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)

Sue Burgeson Dies in Wis.; Former Sitkan was Age 80



Susan (Sue) Plimpton Burgeson

Susan (Sue) Plimpton Burgeson passed away on February 13, 2021, at age 80, in Menomonie, Wisconsin. Her family was by her side. 

Sue was born in Chicago, Illinois, on June 13, 1940, to George and Carol (Bugbee) Plimpton. The family lived  in East Chicago and Schererville, Indiana, while she was growing up. Sue had an older brother, Peter Plimpton, and two cousins Jim and Tom Plimpton, whom she considered brothers. She shared many fond memories of the four of them growing up together. 

After graduating from Valparaiso University in 1962, she moved to Myrtle Point, Oregon, to teach music at the local school and logging camps in the area. While playing the organ for church service, she saw Carl Burgeson walk in. It was love at first sight and she had a hard time concentrating on the music after that! They were married on July 11, 1964. They had three daughters, Carrie, Sarah and Rachel.

In Oregon, Carl’s career with the U.S. Forest Service took them many places to live: Cave Junction, Mapleton, Silver Lake, Crescent, and La Pine. They loved each small town, where they were active in church and made many friends. 

In 1984, the family moved to Sitka, for Carl’s career. They saw this opportunity as another great adventure and stayed for 31 years. During her years there, Sue worked for the Daily Sitka Sentinel newspaper; Sitka School District; and as a private piano teacher. She taught piano lessons for 13 years. Her “Chocolate Chip Cookie Challenge” was a highly sought-after prize by her students and she always kept a huge cookie in the freezer, just in case. She was always proud of all of her students. 

In Sitka, Sue was very active with Grace Lutheran Church, playing the piano every Sunday and teaching Sunday school. She was well known in the community for playing the piano weekly at Sitka Community Hospital’s Long Term Care, Sitka Pioneer Home, and Swan Lake Senior Center. She loved to entertain the residents with her music.

Sue also played the piano for many elementary school spring and winter concerts. She was active in the “Babies and Books” and reading buddy library programs.

Sue was known around town for her outgoing, inquisitive, positive personality. She truly made friends wherever she went. Her deep love for Sitka abided after they moved away. 

Carl and Sue moved to Menomonie, Wisconsin, in 2015 to be closer to medical facilities and a change of scenery. Sue loved their beautiful, peaceful home, especially all the wildlife that frequented the property. 


They became members of Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church. Sue enjoyed the fellowship they found there and still occasionally played for church services. They also hosted several weekly Bible studies in their home and enjoyed making new friends that way. 

Sue was preceded in death by her parents; a brother, Peter Plimpton; a cousin, Jim Plimpton; and her daughter Carrie Crye. 

Sue is survived by Carl, her husband of 56 years; her daughters Sarah (Henry) Hopkins of Juneau; Rachel Miller of Seattle, Washington; and her beloved grandchildren, Tyler and Ariel Miller of Sitka; Emma and Erik Hopkins of Juneau; Declan Crye of Kodiak; and cousin Tom Plimpton of Indianapolis, Indiana. 

A memorial service will be held 2 p.m. Monday February 22, 2021, at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church.  The memorial services will be livestreamed on St. Paul’s Menomonie Church Facebook page and YouTube channel for those unable to attend. Interment will be at a later date in the church cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made to St. Paul’s Lutheran School, 1100 9th St. E., Menomonie, WI 54751. 

Condolences to the family may be made online at,

Rhiel Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Menomonie is serving the family.

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.