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)

Celebration of Life Set For Pauline Fredrickson

Pauline Fredrickson 


Pauline Fredrickson departed from this world with the Lord at her side on Sunday, July 4, 2021, at the age of 91. She was recovering from surgery due to a fracture, and was making progress, when the good Lord called her home.

LaVera Pauline was born in Cordova on August 4, 1929, the first of three children of Patricia Osborn Ballinger and Angus (Jack) Ballinger. Her mother had come to Alaska with a friend for the summer when she met and married Jack, and by the time she was 19, Pauline was born. The family moved to Chichagof Mine in time for Pauline to start her first year in the one-room school, and they stayed through her fourth grade year.

The family moved to Sitka in time for the WWII boom in 1939, with huge influxes of military. Because expectant moms needed to deliver out of Sitka at the time, Pauline and her brother Jack were evacuated with their mom to Washington state on a blacked-out Alaska steamship. They had been living in the middle “Murray” house on the boardwalk of Seward Street when they left, finding a temporary home in Wenatchee, Washington, where little brother Bobby was born. Pauline and family returned a year later, and she enjoyed the rest of her childhood in Sitka. Pauline’s class of 13 graduated from Sitka High School in 1947.  

Pauline has fond memories of her first job delivering goat milk from Mirth Sarvela’s home farm to local Sitkans. Her job locations also included the soda fountain in Neill Andersen’s, Sitka Music store, Sitka School District office, Alaska Steamship, and Alaska Lumber and Pulp.

Pauline ended her long work-life with her favorite job as administrative assistant at UAS Sitka, retiring after 27 years. After she retired, she still worked as a courier for the local drug stores.

Pauline was working as a clerk in Neill Andersen’s when she met Tricia’s father, George Burton Woodbury II, who was stationed on the U.S. Coast Guard ship in Sitka. They were married in the house (then owned by Martha Cushing) now owned by the Poulsons. Pauline’s brother, Jack, and Mardelle Westover “stood up” with them. After “Woody’s” discharge from the Coast Guard, they moved to the Boston area where he earned his bachelor’s degree. After seven years, the marriage was blessed with the birth of Patricia Diane Woodbury (Trish White). Woody had accepted a job with the Federal Aviation Administration in Alaska. Sadly, the marriage dissolved in 1958.

On October 18, 1961, Pauline married Leonard “Lenny” Peterson, who had returned to Sitka to commercial fish after serving as a Navy pilot in WWII. On October 18, 1962, hunters drowned when their skiff swamped on the way to the bigger boat. The only survivor was Bob Wyman, father of Ed and Phil Wyman. Lost by drowning were Stanley Westover, husband of Mardelle, Ben Rigling, and Lennie Peterson. Pauline was a widow and so was her best friend, Mardelle.

After a time, Pauline married Bill Fredrickson. Pauline told the story that when their relationship was getting serious, she asked Mardelle why, if Bill was raised in Sitka, had she never met him before? “Well, he’s about 10 years younger than we are,” was Mardelle’s answer. The two married regardless, staying together for about 18 years. After about ten years, the marriage was blessed with Victoria Agnes Fredrickson (Tori Hay). 

St. Peter’s Episcopal Church had been central to Pauline’s life for many years. She served on the vestries for several Episcopal ministers and on the church altar guild since 1965. She also served for years on the Board of Sitka Community Hospital as well as the Sitka Hospital Auxiliary. She was active in many community organizations, and supported and encouraged many more.

Pauline was preceded in death by her parents and both her brothers, Jack and Bob.

She is survived by her children Trish (Dirk) White and Tori (Mike) Hay, Sitka; grandchildren Taylor and Soren White as well as Noelle and Jace Hay, Sitka. She also leaves sisters-in-law Theresa Ballinger and Rose Ballinger, niece Adria Ballinger, and great-niece Whittne Ballinger, as well as many dear friends.

A small family service will be held at St. Peter’s on her 92nd birthday, August 4. A celebration of her life will be held for those who wish to attend from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 7, at Halibut Point Recreation Area, main shelter. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Brave Heart Volunteers or Sitka Conservation Society.

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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.