CHECKING IT OUT – Fia Turczynewycz, a visitor from Ohio, walks her dog,  Mani, past the Sitka National Historical Park Visitor Center this morning. Tlingit master carver Tommy Joseph’s newly completed yellow cedar Waas’go pole, pictured in the background, was moved out of the park’s carving shed Thursday to make room for Joseph’s latest project – carving a Tlingit canoe with the aid of an apprentice. Joseph’s Waas’go pole is the third version of the Haida pole in the past century – a reproduction of a reproduction made in the 1930s by George Benson, which is placed inside the visitor center. Rangers are working on approval for a location along the park’s trail system for the new pole. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Bob Dexter, Former Sitkan, Dies in Anchorage at 57

Robert Steven Dexter


Robert Steven Dexter, “everyone’s Uncle Bob,” died suddenly of a stroke June 22 in Anchorage. The former Sitka resident was 57.

A memorial potluck will be held 4 p.m. July 22 at Jewel Lake Park in Anchorage. His ashes will be spread at Twenty Mile River on July 23.

Bob was born Feb. 24, 1964, in Sitka and grew up in Millersville, on Japonski Island. His mother was Eva Susan (Johnson) Dexter, from Kotzebue, and his father was Dale Henry Dexter.

Over the years Bob worked as a fisherman, carpenter, roofer, handyman, and mechanic, and was with home contractors in Anchorage.

“He claimed to be a dumb man, but if your washer broke, he was the guy you needed to have around,” a niece, Valerie McKay, said. “He hated planned gatherings of any kind – it had to be spontaneous. The only planning ever was to go fishing. We both got speeding tickets one time trying to make the tide in time.”

Bob loved Inuit and Tlingit traditional food, and he always made sure to share. Fishing was a way of life, and his smoked salmon was renowned – he made a small fortune with his jarred smoked salmon, seal oil and herring eggs, his family said.

He didn’t leave Alaska until he turned 50, when he went to visit a good friend in Alabama. Overcoming his fear of airports, he then traveled everywhere, visiting family in Indiana and Louisiana.

He had a kind and generous heart, and a mischievous streak.

He had an affinity for children and dogs. He helped raise many nieces and nephews, making them feel special and spoiling them rotten, as well as teasing them. 

His wife, Linda Negrete, was the love of his life for 14 years. She was a nurse full-time, but a part-time animal keeper – she and Bob loved their parrots, cockatoos and dogs. After Linda died from the effects of diabetes, Elsie, their last dog, died of a tumor and old age.

Bob also was preceded in death by his mother.

He is survived by his siblings, Billie and Benny of Anchorage, Bruce of Kotzebue, Barbara of Sitka, and Beverly of Eagle River; and many nieces and nephews.

Honorary pallbearers at the July 22 memorial will be Sione, Joe, Elsie, Becky, Brad, Justin, MaRanda, Kay, Val, Patti and Joleen.

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Alaska COVID-19 
At a Glance

(updated 9-17-21)

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 10:47 a.m. Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 875

Total statewide – 96,002

Total (cumulative) deaths – 454

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 2,207

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

COVID in Sitka

The COVID alert rate for Sitka is “high,” based on 14 new COVID cases in the past 7 days, a rate of 187.73 per 100,000 population. Alert status will be high until the rate per thousand is below 100. Case statistics are as of Thursday.

New cases in Sitka – 5

Cases in last 7 days – 16

Cumulative Sitka cases – 946

Positive cumulative test results in Sitka, as of 9/10/21 – 1,090

Deceased (cumulative) – 3

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

• • •


Sitka Vax Stats 

The State of Alaska DHSS reported Friday the following statistics on vaccinations for Sitka.

Partially vaccinated – 6,132 (83.03%)

Fully vaccinated – 5,991 (81.12%)

Total population (12+) – 7,385

Sitka has vaccinated fully vaccinated 89.85 percent 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:





September 2001

Alaska Pacific Bank has opened an account for donations to be directed to the families of the World Trade Center attack of Sept. 11. The account has been opened with a $2,000 contribution from the bank and an anonymous donor.

September 1971

At the Sitka Historical Society’s meeting Sunday, Mrs. Esther Billman of Sheldon Jackson College presented a “surprise package” of recent donations to the Sheldon Jackson Museum by Mr. Hugh Brady, youngest son of former Territorial Gov. John Brady.