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)

Roscoe H. Max Jr. Dies At His Home in Pelican

Roscoe Henry Max Jr.

Roscoe Henry Max Jr. took his journey into the forest on July 3, 2021. He died peacefully in his home in Pelican surrounded by his wife, Barbara, his nephew Uncle Bill Paddock, and caregivers of the Pelican community.

Roscoe had major health issues that he overcame and found the strength to make it back to his beloved Pelican. His daughters were quite nervous about his being in Pelican with limited health service. However, his niece, Bradelle Padon, was his primary caregiver and “we cannot thank her enough to give him the necessary care with her loving hands and tender heart as he began his final walk,” his family said. “What a beautiful gift she gave to her Uncle. Roscoe did it his way and knew right where he wanted to be for his final walk.”

His wife Barbara and daughters Roxanne and Rhoda expressed their appreciation for the love and support the entire community of Pelican showed Roscoe throughout the years and in his final days.

Roscoe was born on March 24, 1931, to Harriet Newell Max (Sitka) and Roscoe Max Sr. (Barrow).

Roscoe grew up in Sitka and was Inupiaq and Sheet’ka Kaagwaantaan of the Eagle Nest House. He spent his childhood in Sitka and attended the all-Indian school. He was very athletic – a fast runner, he still held the record at Sheldon Jackson for the 440; competed in the pole-vaulting event with a bamboo pole; and was inducted into the SJ Basketball Hall of Fame.

He had many fond memories of Sitka.

After finishing high school at Sheldon Jackson he joined the U.S. Navy.

After serving in the Korean War and his tour in the Navy ended, he returned home and married his sweetheart, Vivian Paddock. They chose Pelican to raise their family together. 

He was extremely patriotic and deeply loved and had this unwavering respect for our country.

Roscoe had a strong faith in God and shared that with wife Barbara and they prayed for the safety and good health for each of their family members and friends every day.

He was a kind and humble man with strong family values and ethics. He had a great sense of humor and would love to play tricks on just about anyone.

“If you have a story, the family would take great comfort in hearing from you,” his family said.

One of his teachings to his children was that friends would come and go but your family will always be there for you. He lived life to the fullest and loved his family and friends.

Roscoe was always smiling even in the toughest of times and adopted many young fish-house workers who missed their families. A smile, hug, dinner and that sense of family; he would open up his home to many. 

Roscoe dedicated his life and profession to the Pelican Cold Storage and belonged to the International Longshoreman’s Union (ILWU). He also fished with Bill and Henriette Odell, the Phillips family, Bill Hammer, Gordon Isaacson and packed fish with Brad Padon. 

 Roscoe was preceded in death by his wife of 37 years, Vivian Ann (Paddock) Max; sons Darryl Brian Max, Leonard Dean Max and Roscoe Glenn Max; parents Harriet Max and Roscoe Max Sr.; siblings Jean Anderson, Arthur Max, Alden Max, Edith Mork, and Charlotte Churchill; and his father- and mother-in-law, Joe and Elizabeth Paddock.

He is survived by his wife Barbara Day Max (18 years); and daughters Roxanne Houston and Rhoda Jensen.

His grandchildren are Joshua Houston, Dennis Houston Jr., Jacob Houston, Jocelyn Jensen, Cody Jensen and Jonathan Jensen Jr. Also surviving are numerous stepchildren, grandchildren, nieces and nephews (too many to list).

The family plans a celebration of his life on or around July 4, 2022, where Roscoe will join many family members that preceded him in their final walk to the forest.

“Family and friends from afar will have the opportunity to join us in this celebration,” his family said. “If anyone has pictures of Roscoe, they would like to share with the family, please send via email to Rae Anne Holmes at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ,” the family said. Rae is Roscoe’s niece and will be putting together a slide deck in honor of her Uncle Roscoe. 

Honorary pallbearers will be Jon O. Bean, Uncle Bill Paddock, Jake Phillips, Dennis Houston Sr., Jonathan Jensen Sr., Patty Phillips, Maura Phillips, Fred Mork, William ‘‘Gig’’ Mork, Keith Mork, Cheryl Young and Edward Johnson.

Pallbearers will be Joshua Houston, Dennis Houston Jr., Jacob Houston, Jocelyn Jensen, Cody Jensen, Jonathan Jensen Jr., Jamison Mork, Carl Phillips, Jordan Phillips, Frederick Phillips, James Phillips and Ajax Eggleston.

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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.