PAINTING WEATHER – Downtown Sitka is pictured from the vantage point of commercial painter Keith Fredrickson’s 60-foot man lift today. Fredrickson Painting Inc. was taking advantage of the partly sunny weather to get a coat of paint on the Sitka Hotel, foreground, today. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Dean Lew, Former Sitkan, Dies in Oregon at Age 71



Dean Lew

Dean Lew was born on April 16, 1949, in Fresno, California, into a Chinese American family, the son of June and Jack Lew. He died on November 28, 2020, in Cloverdale, Oregon, at the age of 71. 

He grew up in California, Arizona and Wyoming, often working in his family restaurants where he learned the value of hard work. Dean had three older sisters, Paula, Tasha and Kristina, and one younger sister, Tada.

He joined the Army in 1967 and served two tours in Vietnam. It was there he met Lien Tran, while he was building an orphanage (which has been rebuilt as an elementary school) near the pagoda where she was praying each day after the loss of her father.

Lien and Dean married in November 1970 and they started their family of five children in Southeast Alaska. He worked for Don Brown, with the Mud Bay Logging Company, and they forged a long lasting friendship.

Dean later married his second wife, Raynona Blake, who was a loving mother to his children. 

In 1987, Dean reconnected with his biological father, John Wesley Ware (Wes), and his siblings Lance, Brandie and Susan. Dean took his family up to Kenai to spend time with Wes and this was a memorable trip for all involved. 

Dean lived in Alaska for 32 years and spent most of his time in drilling and blasting but also had a spirit of entrepreneurship when he created a business for his daughters called Kona’s Karts. He also owned a furniture store; and the Red Rooster Cafe, in Sitka.

In addition, Dean had a zest for martial arts and taught karate in Sitka with Michael Taylor with the Kenwa Kai Karate Association. In 2002, he retired and took his motor home to California to connect with family; he later made his way to Glide, Oregon, where he lived for 11 years. 

In July 2020, he moved to Cloverdale to be closer to his family, and enjoyed the last several months spending time with his daughter Deana and her two boys, Dixon and Dean.

Some of his recent favorite memories include reconnecting with loved ones via phone; picking out the perfect crab and smoked salmon at Barnacle Bill’s Seafood Market in Lincoln City with his daughter Kona; eating a brined smoked turkey at Thanksgiving with Deana, Jack and the grandchildren; and visiting with his family and friends like Deb and Tim.

Dean loved to read and write poetry. At the age of 7, he went to the Palm Springs Library and purchased “One Hundred and One Famous Poems” for 7 cents at their used book sale. One of his favorite poems from the collection that he shared with his family, friends and colleagues was “Keep A-Goin’!” by Frank L. Stanton:

If you strike a thorn or rose,

Keep a-goin’!

If it hails or if it snows,

Keep a-goin’!

Dean always shared how proud he was of his children. In 2005, he wrote, 

“My greatest hope in raising all of you was for each one of you to be able to make out of this life whatever you wanted. And I see that in each of you. My inner pride of knowing my children can stand their ground because they know right from wrong. And each one of you make Dad feel the glow from each of your souls as I watch and see you grow. 

“And when I write my story I want my children to know that they are stories that come from deep within my heart and soul. If so, how they retell my story as I often do, they’ll realize how much I love them as much as I do.”

Dean will be greatly missed by his children and friends. His quirky sense of humor, courageous spirit and ability to see the good in others are gifts he has passed along to his children.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Jack and June Lew; biological father, Wes Ware; sisters, Tasha and Tada Lew, and his two dogs, both named Caine.

He is survived by his beloved dogs, KK, Bill and Ghengis; his five children, Kona, Jessica, Deana, David and Jack; his six grandchildren, Jeffery, Dixon, Lennox, Ione, Dean and Bexley; his siblings, Paula, Kristina, Lance, Brandie and Susan.

He also will be missed by a multitude of friends, all of whom made lasting memories with him and were fortunate to know him and enjoy his gift of storytelling. During the last few months, Dean often shared how grateful he was for the calm and peaceful chapter of his life in Cloverdale. 

A virtual memorial will be held via Facebook at a later date. The family will have an in-person celebration for Dean in the future.

August 5, 2020

A Note To Our Readers

Reopening: Phase One:


On March 30, 2020, the Daily Sitka Sentinel began taking precautions against the coronavirus, which was starting to show up in Alaska.

We closed our building to the public and four key employees started working remotely. Home delivery was suspended to protect our carriers from exposure to the virus.

Four months later, the virus is still with us and the precautions remain in effect.

In appreciation for the willingness of our subscribers to pick up their daily paper at drop-off sites, the Sentinel was free to all readers, and subscriptions were extended without charge.

As of August 1 the Sentinel is once again charging for subscriptions, but the present method of having subscribers pick up their papers at designated sites will continue.

The expiration date of all subscriptions has been extended without charge for an additional four months.

We thank our readers for their support in these uncertain times, and especially those who paid for the paper despite the free offer.

We look forward to the time when we can safely resume home delivery.

To check on the expiration of your subscription or to make a payment please call 747-3219. The subscription email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . We also will be mailing out reminder cards.

The single copy price is again 75 cents. The news racks do not require coins to open, but we ask that the 75 cents for a non-subscription single copy sale be paid with coins in the slot.

– The Sitka Sentinel Staff


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Alaska COVID-19 
At a Glance

(updated 5-8-21)

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 11:50 a.m. Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 114

Total statewide – 66,120

Total (cumulative) deaths – 343

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 1,508

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

The City of Sitka posted the following update on COVID-19 cases in Sitka as of 5 p.m. Thursday.

Active cases in Sitka – 7

Hospitalizations (cumulative) in Sitka – 5

Cumulative Sitka cases – 367 (321 resident; 46 non-resident)

Cumulative recovered – 359

Deceased (cumulative) – 1

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

• • •


Sitka Vax Stats 

The State of Alaska DHSS reported Thursday the following statistics on vaccinations for Sitka.

Partially vaccinated – 4,898 (70.469%)

Fully vaccinated – 4,486 (64.56%)

Total population (16+) –6,949

Sitka has vaccinated (with at least one dose) 1,249 (84.51%) of its senior population (1,478 total), age 65 and older. 

Vaccination data for the City and Borough of Sitka can be found online at:





May 2001

Richard Nelson, Alaska writer and cultural anthropologist, will be speaker at the University of Alaska Southeast, Sitka Campus, commencement exercises at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School

May 1971

The Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game announced today that the 100-ton herring quota in District 13, outside of the Sitka Sound area, has been harvested. The 750-ton quota for Sitka Sound was taken by April 7.