LONG LAYOVER – Bill Foster checks out the 40-foot Russian-flagged inflatable catamaran, Iskatel, that’s been hauled out near the UAS parking lot for the past two years. The pandemic put a halt to the international sailing trip that began in Russia, but the skipper, Anatoly Kazakevich, who recently spoke to the Sentinel, is hopeful about resuming the adventure in the spring and sailing to Siberia. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Former Sitkan Avis Murphy Dies at Age 85

Avis Ann Pederson Murphy

Mother, sister and grandmother Avis Ann Pederson Murphy received her angel wings November 15, 2020, with her three daughters by her side. She was 85.

She was born July 11, 1935, in Columbus, Wisconsin, to Alvin H. Pederson and Maxine V. Adams. 

The first three years of her life she spent on the Adams family farm in Gilman, Wisconsin, before taking the train to Seattle, Washington. On her 11th birthday, in 1946, she arrived in Sitka, on the North Sea at 11 p.m. She spent the next 40 years of her life here and made lifelong friends. 

She graduated from Sitka High School in 1955 and soon after married. By 1959 she had three daughters who gave her the most joy in her life. 

When she was living in Sitka, she spent many summers in Seattle with her grandmother, who loved to go to the movies.

She played basketball in high school with her best friends and worked for her uncle at his cab stand. One year she went to Oregon with a friend to pick strawberries, which she called “the hardest work I ever did.” 

After her daughters were all in school, she went out in the work force, as a cook at the schools, restaurants, amusement center and finally retiring in 1986 from the Sitka Pioneers Home. 

In 1986 she moved to Anacortes, Washington, to be close to her father and brothers but still made regular trips to Sitka for class reunions and visits with family. 

She loved to travel with her friends and family but most of all she loved being around her daughters and grandkids. She never missed a holiday or special event and always went in head-first to help with whatever needed to be done. 

When she was at home in Anacortes, she got involved with the Samish Nation Elders where she helped organize table center pieces for the annual luncheons, did some amazing bead and weaving work, and made some fabulous friends. She loved crafting, spent a lot of time putting together albums of photos, searching her roots and traveling. 

One of her many traits was her contagious laugh. She didn’t do anything extraordinary in her life but she was extraordinary. 

Preceded in death were her parents; brother, Charles Pederson; her sons-in-law Kenneth Records and Gregory Borden; her nephews Thomas, Gregory and Judd Pederson; and sister-in-law Joanne Pederson. 

She is survived by her daughters: Robin Records, Shelby Borden and Tally (Steve Allison); and her brothers, Ronald (Julie) and Allen Pederson. Also surviving are her five grandchildren, Tarra, Shantel, Kassie, Dylan and Cody; nine great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. 

In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to a charity of your choice. You may send cards to Avis Murphy, 6227 Spradley RD, Anacortes, WA 98221.

A celebration of life is planned in July 2021 depending on the pandemic and to be announced via social media. 


To share memories of Avis, sign the online guestbook at www.evanschapel.com.

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Alaska COVID-19 
At a Glance

(updated 10-26-21)

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 10:02 a.m. Tuesday.

New cases as of Monday: 749

Total statewide – 130,482

Total (cumulative) deaths – 688

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 2,749

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

COVID in Sitka

The COVID alert rate for Sitka is “high,” based on 30 new resident COVID cases in the past 7 days, a rate of 351.99 per 100,000 population. Alert status will be high until the rate per thousand is below 100. Case statistics are as of Sunday.

New cases in Sitka – 4 

Cases in last 7 days – 30

Cumulative Sitka cases – 1,088

Cumulative non-resident cases – 102

Unique positive cumulative test results in Sitka, as of 10/22/21 – 1,210

Deceased (cumulative) – 5

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

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October 2001

Bart Meyer earned first place in the Sitka Sportsman’s Association’s annual Alaska Day Biathlon. He was followed by Jeremy McLaughlin, Paul Lashway, Greg Horton and Jack Ozment.

October 1971

The Alaska Day parade was one of the longest ... Alaska Airlines’float with a giant golden samovar and the New Archangel Dancers aboard won first place; the Sitka High band and drill team won second; the Pioneer Bar float won third, and honorable mentions went to the Coast Guard float and Mt. Edgecumbe High band.