LONG LAYOVER – Bill Foster checks out the 40-foot Russian-flagged inflatable catamaran, Iskatel, that’s been hauled out near the UAS parking lot for the past two years. The pandemic put a halt to the international sailing trip that began in Russia, but the skipper, Anatoly Kazakevich, who recently spoke to the Sentinel, is hopeful about resuming the adventure in the spring and sailing to Siberia. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Services for Foy Nevers to be Sept. 22

Foy James Nevers

Services have been scheduled for Foy James Nevers, an active member of the community since 1959. He died at his home on Sept. 13, the eve of his 84th birthday.

The funeral service is scheduled 1 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 22, at Sitka Memorial Park, in the Gazebo. A viewing will be held from noon to 1 p.m., before the service, and a reception will be held afterward, upstairs at the Moose Lodge.

Foy was born Sept. 14, 1937, in Loup City, Nebraska, to Howard and Roxie Jones Nevers, joining an older brother and, soon after, twin younger brother and sister.

The family joined Howard, a heavy equipment operator, on construction jobs, finally settling in Emmett, Idaho. Foy graduated from Emmett High School in 1955, and in 1956 left to make his life in Ketchikan, joining his uncle at the Ketchikan Pulp Mill.

He was a member of the Idaho National Guard, transferring to the Alaska Territorial Guard (prior to statehood) in Ketchikan. He joined the Ketchikan Jr. Gun club where he met his future wife and mother of his children, Marilyn DeMan. They moved to Sitka for the start of the Alaska Lumber & Pulp Mill in 1959. In addition to raising his family, Foy continued his love of hunting and fishing, as well as bowling with co-workers, snowmobiling and playing softball.

Foy worked at the mill, advancing to become department supervisor for 17 years, until the mill closed in September 1993. Retirement lasted for less than a year before he started his second career, as a guided sport charter boat captain, which he continued for over 20 years. Prior to finally retiring, “Captain Foy” was proud to have been the oldest charter boat captain in Sitka!

Foy never lost his love for the outdoors including hunting and fishing and especially wildlife viewing, his favorite being whale watching. Over the years he amassed many stories to tell, including living through a brown bear attack while deer hunting at Appleton Cove in 1996, which earned him the local nickname of “Bear Claw,” and an exciting 2011 Safari to Africa with his son Todd and grandson Cail. He loved all holidays and enjoyed decorating his home for Christmas, wearing masks and giving out candy for Halloween, and even made it to the fireworks this past July. 

Foy continued with the National Guard in Sitka and served 13 years, honorably discharged with a rank of sergeant first class. He was on a statewide drill in Anchorage during the 1964 Earthquake, and activated to serve more than 10 days there. He remembered carrying the flag while marching across the field, when he started feeling the ground shaking. Not knowing how bad it was, he was just worryied about not letting the flag touch the ground! 

Foy was instrumental in beginning the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, trying to bring elk to Southeast Alaska, and from 1965 was an active lifetime member of the Sitka Sportsman’s Association, serving in many capacities including president, and never missed working on or participating in the annual Sitka Salmon Derby.

He was a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association and certified as rifle and pistol instructor. He served a term on the Alaska Outdoor Council and was a member of the Pioneers of Alaska. He was also an active member of Ducks Unlimited, the Elks Lodge, and in the Legion of the Moose for more than 60 years.  He was active in recent years with the Alaska Day Festival, and enjoyed costuming and participating in the 1867 re-enactment military unit as well as marching in the Alaska Day parade, convincing his grandson Justin to be the drummer boy. 

After more than 20 years he took a second retirement from guided sport fishing, and then turned his attention to being Range Master and instructor at the Sitka Sportsman’s Associations Trap Club. He really enjoyed all the young people learning how to shoot and learning gun safety. 

Foy and Marilyn divorced in 1972 and he married Nikki Ryman Blankenship in 1983, divorcing in 1996.

He was predeceased by two sons, Ross in 1962 and Mark in 1992. He was also predeceased by his parents and his older brother, LaMarr, and younger twin siblings, Royale and Roxanne. 

He is survived by his longtime loving companion Elaine Strelow of Kent, Washington; his daughter Anne Martin of Portland Oregon; son-in-law Rick Martin of Portland, Oregon; son Todd Nevers and daughter-in-law Audrey Nevers both of Sitka ; granddaughter Carrie Ann Nevers, and great-granddaughter, Neveah, of New Mexico; grandsons Cail and Justin Nevers of Sitka, Karl Martin of Dallas, Georgia, Luke Martin of Bend, Oregon, and Clay Martin of Ridgefield, Washington; great-grandsons Shane Thompson of Kapolei, Hawaii, Kam, Kolt and Kace Martin of Dallas, Georgia, and great-granddaughter Temari Raylene of Beaverton Oregon.

He is additionally survived by his stepdaughter Kari Blankenship Rice of Chehalis, Washington, with step-granddaughters Ivy and Dalaini; step-granddaughter Chassady Didrickson with step-great-granddaughters Kira and Solaris of Sitka; and ex-wife Marilyn Wheeless of Kenai and ex-wife Nikki Nevers of Fairbanks; as well as many close cousins, nieces and nephews in Idaho and Oregon. 

The family expressed a special thank you to the caregivers near the end of his life, Marilee Carlson and Janet Peratovich; and to the Sitka hospice volunteers and Brave Heart. 

Foy often visited the cemetery to see his son Mark, as well as many dear departed dear friends. He was very content, knowing that his final resting place would be next to Mark and among those friends. 

Honorary pallbearers are Todd Nevers, Cail Nevers, Justin Nevers, Rick Martin, Mike Sutton and Ed Ludlow.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Sitka Sportsman’s Association or a favorite charitable organization.

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Alaska COVID-19 
At a Glance

(updated 10-26-21)

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 10:02 a.m. Tuesday.

New cases as of Monday: 749

Total statewide – 130,482

Total (cumulative) deaths – 688

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 2,749

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

COVID in Sitka

The COVID alert rate for Sitka is “high,” based on 30 new resident COVID cases in the past 7 days, a rate of 351.99 per 100,000 population. Alert status will be high until the rate per thousand is below 100. Case statistics are as of Sunday.

New cases in Sitka – 4 

Cases in last 7 days – 30

Cumulative Sitka cases – 1,088

Cumulative non-resident cases – 102

Unique positive cumulative test results in Sitka, as of 10/22/21 – 1,210

Deceased (cumulative) – 5

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

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20 YEARS AGO
October 2001

Bart Meyer earned first place in the Sitka Sportsman’s Association’s annual Alaska Day Biathlon. He was followed by Jeremy McLaughlin, Paul Lashway, Greg Horton and Jack Ozment.

50 YEARS AGO
October 1971

The Alaska Day parade was one of the longest ... Alaska Airlines’float with a giant golden samovar and the New Archangel Dancers aboard won first place; the Sitka High band and drill team won second; the Pioneer Bar float won third, and honorable mentions went to the Coast Guard float and Mt. Edgecumbe High band.

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