TREE LIGHTING – Sitkans gather next to a decorated spruce tree across from City Hall Saturday. Scores turned out for the Chamber of Commerce’s holiday celebration that included caroling, a tree lighting hosted by Mrs. Santa Claus, and remarks by Chamber of Commerce member Loren Olsen and City Administrator John Leach encouraging people to shop in town during the holiday season. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Resident Rena Snyder Dies at 94

Rena H. Snyder


Rena H. Snyder, who has lived in Sitka for the past 11 years, passed away peacefully on September 19 in Fairbanks. She was 94.

She was born in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1927, the daughter of John and Rena Fiske. She attended school in Erie, Pennsylvania, and over the years lived in several places, including Florida, Tennessee, Costa Rica and Washington state.

She was living near family members in Ocean Shores, Washington, before coming to Sitka to make her home with her son and daughter-in-law Greg and Georgeana Wallace.

 At the time of her death she was spending the summer with family members, including grandchildren Ashley Wallace, Rena Wallace, Anesha Krause and Lorianne Welsh, and great-grandchildren Olivia, Devin and Finnian, at the family’s fish camp on the Yukon River.

She also leaves behind the families of her two sisters, Judy Golembeski and Juanita Fiske Tirpak, and a brother, Jerry Fiske.

She was preceded in death by her son Brian Wallace, daughter Judy Wallace, and husband John Snyder.

“She was the loving matriarch of our family, and will be greatly missed,” a family member wrote.

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Alaska COVID-19 
At a Glance

(updated 12-3-21)

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 10:21 a.m. Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 312

Total statewide – 146,558

Total (cumulative) deaths – 853

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 3,117

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

COVID in Sitka

The COVID alert rate for Sitka is “high,” based on 13 new resident COVID cases in the past 7 days, a rate of 152.52 per 100,000 population. Case statistics are as of Thursday.

New cases in Sitka – 2

Cases in last 7 days – 13

Cumulative Sitka cases – 1,142

Cumulative non-resident cases – 102

Unique positive cumulative test results in Sitka, as of 11/26/21 – 1,266

Deceased (cumulative) – 5

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

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December 2001

Photo caption: Cathy Hanson shovels snow off the sidewalk in front of Russell’s today. What started as a few flakes Monday evening had mounted to an estimated half-foot by noon today. More was forecast but rain is possible Wednesday.

December 1971 

Several fish fatalities resulted Monday night when a car apparently went out of control, ran off Halibut Point Road and slammed into the rear of Sitka Petland Store. Vibrations shattered fish tanks, and several hundred dollars worth of tropical fish were casualties.