Betty Jane Hodnett Dies; Lived in Sitka 48 Years

Betty Jane Alexander 

Betty Jane Alexander was born in Soper, Oklahoma, to William and Amo Alexander on May 29, 1932.  She passed away on May 4, 2022, 25 days before her 90th birthday.

When Betty was 6, her mother died, and she and her brother John were sent to live with their grandfather while their father worked in New Mexico.

When Betty was 8 years old a new mother (Gladys Mercer Alexander) came into her life and once again they were a family with a father and mother. They traveled to California and a few years later settled in Springfield, Oregon. Betty attended Springfield High School excelling in sports, especially softball. She graduated in 1951. While attending Springfield High she met the love of her life Eddielee Hodnett.  They married December 13, 1952, and stayed in the Springfield area, where their three girls, Deborah, Denise and Lani, were born.

In June 1965, Betty and the girls followed Eddielee to Sitka, where he was working for Alaska Lumber & Pulp (APC in later years). Not long after arriving in Sitka, Betty started working for the Sears & Roebuck catalog store, remaining for eight years.  After a bout with cancer she went to work at Neill Andersen’s store, and when grandchildren came along she quit work and stayed home to help take care of the grandchildren – Michael, Danielle, Galadriel, Nicholas and Billie Sue. Her grandchildren were her pride and joy.  

After Eddielee’s death in 1989, Betty became a “snow bird” traveling in the winter months to Arizona.  She never had liked the Southeast Alaska rain, so going to Arizona in the winter was like Heaven to her, but she always returned to Sitka to see her “kids.”

Betty loved watching all sports, but her favorites were bowling and softball.  While in Oregon, she joined bowling teams and was able to continue bowling in Sitka at Moose Lanes and Lane 7.  She was a very competitive bowler and did very well.  She continued bowling in Arizona winter leagues until she was 78.

When the Sitka Softball Association began in 1974, Betty was on a team and she played until her bout with cancer.  She attended most every game that her daughters and grandchildren played in, cheering them on.

In 2010 dementia caught up to Betty and simple things became difficult for her.  In 2011 she returned to Sitka full-time to be with her daughters and in 2013 moved to Everson, Washington.  In 2016 Betty moved into a memory care facility in Bellingham, Washington, where she lived until her death. 

Betty is survived by her brothers Tom (Mary) Alexander of Springfield,  and James (Robin) Alexander of Fritch, Texas; daughters Deborah (Bill) Riggs of Everson, and Lani Mikelski of Rohnert Park, Ccalifornia; grandchildren Michael (Tracy) Mikelski of Rohnert Park, California, Danielle (Max) Rogovy of Puerto Rico, Galadriel Morales (Ethorn) of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Billie Sue (Aaron) Rinn of Lynden, Washington.

Also surviving are great-grandchildren Tabitha, Lincoln, Eddie, Hadley, Cody, Atlas, and another due in September; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

She was preceded in death by her husband Eddielee; her daughter Denise Hodnett; her grandson Nicholas Mikelski; her son-in-law Mark Mikelski; her parents; her mother-in-law and father-in-law, Exie and Ed Hodnett; brother John; sisters Sarah and Billie Sue; and sisters-in-law Betty Mckinnis and Anny Defoor.

A private family service will be held at a later date in Oregon. 

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At a Glance

(updated 5-18-22)

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 11:55 pm Wednesday, May 18.

New cases as of Wednesday: 1,675

Total cases (cumulative) statewide – 249,522

Total (cumulative) deaths – 1,252

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 3,762

Current Hospitalizations – 44

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

COVID in Sitka

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

Cases in last 7 days – 54

Cumulative Sitka cases – 2,633

Hospitalizations (to date) – 32

Deceased (cumulative) – 6

The local case data are from Alaska DHSS.





May 2002

Police blotter: Two juveniles who were seen throwing their belonging at each other were told to stop or face arrest. ... A woman was reported arguing with her husband and friends, all of whom agreed she had been drinking too much. ... A man said he thought a neighbor had his missing cat, but the neighbor showed police his cat and her six kittens. A watch will be kept for the missing cat.


May 2002

 There will not be a commercial herring spawn and help fishery in the Sitka area, Jim Parker, Fish & Game fisheries management biologist, announced.  There’s been good herring spawn but herring haven’t spawned in the macrocystis kelp beds.