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)

Shirley Hughes, Lifelong SE Alaskan, Dies in Sitka

Shirley Marie Hughes

Shirley Marie Hughes, 82, went to be with her savior, Christ Jesus, on July 21, 2021. She died peacefully at her home in Sitka with family beside her.

She was born Nov. 20, 1938, in Juneau to Orrin and Myrtle (Feero) Edwards. She spent the majority of her childhood in Skagway, and graduated from Skagway Public School in 1956. Shortly after graduation she married Kenneth Justin. His work for C&R Builders took them to Juneau where their daughter Sharon was born.

In 1957 they came to Sitka for Ken’s work on the construction of the Alaska Lumber and Pulp mill. During the next six years three more children were born to them: Randall, Kenneth Jr. and Sheila.

Her marriage to Ken ended in 1973, and in 1974 she and the kids moved to Juneau, where she started working at a friend’s bakery. That move led her to marry the love of her life Samuel Hughes in 1977. Together they owned and operated Sam’s Bakery until they retired and moved to Lexington, Tennessee, to raise cows.

After Sam’s passing in 2017 Shirley moved back to Sitka to be close to family. She enjoyed Bible study, jigsaw puzzles, knitting, crocheting, playing games and, in Tennessee, feeding her beloved cows peppermint candies. Her cows came running when they heard the sound of a peppermint candy being unwrapped.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Samuel Hughes; brother David Edwards; sons Randall Justin and Kenneth Justin Jr., and daughter Sheila Chatriand.

She is survived by brothers John Edwards of Skagway and Alan Edwards (Lisa) of Altavista,Virginia; daughter Sharon Byrd (Don) of Sitka; and granddaughters Miranda Littlefield (Victor) and Melinda Cagle (Jamey) of Sitka, Amanda Ebert (Jason) of Bozeman, Montana,  Kari Neiman (Bob) of Plains, Montana,  Samantha Strecker (Jordan) of Big Horn, Montana, and Bobbi Neumann (Tanner) of Whitehall, Montana.

 Great-grandchildren include Alex Cagle, Ellie Cagle, Chloe Cagle, Hunter Littlefield, Lilly Ebert, Katie Ebert, Allie Ebert, Finn Neiman, Dillon Neiman, Westyn Strecker, Tenley Strecker and Grayson Neumann; and the great-great-grandchild is Layla Robinson.

Her family was blessed to have her back in Sitka to enjoy having five generations of family all together for the last days of her life.

Due to COVID the family will hold a private service at a later date.

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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.

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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: https://cityofsitka.org

 

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20 YEARS AGO
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.

50 YEARS AGO
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.

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