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)

James S. Thomason, Former Sitka Banker, Dies in Oregon

James Stewart Thomason

James Stewart Thomason, 89, of Roseburg, Oregon, passed away peacefully with family by his side on January 22, 2021.

Jim was born on July 29, 1931, in Seattle, Washington, the son of Gena and J. Thad Thomason. He grew up in West Seattle, and frequently could be found outdoors with his friends in the neighborhood or with his cousins at Lake Twelve.

He graduated from Seattle University in 1953. While a Navy Reservist, Jim began a career in banking at First National Bank of Washington in Seattle, quickly rising to a management position, and opening a branch in Sitka, in 1957.  While in Sitka, he met and married the love of his life, Irene Geleszinski. They and their seven children spent many memorable years in Sitka and Anchorage, where they enjoyed hunting, fishing, family camping and road trips.  In 1978, the family moved to John Day, Oregon, where they owned and operated Nugget Lanes until moving to Roseburg, in 1987.

After his retirement from the Douglas County assessor’s office in 1998, Jim relished golfing with family and friends, once shooting a hole in one.

Jim supported his family and community in many ways, including active involvement in Boy Scouts, Little League, Rotary Club, Elks Lodge, and other organizations.

He served on the board of directors at Western Cascade Credit Union (now Cascade Community CU) for many years, and volunteered numerous hours at the Roseburg Visitors Center, honored in 2003 as Recycler of the Year.

He was known to many as JT throughout his life, RUJ (“rich” Uncle Jim) to his nieces and nephews, and DOD (Dear Old Dad) to his kids.

Super patriotic, he always had an American flag flying at his home.

He adored his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and his many close friends, and was deeply loved in turn.  A charismatic story-teller, he was a friend to all.

Jim is survived by his sons James Jr. (aka Skipper), Darhl (Cricket), and  Kyle (Darcee); daughters Susie Thomason-Ankeny (Jerry), Mona (Brian Shenk), Lynn Rooker, and Natasha Smith (David).

He was preceded in death by his wife, Irene, and his sister, Beverly O’Kelley. A celebration of his life is planned for July 31, 2021, at River Forks County Park near Roseburg.

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


Login Form



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.