Kurt Korthals, Former Sitkan, Dies in California at Age 85

Kurt Korthals


Kurt Korthals, a longtime Sitka resident, passed away on Sept. 18, 2021, at Redwood Convalescent Home in Castro Valley, California. He was 85.

Kurt Korthals was born in Burbank, California, on Feb. 2, 1936. His parents, Kurt and Ida Marie Korthals, emigrated from Germany before WWII.  

Kurt enjoyed all the benefits of living near the ocean, rivers and streams, forests and mountains of southern California. As a boy, he would take his bike and fishing pole after school and be gone all afternoon enjoying the sun, hiking and fishing in the nearby forests.

After graduating from Bellarmine-Jefferson High School in Burbank, Kurt attended the University of California at Berkeley and earned a bachelors degree in forestry. He joined the U.S. Army and served from 1959 to 1961 and as a United States Army Reserve until 1964. He met his wife, Rosemarie Aatz, when he was stationed near Trier and married her before returning to California to begin his forestry career and his family. 

Kurt moved his family to Big Creek, California, where Annabelle was born in 1961, then to Klamath Falls, Oregon, where Angela was born in 1963. The family came to Alaska in 1964, living in Petersburg until 1967, then moving to Sitka where he worked for Alaska Lumber and Pulp from 1967 to 1980.  Roy Korthals was born in 1967, then Kurt A. Korthals in 1979.

Kurt enjoyed fishing on weekends then, years later, began commercial fishing.

In 1981 the Korthals family moved to Ketchikan where Kurt was employed at the Sealaska Timber Corporation.

Kurt’s wife, Rosemarie, died of cancer in 1986.

Kurt suffered a devastating stroke in June 2011. He recuperated in Seattle then was moved to a nursing home in Castro Valley to be near his oldest daughter.

Kurt is survived by his children, Annabelle, Angela, Roy and Kurt; his fiancee Rose Manning; and his grandchildren, Amanda and Lauren.

Kurt loved life, his family and friends very much. He enjoyed taking the family to California to visit his sister and mother. He loved the outdoors, fishing, travel, Las Vegas, and especially loved chopping wood. He was a member of St. Gregory’s Church. He was a wonderful father, son, brother, husband, grandfather and friend and is missed very much.

The memorial service has been delayed due to COVID-19. It will be held in Sitka in June 2022 pending St. Gregory’s availability. 

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At a Glance

(updated 8-17-22)

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 12:15 pm Wednesday, August 17.

New cases as of Wednesday: 1,444

Total cases (cumulative) statewide – 277,007

Total (cumulative) deaths – 1,296

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 3,843

Case Rate per 100,000 – 198.11

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

COVID in Sitka

The Sitka community level is now "High.'' Case statistics are as of Wednesday.

Case Rate per 100,000 – 211.20

Cases in last 7 days – 18

Cumulative Sitka cases – 3,022

Hospitalizations (to date) – 29

Deceased (cumulative) – 7

The local case data are from Alaska DHSS.






August 2002

 Electric department officials are asking Sitkans to conserve electricity over the next few days while the city recovers from a three-hour power outage caused by a mudslide knocking out a span of the main hydropower transmission line near Heart Lake.


August 1972

Legionnaires of the American Legion, Sitka Post No. 13, have been appointed to key committees in the state department. They are George H. Inman Jr., Carroll E. Kohler, Raymond C. Perkins and Edward J. Flynn.