Susan M. Murphy, Former Sitkan, Dies in Calif. at 72

Susan “Susie” Marie Murphy

Susan “Susie” Marie Murphy, a former Sitkan, passed away July 30, 2022, from ovarian cancer, diagnosed in the fall of 2019.

The diagnosis didn’t stop her, however, from enduring her treatments during Covid while pursuing career opportunities and achieving the goal of attending a large family reunion in Oregon at the end of this June.

Born October 6, 1949, in Lusk, Wyoming, to Barbara and Guy Donald Murphy, she and her three brothers – Michael, Joseph Patrick (predeceased)and Dennis – grew up in Menlo Park, California, and Sitka, where the family moved in 1961. She graduated from Sitka High School in 1967.

Susie earned her bachelor of arts degree from Seattle University and spent two years in the Peace Corps serving in Columbia, South America. She earned her master’s degree in instructional design from San Diego State University.

Susie went on to become a training manager for the University of California San Diego Library, then as an International Learning Consultant for Solar Turbines Inc., which allowed her to fulfill her passion for international travel.

Through this work she developed an appreciation for public speaking and became involved with two Toastmaster International clubs in San Diego – Turbo and Voyagers – and went on to become District 5’s secretary. This led to her founding Competitive Edge Speaking, conducting speaking workshops for clients such as the UCSD Staff Education and Development.

Along with travel, Susie also was  passionate about food and loved sharing cooking skills with family and friends. And for her, nothing beat a great cup of coffee or a lovely glass of red wine.

Apart from her two brothers and Michael’s wife Cynthia, Susie is survived by her niece Karen Argo and family, and myriad cousins around the country,  who will be lifting a glass of wine in her honor, preferably with a plate of fettuccine.

In her final days, Susie was lovingly cared for by Sharp Hospice Care in San Diego, and the family gave a special thank you to Grace Balch and Leslie Patinsky Funabashi for all their care and support of Susie during this time as well.

A private gathering with family is planned this fall in Washington. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a tribute donation to Sharp Hospice Care in memory of Susie at: or mail to Sharp Hospice Care at P.O. Box 158, La Mesa, CA 91944.

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At a Glance

(updated 5-30-2023)

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 Tuesday, May 30.

New cases as of Tuesday: 165

Total cases (cumulative) statewide – 298,078

Total (cumulative) deaths – 1,468

Case Rate per 100,000 – 22.64

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

COVID in Sitka

The Sitka community level is now "Low.'' Case statistics are as of Tuesday.

Case Rate/100,000 – 58.70

Cases in last 7 days – 5

Cumulative Sitka cases – 3,424

Deceased (cumulative) – 10

The local case data are from Alaska DHSS.






June 2003

Sitka Community Hospital board of directors has asked SEARHC to stop providing most health care services to non-beneficiary patients. “During the collaborative process SEARHC has said they’re happy to do anything they can do to help,” said SCH Administrator Bill Patten. “This is one of the things they can do – not provide services to non-beneficiaries.”



June 1973

What began 50 years ago in a Methodist parsonage in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, will be celebrated Sunday in Sitka. Les and Caroline Yaw’s four children invite the couple’s many, many friends to attend a golden wedding anniversary reception at the Centennial Building.