence Darrell Poitra, 70, passed away peacefully surrounded by his wife and children on November 15, 2020, at Bartlett Hospital in Juneau, after living almost a decade with Stage IV lung cancer.

A long-time Sitka resident, he wanted to be buried at Sitka National Cemetary. As a Vietnam veteran, he was given a military funeral and buried at 10 a.m. November 20 with family and close friends present.

Lawrence was born in Miles City, Montana, on March 6, 1950, at Sacred Heart Hospital to Lawrence Norbert Poitra and Nora Thomas. The youngest of four children, he had three older sisters, Barbara, Debbie and Robin. 

At age 18, he was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he studied hard and was selected to be a radio teletype operator and sent to Lai Khe Base Camp,  passing orders and messages to and from command and soldiers in the field.

After serving his first tour, he was awarded the National Defense Service, Vietnam Service, and Vietnam Campaign medals and honorably discharged.

He often told the story of his return to the United States and how he cried as his plane landed, feeling pride and gratitude at being back in his home country.

After his return to the United States, Lawrence traveled to Alaska, where he fell in love with the state and decided he would stay. It was also at this time that Lawrence’s deep faith truly took root. He was a man filled with faith in God and the love of others.

On a trip back to visit family in Montana, he met his wife, Laurie.

He was intrigued and asked her out the day they met. They were married a year later and had their first son, Jamie, in Miles City in 1978 before returning to Alaska.

Lawrence worked in the grocery business for some time in Ketchikan, Fairbanks, and then in Sitka, where he managed Sea Mart for many years and where his love of people was always apparent.

Sitka quickly became his home, and his sons Jeffrey and Stephen were both born at SEARHC Hospital in 1984 and 1987, respectively.

He then moved on to work for Allen Marine in Sitka and then later in Juneau – something he later said he wished he had done earlier so he could have had more years working with the Allens.

Lawrence loved his work and the people around him, and he also loved and cherished his family.


He is survived by his wife Laurie and his sons Jamie, Jeffrey, and Stephen and two beautiful granddaughters Monáe and Sia.

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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.