SUMMER FLING – Erika Youngberg and one-year-old son Axel enjoy the light surf at Sandy Beach Saturday as temperatures climbed to 68 degrees under clear skies. The Youngbergs were among some 100 people sunbathing, splashing and swimming to deeper water before the weather turned to showers as was forecast for Sunday. (Sentinel Photo by Reber Stein)





Joan Johnson

    Joan Justine Johnson, who first came to Sitka in 1960, passed away at Sitka Community Hospital on April 29. She was 89.
    She was born Nov. 28, 1922, in Hollywood, Calif., the second of three children of Lee and Edith Jewell.

    While living in National City, Calif., she lost her father at an early age. It was during the Depression, and because of her love and devotion to her family, Joan went to work after school to help support the family. Through her determination and hard work, she graduated from high school in 1940 as valedictorian of her class.
    In 1941, she met and married Glen W. Hardcastle. After he returned home from serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, the couple and their two children, Doug and Glenda, settled in Torrance, Calif. Joan was a dedicated PTA president, Girl Scout leader, caregiver and homemaker.
    In 1960, the Hardcastles had an opportunity for a partnership to operate and manage Tri-Ways Marina on Katlian Street. So the family left the only life they knew and moved north to Alaska.
    In 1961, Glen and Joan divorced, and at first Joan didn’t know if she was going to like her new life in Sitka. But shortly afterward she met and married “the love of her life,” Earle Johnson. She often said that was when her life began.
    Earle and Joan were to remain by each other’s side for 50 years. Their life together took them to logging camps, small communities in Southeast, and then to Tenakee Springs for five years, where their love for fishing led them to buy their first troller, in 1969. They fished together for 10 years before Joan retired from fishing to become a full-time homemaker and devoted grandmother in Sitka.
    She supported her children and grandchildren in all the many activities in their lives. She loved sports, and volunteered and helped coach baseball teams – she became known as “Grandma” to an entire generation of Sitka baseball players.
    She loved her family, fishing, sports, sewing, crafts, entertaining, and staying up until all hours of the night playing cards and board games.
    Joan is survived by her husband, Earle W. Johnson; son Douglas D. (Gracia) Hardcastle; and daughter, Glenda L. Boddy, all of Sitka.
    She also is survived by five grandchildren, Philip (Katie) Hardcastle of Renton, Wash., Jamie Kelly of Manhatten, Mont., Scott (Teresa) Boddy of Anchorage, and Christine Boddy and Kevin (Kelly) Boddy of Sitka; several great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; loving nieces; a nephew; and cousins.
    The family asks that in lieu of flowers donations be made to Sitka Little League.

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


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Alaska COVID-19 
At a Glance

(updated 6-21-21)

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 12:21 p.m. Monday.

New cases as of Sunday: 13

Total statewide – 68,112

Total (cumulative) deaths – 366

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 1,602

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. Sunday.

Active cases in Sitka – 4

Hospitalizations (cumulative) in Sitka – 6

Cumulative Sitka cases – 390 (341 resident; 49 non-resident)

Cumulative recovered – 386

Deceased (cumulative) – 1

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

• • •


Sitka Vax Stats 

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

Partially vaccinated – 5,340 (72%)

Fully vaccinated – 4,967 (67%)

Total population (12+) – 7,385

Sitka has vaccinated fully vaccinated 77 percent 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:





June 2001

Sitka police and federal authorities are investigating a report three counterfeit $100 bills were passed at a Sitka jewelry store. “It’s difficult to solve it, if you don’t get a good description of them, especially if they are transient or tourists.” said SPD Lt. John Bocza.

June 1971

Photo caption: David Bruce, 10, caught this 64-pound king salmon Saturday fishing with his grandfather, Philip “Peewee” James near Olga Strait. The big fish was 46 inches long with a girth of 32 inches. David and his grandparents live at Mt. Edgecumbe.