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 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.