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)

Henry ‘Gene’ Burton Sr. Dies at 80 in Anchorage

Henry E. “Gene” Burton Sr.

Henry E. “Gene” Burton Sr., passed away on Feb. 11, 2021, at the Alaska Regional Hospital in Anchorage,. He was 80.

Gene, known as “Buddy” in Tennessee, was the younger twin born on Oct. 4, 1940, in Jackson County, Tennessee, to Richard Cecil and Mattie Lou (Norton) Burton. 

Education was always important to their family, as his father had a third grade education and his mother an eighth grade education. Gene graduated from Cookeville Central High School in 1959 and immediately joined the United States Air Force.

While stationed at Elmendorf Air Force base in Anchorage, working as a medical clerk, he met Adeline June Williams of Sitka, who was working as a licensed practical nurse at the Alaska Native Service Hospital in Anchorage. They were married Nov. 12, 1960, at the Anchorage Courthouse – they celebrated their 60th Anniversary this past  November. He was adopted into the Chookaneidi, Wandaa Hit of Hoonah, and given the name of Adeline’s father, Frank O. Williams Sr., Leidoojée.

After moving to Sitka in 1978, Gene worked with the United States Post Office and retired in 1985 after a motorcycle accident left him paralyzed. After recovering, he spent many years helping friends repair radios and CBs as well as advocating for disability rights. 

He was a proud lifetime member of the American Legion Post #13, serving over the years as Post Commander, Judge Advocate and Club Manager.

He always had encouraging words for friends and family and lived his life by example, always working hard and living a life filled with dignity and purpose.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by three sons: Michael Jayson Burton, born Feb. 22, 1964, Dennis Wayne Burton, born July 20, 1965, and Stephen John Burton, born August 5, 1967; his older twin sister Della Gerelene Wiley and his sister Ruby Lee Hargis; and brother Floyd Crawford.

He is survived by his wife Adeline Burton, son Henry E. Burton Jr., daughter Pam (Scott) Steffes and granddaughters Haylee and Delainey Steffes of Sitka; his sister-in-law June (Randy) Kinney and brother-in-law John O. Williams of Anchorage, and sister-in-law Alice Phipps of Tennessee. He has many beloved nieces and nephews.

Due to COVID-19, a private family burial is planned at Sitka National Cemetery, followed by a reception at the American Legion. Pallbearers are: Larry Fitzsimmons, Harvey Kitka Sr., Scott Steffes, John O. Williams, Leonty Williams and Rich Williams.

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.