SUN AND SNOW – Snow evaporates off the roof of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church Thursday. More late season snow mixed with rain  is in the forecast for Saturday and Sunday. Sunny weather is in the forecast for the first part of next week. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Task Force Winds Up With Limits Unsolved
12 Apr 2024 15:31

Sentinel Staff Writer
    Sitka Tourism Task Force reviewed a number of recomme [ ... ]

World Flyers Made Sitka Stop 100 Years Ago
12 Apr 2024 15:29

Sentinel Staff Writer
    Almost exactly a century ago, the engines of four modi [ ... ]

California Salmon Fishing Canceled for Second Year
12 Apr 2024 15:24

Alaska Beacon
    In a devastating blow to California’s fishing industry, federa [ ... ]

Gov Claims Poll Backs His Education Policies
12 Apr 2024 15:22

Alaska Beacon
    Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy said a poll shows there is strong su [ ... ]

House Rejects Making State PFD Guaranteed
12 Apr 2024 15:20

Alaska Beacon
    The Alaska House of Representatives on Thursday rejected a long-a [ ... ]

Arctic Center at UAA Broadens Its Mission
12 Apr 2024 14:37

Alaska Beacon
When the federal government established an Arctic Domain Awareness Cente [ ... ]

April 12, 2024, Police Blotter
12 Apr 2024 14:01

Sitka police received the following calls by 8 a.m. today:
April 11
At 2:14 a.m. a report was logged t [ ... ]

April 12, 2024, Community Happenings
12 Apr 2024 13:56

Card of Thanks
Dear Sitka, I would like to say thank you for the outpouring of love and support for t [ ... ]

Southeast Music Fest Opens with Festive Air
11 Apr 2024 15:49

Sentinel Staff Writer
    High school musicians and directors from around South [ ... ]

Changes Made To Improve Recycling at Center
11 Apr 2024 14:11

Sentinel Staff Writer
    Recent changes in the collection of recyclable materia [ ... ]

Sitka Softballers Sweep All Rivals in Tourney
11 Apr 2024 14:10

Sentinel Staff Writer
    Opening the softball season strong at a tournament in  [ ... ]

House Adds, Subtracts In Amending Budget
11 Apr 2024 14:06

Alaska Beacon
    The Alaska House of Representatives has voted to provide state fu [ ... ]

SalmonState Criticizes AIDEA’s Loan Program
11 Apr 2024 14:05

Alaska Beacon
    An Alaska conservation group has released a new series of reports [ ... ]

Despite Quakes, Alaska Building Codes Shaky
11 Apr 2024 14:04

Alaska Beacon
Sixty years after North America’s most powerful earthquake on record r [ ... ]

April 11, 2024, Police Blotter
11 Apr 2024 13:44

Sitka police received the following calls by 8 a.m. today:
April 10
A dog was reported running loose i [ ... ]

April 11, 2024, Community Happenings
11 Apr 2024 13:38

Big Rig Event
Set Saturday
For All Ages
All types of vehicles, food and activities are planned for the  [ ... ]

Home Health Receives Boost from Assembly
10 Apr 2024 15:08

Sentinel Staff Writer
    After hearing testimony from a number of residents, t [ ... ]

Assembly to Question 2 Attorneys on Zoom
10 Apr 2024 14:23

Sentinel Staff Writer
    Two applicants for the Sitka city attorney position,  [ ... ]

Sitka Housing Summit Seeks Public Participation
10 Apr 2024 14:22

By Sentinel Staff
    Sitka Tribe of Alaska, Baranof Island Housing Authority and the city will be [ ... ]

Horan to Race Boston Marathon for Charity
10 Apr 2024 14:21

Sentinel Sports Editor
    Years after running cross country and track at Sitka  [ ... ]

High School Music Fest Starts Thursday in Sitka
10 Apr 2024 14:18

By Sentinel Staff
    The Southeast Music Fest kicks off early Thursday, with hundreds of high sch [ ... ]

Wolves Sweep Opening Series
10 Apr 2024 14:17

KODIAK OPENER - The five seniors of Sitka High’s softball team pose for a shot after playing in  [ ... ]

City League VB Tournament
10 Apr 2024 14:14

By Sentinel Staff
    Playing the recreational division City League volleyball tournament, the Pac [ ... ]

House Seeks to Narrow Gap in Funding Budget
10 Apr 2024 13:19

Alaska Beacon
    As the Alaska House of Representatives opened debate on the state [ ... ]

Other Articles

Daily Sitka Sentinel

Albert Kookesh Dies; Native Leader was 72


Albert Matthew Kookesh


Lifelong Angoon resident and former Alaska state senator Albert Matthew Kookesh, 72, left peacefully at his home on May 28, 2021, his 51st wedding anniversary. He was surrounded by family and loved ones. 

