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)

Johnny W. Duncan Sr. Dies in Sitka at Age 77

Johnny Walter Duncan Sr.

Johnny Walter Duncan Sr., a longtime Sitka resident, died unexpectedly December 9, 2020, at the age of 77. He was at home, surrounded by his children and grandchildren.

Johnny’s Tlingit name was Kaaldeiwtu Éesh. He was from the Kiks.ádi (Frog) clan, a child of the Killer Whale clan, and a member of the Clay House. He was born May 12, 1943, and raised by his parents, Emma and Peter Duncan, in Excursion Inlet and Hoonah. 

Johnny graduated from Chemawa boarding school in Salem, Oregon, in 1961, and then from Edison Tech in Seattle. He joined the Carpenters Union in 1964, retiring in 2006.

 John helped build the JC Penny building in Anchorage, worked in Adak at the government base, Mt. Roberts Tramway in Juneau, Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School, and the newer Alaska Native Medical Center. He worked at various other monumental buildings across Alaska.

John is survived by his brother Albert Duncan Sr., children, grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. He loved subsistence gathering and teaching his children and grandchildren the lifestyle he himself enjoyed, watching and participating in Southeast basketball.

John was a longtime member of the Sitka Alaska Native Brotherhood and the Sitka Pool League. 

John was an active member of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Moose Lodge, and Sons of American Legion.

He was a vocal advocate for the Sitka Sound herring and subsistence. 

He will be truly missed by friends and family. 

Due to COVID-19 there will be a private funeral, and later on a cultural service and celebration of life. The family understands that this is not traditional at all, but John would not want to put the health and safety of his community at risk. 


Questions concerning donations can be directed to Johnny Duncan Jr. 907-738-1595, or Donovan Duncan 907-738-2619.

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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.