PAINTING WEATHER – Downtown Sitka is pictured from the vantage point of commercial painter Keith Fredrickson’s 60-foot man lift today. Fredrickson Painting Inc. was taking advantage of the partly sunny weather to get a coat of paint on the Sitka Hotel, foreground, today. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Nancy Gustavson

A memorial service for Nancy Leanne Gustavson will be held 2 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 10, at the First Presbyterian Church.
    Pastor Diane Wonnenberg will officiate. Afterward, friends are invited to gather at the church’s Latta Hall to celebrate Nancy’s life. Those wishing to do so are welcome to bring sandwiches or finger food to share.
    Interment was held at 1 p.m. today at Sitka Memorial Cemetery.
    Nancy died Jan. 3, 2012, at her home on Edgecumbe Drive after being treated for cancer for more than three years. She was 69.
    She was born March 11, 1942, in Glendale, Calif., the daughter of Paul and Marjorie Maurine (Smith) Gustavson. She graduated from high school in Arcata, Calif.
    Nancy began her library career while a student, working in the libraries at Humboldt State University and San Francisco State University. She earned her master’s degree in library science at the University of Southern California.
    She was working as a cataloguer at the University of British Columbia library in 1969 when she and a friend decided to visit Alaska as part of a tour group. She liked what she saw, and decided to move here. She applied with the Alaska State Library in Juneau, and was offered a job as a cataloguer. She left in the early 1970s to work at the University of California at Irvine, but returned and began work at the Juneau Public Library, under Dale DeArmond. When DeArmond retired, Nancy became library director and held the post until 1985 when she came to Sitka to head Kettleson Memorial Library.
    She oversaw several major changes at Kettleson, including installation of a computer system, and setting up of Internet access through the Alaska State Library’s Statewide Library Electronic Database. Children’s services grew, hours were extended, and more lectures, readings and programs offered.
    When Nancy retired in 2001, she was paid many tributes. “Nancy Gustavson is just a wonderful leader,” said Gary Paxton, then city administrator. “She probably runs the most successful library in the state of Alaska.”
    Gerri vonRekowski, who was head of Kettleson’s technical services, called Nancy a “wonderful supervisor.”
    “She has been one of the best people to work with, and this is the best library I’ve ever worked at,” vonRekowski said. “She’s very receptive to what the community wants and needs, whether that means book selection or library hours, or anything else. That’s really why this library is so successful.”
    Among Nancy’s several honors  was the 1998 Audry P. Kolb Public Library Service Award, given annually by the Alaska Library Association to an Alaskan for contributions to the “life and activities of the library.”
    Kettleson remained a part of Nancy’s life after she retired, and her husband, Jerry Deppa, said she was delighted at the energy and innovation of the current director, Sarah Jones, a friend and former Sitka High librarian.
    The library was only one area where Nancy gave to the community. She volunteered at the animal shelter, where,  among other duties, she gave time and attention to the cats (Jerry tended to dogs), sometimes adopting or foster parenting them.
    She was active in the First Presbyterian Church, where she served as a deacon; and was  a member of Soroptimist International of Sitka.
    She enjoyed sewing and gardening – and reading. Intelligent and kind, she was a good, true friend to many.
    Among Nancy’s survivors are her husband, Jerold “Jerry” Deppa, Sitka; two brothers, Phil Gustavson and his wife, Sarah, of Santa Ana, Calif., and Paul “Rus” Gustavson and his wife, Trinette, of Eureka Calif.; a sister, Lesley Ritter and her husband, Jake, of Crescent City, Calif.; and nieces and nephews.
    In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Kettleson Library or the Sitka Animal Shelter.

August 5, 2020

A Note To Our Readers

Reopening: Phase One:


On March 30, 2020, the Daily Sitka Sentinel began taking precautions against the coronavirus, which was starting to show up in Alaska.

We closed our building to the public and four key employees started working remotely. Home delivery was suspended to protect our carriers from exposure to the virus.

Four months later, the virus is still with us and the precautions remain in effect.

In appreciation for the willingness of our subscribers to pick up their daily paper at drop-off sites, the Sentinel was free to all readers, and subscriptions were extended without charge.

As of August 1 the Sentinel is once again charging for subscriptions, but the present method of having subscribers pick up their papers at designated sites will continue.

The expiration date of all subscriptions has been extended without charge for an additional four months.

We thank our readers for their support in these uncertain times, and especially those who paid for the paper despite the free offer.

We look forward to the time when we can safely resume home delivery.

To check on the expiration of your subscription or to make a payment please call 747-3219. The subscription email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . We also will be mailing out reminder cards.

The single copy price is again 75 cents. The news racks do not require coins to open, but we ask that the 75 cents for a non-subscription single copy sale be paid with coins in the slot.

– The Sitka Sentinel Staff


Login Form



Alaska COVID-19 
At a Glance

(updated 5-8-21)

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 11:50 a.m. Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 114

Total statewide – 66,120

Total (cumulative) deaths – 343

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 1,508

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

The City of Sitka posted the following update on COVID-19 cases in Sitka as of 5 p.m. Thursday.

Active cases in Sitka – 7

Hospitalizations (cumulative) in Sitka – 5

Cumulative Sitka cases – 367 (321 resident; 46 non-resident)

Cumulative recovered – 359

Deceased (cumulative) – 1

The local case data are from the City of Sitka website.

• • •


Sitka Vax Stats 

The State of Alaska DHSS reported Thursday the following statistics on vaccinations for Sitka.

Partially vaccinated – 4,898 (70.469%)

Fully vaccinated – 4,486 (64.56%)

Total population (16+) –6,949

Sitka has vaccinated (with at least one dose) 1,249 (84.51%) of its senior population (1,478 total), age 65 and older. 

Vaccination data for the City and Borough of Sitka can be found online at:





May 2001

Richard Nelson, Alaska writer and cultural anthropologist, will be speaker at the University of Alaska Southeast, Sitka Campus, commencement exercises at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School

May 1971

The Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game announced today that the 100-ton herring quota in District 13, outside of the Sitka Sound area, has been harvested. The 750-ton quota for Sitka Sound was taken by April 7.