Albert was born Nov. 24, 1948, in Juneau, to Matthew Albert Kookesh of Angoon and Ramona Delores (Herrera) Kookesh, of Carrizozo, New Mexico.  He graduated from Mt. Edgecumbe High School in 1967, where he remains on the school’s basketball Hall of Fame. In 1972 he graduated from, and played basketball for, Alaska Methodist University (now Alaska Pacific University) and in 1977 earned his juris doctorate from the University of Washington School of Law.

Albert married Sally Marie Woods, of Manley Hot Springs, on May 28, 1970, in Angoon, where they returned to raise their family.  In his professional career, he worked for Kootznoowoo, Inc.; was elected to the Alaska Legislature, where he served in the House from 1997 to 2004 and the Senate from 2004 to 2012; and worked in the administrations of governors Tony Knowles and Bill Walker.

His public service was extensive. He was a member of the Sealaska Corp. board from 1976 until his passing, including as chair for 14 years; was on the Alaska Federation of Natives board as co-chair for 16 years; on the Alaska Native Brotherhood as Grand Camp president and as an executive committee member; was a trustee for the First Alaskans Institute; and a trustee for the Sealaska Heritage Institute. 

“No one even knows everything Albert has done for his community and shareholders. He’s dedicated his whole life to serving his home village of Angoon and the entire region.” Anthony Mallott,  of Sealaska, said.

In addition to his public service, Albert was known for his love of basketball, especially the Gold Medal Basketball Tournament, where he helped win 11 championships and was inducted into the Hall of Fame. He also was known for his love of life as a fisherman; of hunting; his practice and protection of the traditional way of life, subsistence; his mentorship and wisdom; his jokes and “true stories”; and for his extreme love and devotion to his home village of Angoon and his family.

He so loved his time with his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. In his final days, he was so proud of his grandchildren for winning the regional high school 1A basketball tournament.

“Albert was a true Aan Yadí – noble person – and his leadership was felt everywhere,” Rosita Worl, Sealaska Heritage Institute, said.

Albert was Eagle of the Teikweidí (Brown Bear) clan, child of the L’eeneidí (Dog Salmon) clan. His Tlingit name was Kaasháan, and he also had the name Yikdahéen.

Albert is survived by his wife Sally; and his children, Elaine Jack and her husband Frank, Jaeleen Kookesh, Reanna Kookesh, Albert Kookesh III and his wife Shiann, Walter Kookesh and his wife Amanda, and Chenara Johnson and her husband Kyle.

Also surviving are his brothers Matthew Kookesh, and Gordon Kookesh (Lisa); his sisters Pauline Duncan (Al), Nellie Kookesh (Matsu), Martha Akagi, and Stella Estrada (Rocky); his uncle Flavio Herrera; his devoted nephew Edward “BeeBucks” Kookesh (Jeannette); his brothers- and sisters-in-law; many nieces and nephews; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his father, Matthew; his mother, Ramona; his brothers Floyd and Edward; his uncle Walter Soboleff; his aunt Mary Nava; his grandson Bentley; and dear friends Clarence Jackson, Byron Mallott, George “Chunky” Henniger, Herbie Bruce, Fred Hopkins, Ivan Gamble, and Gerald “Pooch” Gregory.

A memorial service will be held at the Kevin O’Brien Gymnasium, Angoon High School, in Angoon, 6 p.m. Friday, June 4. Burial will be in Killisnoo at noon, Saturday, June 5.

Login Form



April 2004

Photo caption: Grace Larson holds one of the Easter breads she baked for sale at the annual Rainy Day Bazaar Saturday at Centennial Hall. Hundreds turned out for the event, sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard Spouses and Women’s Association.


April 1974

All youngsters from walking age on up to age 12 are invited to an Easter egg hunt Sunday. Ages 5 and under meet at the Centennial Building; ages 6-9 in front of the visitor center at Totem Park; and ages 10-12 at Totem Park. Some $150 in cash and merchandise prizes will be offered.


Local Events


Daily Sitka Sentinel on Instagram!


Daily Sitka Sentinel on Facebook!