Graveside Service Friday For Theresa L. Helem, 74


Theresa Louise Helem

Graveside services for Theresa Louise Helem, a longtime Sitka resident, will be held 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 18, at Sitka Memorial Park.

Pastor Dug Jensen, of Calvary Chapel, will officiate.

The family will meet friends at the Elks Lodge immediately following the service. Those attending are welcome to take a dish to share.

Theresa transitioned on Nov. 9 at Mt. Edgecumbe Medical Center, at the age of 74.

She was born Oct. 8, 1948,  to Gordon and Myrtle Helem. The family came to Sitka in 1959, and Theresa graduated from Sitka High in 1966.

Throughout Theresa’s life she showed her ambition and bravery when many opportunities came along, from being a taxi driver in Seattle, to being one of the first crew members on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline based out of Delta Junction, to taking courses ranging from business classes to more technical ones such as mechanical engineering.

She was constantly learning and striving for knowledge. Her adventures took her to volunteering for several years on the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. 

Her most notable achievement was her constant involvement in the family business from a Contractor Supply Store to being the general manager of  Sitka True Value Hardware, all while raising three children on her own.

Theresa lived by “If there was an adventure, I was up for it, let’s go.”

Members of this community will  remember her not only for being “The Boss Lady” from the office of Sitka True Value but for her passion and advocacy.  She made sure to be present and make her voice heard with her heart’s focus for her fellow community members’ well-being as well as the direction of this town.

Theresa was preceded in death by her parents.

She will continue to live on through her son Timothy Bernard, daughters Amanda (Jon) Martin, and Ashley Grearson; five grandchildren, McKayla Sheakley, Emily Bernard, Hannah and Brianna Martin and Grace Bellamarie Grearson; two brothers, Ken (Carole) Helem and Jerry (Mary) Helem; and nieces and nephews.

She will be remembered dearly by her Sitka True Value employees “family.”

In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to Special Olympics of Alaska.

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At a Glance

(updated 11-29-22)

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 Tuesday, November 29.

New cases as of Tuesday: 414

Total cases (cumulative) statewide – 286,561

Total (cumulative) deaths – 1,399

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 4,195

Case Rate per 100,000 – 56.8

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 – 70.40

Cases in last 7 days – 6

Cumulative Sitka cases – 3,173

Hospitalizations (to date) – 31

Deceased (cumulative) – 10

The local case data are from Alaska DHSS.






December 2002

 Alaska Native Sisterhood will hold a Christmas bazaar Dec. 7 at the ANB Hall. Isabella’s famous clam chowder and fry bread also will be for sale.



December 1972

Photo caption: Presbyterian women of today wear costumes from 1877-1899 at Sunday’s service. From left are Alice Postell, Dorothy Streit, Gladys Whitmore, Carrie Maura, Harriet Hannigan, Eugenie Williams, Esther Littlefield, Isabel Miller, Marilyn Ryan, Esther Billman, Beverly Scholz, Gertie Zeiger, Marcia Strand and Betty Stratton. (Photo by Martin Strand)