TREE LIGHTING – Sitkans gather next to a decorated spruce tree across from City Hall Saturday. Scores turned out for the Chamber of Commerce’s holiday celebration that included caroling, a tree lighting hosted by Mrs. Santa Claus, and remarks by Chamber of Commerce member Loren Olsen and City Administrator John Leach encouraging people to shop in town during the holiday season. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Shirley Mae Miller Dies; Former Resident was 83

Shirley Mae (Halleen) Miller

Shirley Mae (Halleen) Miller, of Lewiston, Idaho, died peacefully on December 15, after a short hospitalization, with her family at her bedside. 

Shirley was born in the Lewiston Orchards at the family home on October 31, 1937, to Millard and Goldie Halleen, the youngest of five children. She loved that her birthday was on Halloween. Her father died when she was seven, and her mother later married Jim DeVault, who treated her as his own daughter.

Shirley graduated from Lewiston High School in 1955. In 1957 she married John Eimers at First Methodist Church. They lived in Caldwell, Idaho, while John attended college. After graduating, John was hired as a teacher and football coach for Parma High School.

In 1962 their daughter Marcia was born.

In 1964, Shirley and John visited Sitka where Shirley’s parents and brothers, who were working at Alaska Lumber & Pulp, were living. They fell in love with Alaska and joined the rest of the family in 1965. Their son Don John was born the following year.

Shirley and John later divorced. Shirley married a member of the Coast Guard who was stationed on the C.G. Cutter in Sitka. He was transferred to Valdez, Kennewick, Washington, and then to Honolulu, Hawaii. After leaving the Coast Guard the couple returned to Sitka. 

Following their divorce, Shirley wanted to move back to Hawaii. But before she could do that, she met a fellow Idahoan George Miller, whom she married in 1987. Shirley and George enjoyed socializing on the weekends, dancing, and playing darts. Later they became snowbird, living in Casa Grande, Arizona, with several friends from Sitka, and made many more special friends there. In 1999 they left Alaska for good, and summered in Lewiston. Her daughter and son-in-law, Bill Arnold, also left Alaska for Lewiston, and her son followed the next year. A few years later Shirley and George gave up the warm winters and lived year-round in Lewiston. She was not a fan of the cold and missed Arizona. 

Shirley was cremated and her daughter and son-in-law will take her cremains to Hawaii, to be forever warm.

Shirley was one of a kind. She had a subtle sense of humor and always spoke her mind, and all who knew her have fond memories and will miss her greatly, her family said..

Shirley is survived by her husband George Miller, Lewiston; her children Marcia Eimers Arnold (spouse Bill Arnold) and Don John Eimers, Lewiston; her sister Charlotte Halleen Worden, Lewiston; her brother Lowell Halleen (spouse Beverly Halleen), Vancouver Washington; and many nephews and nieces.  She is also survived by her two fur grandbabies, Biorka and Lucy.

Her parents Millard and Goldie Halleen, her stepfather Jim DeVault, her brother Don Halleen, and her sister Darlene Halleen preceded Shirley in death.

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Alaska COVID-19 
At a Glance

(updated 12-3-21)

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 10:21 a.m. Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 312

Total statewide – 146,558

Total (cumulative) deaths – 853

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 3,117

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

COVID in Sitka

The COVID alert rate for Sitka is “high,” based on 13 new resident COVID cases in the past 7 days, a rate of 152.52 per 100,000 population. Case statistics are as of Thursday.

New cases in Sitka – 2

Cases in last 7 days – 13

Cumulative Sitka cases – 1,142

Cumulative non-resident cases – 102

Unique positive cumulative test results in Sitka, as of 11/26/21 – 1,266

Deceased (cumulative) – 5

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

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December 2001

Photo caption: Cathy Hanson shovels snow off the sidewalk in front of Russell’s today. What started as a few flakes Monday evening had mounted to an estimated half-foot by noon today. More was forecast but rain is possible Wednesday.

December 1971 

Several fish fatalities resulted Monday night when a car apparently went out of control, ran off Halibut Point Road and slammed into the rear of Sitka Petland Store. Vibrations shattered fish tanks, and several hundred dollars worth of tropical fish were casualties.