Kent W. Adams, Former Sitkan, Dies at Age 85

Kent Wesley Adams

Kent Wesley Adams departed this life on August 20, 2022, in Olympia, Washington. He was 85. 

He was born on Sept. 16, 1936, in Washington, D.C., to Hayward and Vyola Belle Adams.

Kent lived an interesting life and had many skills learned from his wide variety of jobs. He spent the first years of his life in Virginia, and Washington D.C. As a child, he lived in Florida, Texas, California and Massachusetts. 

When he was 12, his mother, Vyola Belle, brought him to Sitka, where she homesteaded Long Island in Sitka Sound. He attended Sitka High School then joined the U.S. Navy for a short stint, leaving with an honorable discharge.

He eventually went to Idaho to work in the logging industry, repairing chainsaws and other equipment. There he met and married M. Signe Goodbrand, and they had three children, Kim, Kent and Klaudia. In the fall of ’59 Kent returned to Sitka with his family. They homesteaded Kayak Island, living in a machine gun nest until a kerosene lamp caught the partitions on fire and they lost all except their lives, skiff and a bag of dirty laundry.

The family recovered on Dove Island, with Vyola Belle and Warren Christensen. Kent took his family and repaired chainsaws and outboard engines at Appleton Cove, Mud Bay and Rodman Bay floating logging camps.

When a pod of orcas killed a mama seal, Kent caught the baby seal, named it Silky, and kept it in the bathtub until it could be safely released.

In the early 1960s, they purchased Berry Island, an old fox farm, where they lived for several years. A baby deer trapped in a kelp bed, was brought to Berry Island, where it “Bambi” lived with the family for close to a year.

In Alaska, Kent worked at Whitestone logging camps, Alaska Lumber and Pulp, and TriWays Marina, as an engine mechanic. The children were home schooled.

Kent organized the 4th of July speed boat race around Japonski Island for years, winning in 1964 and taking second in ’65 after flipping his race boat completely over, en route.

Tri-Ways Marina was damaged in the 1964 earthquake, and Kent’s carpenter father-in-law rebuilt it. The damaged Tri-Ways was beached at Berry Island, where the family reused materials to build an addition to the fox farm to house a live-in schoolteacher for the children, Kent’s brother Kevin, and Suzie Sturm’s five children, from a nearby island. A swimming pool in the attic and a generator provided their first running water and electricity.

After his marriage to Signe ended, he moved to Tacoma, Washington, where he opened Kent’s Harbor Service.  There he met the love of his life, Lou. They married in 1979 and enjoyed nearly 43 happy years working and traveling together.

Kent is survived by his wife, Lou, of Olympia; half-brothers Larry (Joyce) Roth and Kevin Ferrell; three children, Kim Elliot of Sitka, Kent (Nancy Kniivila) Adams of Juneau, Klaudia (Michael) Leccese of Sitka, and stepson Joey (Angela) Sagara of Olympia; grandchildren Talena Adams, Shawnee Owens, Kai Delacy, Ryan Kitka, Skye Workman, Misty Tweet, Aaron and Connor Sagara; and 14 great-grandchildren and six great-great grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held in Sitka early next summer.  

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At a Glance

(updated 9-28-22)

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, September 28.

New cases as of Wednesday: 546

Total cases (cumulative) statewide – 282,928

Total (cumulative) deaths – 1,329

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 3,955

Case Rate per 100,000 – 74.91

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 – 117.30

Cases in last 7 days – 10

Cumulative Sitka cases – 3,358

Hospitalizations (to date) – 29

Deceased (cumulative) – 7

The local case data are from Alaska DHSS.






September 2002

Photo caption: Bus drivers Derrell John and Sabrina Smith stand next to the new Community Ride buses at Crescent Harbor bus stop, which serves as a transfer point. The two public transportation buses will run two routes, one along Halibut Point Road, the other along Sawmill Creek Road. 


September 1972

 Photo caption: Bill Willis, the new owner-manager of the Dip’n’ Sip in the Triune Building serves up another ice cream cone for a pleased customer. Bill and his wife Dorothy purchased the business from JoAnne Harris. Along with the ice cream treats, sandwiches and soups will be added to the menu.