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)





Mary Elizabeth Hughes

     Services have been scheduled for Mary Elizabeth Hughes, a Sitka resident since 1958.
    Recitation of the rosary will be 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5, at St. Gregory’s Catholic Church. A Mass of Christian burial will be noon Saturday, Oct. 6, also at the church, with a reception to follow downstairs in Corrigan Hall.
    Mary died  at her home on Sept. 13. She was 84.
    She was born July 9, 1928, the third of five children of Michael and Marie (Strohman) Dunn, and was raised on a farm outside of Keswick, Iowa, during the Depression and World War II.
    She attended Keswick public schools until her senior year when she transferred to Ottumwa Heights Academy. She graduated from Ottumwa Heights Junior College in 1946 with a teaching certificate, and taught in small towns in Iowa for the next 10 years.
    In 1956, she headed west where her brother and sister-in-law resided with their family, and taught at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic School in Wheatridge, Colo.
    In the summer of 1957 she went to Fairbanks to visit her cousin, Pat Lawlor and her husband, Joe, who owned a dairy farm. While there she met Jerry Hughes; they were married the next summer in Wheatridge and moved to Sitka, where Jerry was working on construction of the Alaska Lumber and Pulp mill.
    Mary taught at Baranof School that year, 1958-59, then chose to stay at home for the next 20 years to care for their six children.
    She returned to teaching in 1978 after receiving her bachelor’s degree in education at Sheldon Jackson College.
    She retired in 1987, and for the 1988-89 school year she and Jerry volunteered in Kekaha, Hawaii, on the island of Kauai.
    In the 1990s she worked as a guardian ad litem for the Sitka court system.
    She was a member of the Iota Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma, a professional honor society of women educators.
    She served on several boards and city commissions, including Sitka Community Hospital, Historical Trust, and the Port and Harbors Commission.
    She was director of the Pregnancy Aid office. Beginning in the early 1990s she and Jerry were a support couple for the Jesuit Volunteer Corps program, which was their most rewarding volunteer activity. She continued with the program until recently.
    In recent years she also devoted time to Sitka Cancer Survivor’s Society and Sitka Community Hospital Foundation. She was a 54-year member of St. Gregory’s and was active in various church ministries throughout the years.
    Mary was preceded in death by her daughter Marie Hughes and a sister Lucille Butler in 1995, and by her husband Jerry in 2000.
    Surviving are daughters Ellen Hughes and Ann (Scott) Winnop of Sitka, Joan (Chris) Gianotti of Juneau and Margy Hughes of Anchorage; and her son, Patrick Hughes of Sitka.
    Her grandchildren are Diana (Don)Morris of Washington state; Trevor and Chad Winnop of Sitka; and Mary, Andrew and Zachary Gianotti of Juneau; and Robbie and Lily Hood of Sitka.
    Also surviving are siblings James Dunn of Wheatridge, Rosemary Connell of Freeport, Ill., and Frank (Maryann) Dunn of Dubuque, Iowa, and their families; and Butler nieces and a nephew of Des Moines, Iowa.
    Charities that Mary supported throughout the years include Brave Heart Volunteers and Cancer Survivor’s Society of Sitka, and Friends of Chimbote, a Peruvian mission parish run by Jerry’s cousin, Fr. Jack Davis. The address is Friends of Chimbote, C/O Susan Trnka, P.O. Box 717, West Fargo, ND 58078-0717.

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.