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)

Services to be Friday For Cresencia Villanueva, 98

Cresencia Madarang Ruiz Villanueva

Cresencia Madarang Ruiz Villanueva, 98, passed peacefully in her home on Sunday, November 14, 2021, at 6:43 p.m., surrounded by many loved ones.

She was born June 15, 1923, in Santiago, Isabela Philippines,  to Anastacio Ruiz and Dolores Madarang and was the youngest of four children. 

Cresencia married Sotero Villanueva on April 27, 1944. The two of them moved to Sitka in 1979. 

Throughout her lifetime she had several jobs, including at a McDonald’s and a laundromat, and providing cleaning services and housekeeping for Sitka Medical Center and Service Transfer facilities and apartments. But  she was best known for being a homemaker and babysitting her many, many grandchildren.

Widely known as Ina, she was everyone’s “grandma.”  She was a devoted follower of the Lord and could often be found praying faithfully with her Bible.

Although petite in size, her nurturing energy was felt by all. She will be remembered for her healing touch; her bright smile and warm hugs; playing bingo and cards; her delicious cooking; and, above all, her undeniable presence of light and love that matched her love for her family.   

Cresencia was preceded in death by her husband Sotero, her parents, her three siblings, three children, and two grandchildren.

She is survived by her seven children: Pete (Virginia) of Sitka, Teofilo (Teresita) of Seattle, Samuel (Charito) of Juneau, Melencio (Myrna) of Sitka, Dolores (Levie) of Juneau, Fernando of Sitka, and Victor (Eliza) of Sitka, as well as her 21 grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren.

Friends and family of Cresencia are invited to attend the service and reception at St. Gregory’s Catholic Church Friday, November 19. Visitation begins at 11 a.m. and the funeral at 12:05 p.m.  A burial ceremony will follow at Sitka National Cemetery and then a reception at church’s downstairs hall.

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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.