FAMILY, BIBLE REUNION – TOP: Family and friends of Frank and Jessie Price stand behind a large gilded Bible found in the former Presbyterian Church that was returned to the descendants of the Prices recently. Family members, mostly from Washington state and California, visiting Sitka to witness the return of the Bible include, at front center holding Bible, Georgia Price Barnard, the daughter of the Prices, and Calvin Anderson, a great-great-grandchild of the Prices. The Presbyterian Church land was purchased by housing developers. ABOVE: Georgia Price Barnard holds the pulpit Bible that was returned to the family last week.(Sentinel Photos by James Poulson)

Mardelle Westover

    Longime Sitkan Mardelle Westover passed away peacefully in her sleep on Sunday, May 27, after a short but courageous battle with cancer and heart disease. She was 82 years old.
    Viola Mardelle O’Connor was born to Joseph and Viola O’Connor in Bellingham, Wash., on July 13, 1929. Her parents divorced when she was young, and she was adopted by her new father, Harry Smith. The family, including younger brother Tommy, who died in 1976, lived in California and then moved to Alaska where they settle first in Ketchikan and then in Sitka in 1945.
    As a high school student in Sitka, Mardelle excelled in basketball and softball. She met Stanley Westover while there and they were married shortly after her graduation. In the next four years they became the proud parents of three children, Carolyn, Cheryl and Rick (who preceded her in death.)
    The family business, Lakeside Grocery, which had been started by Mardelle’s mother, Vi, and Bud Lovell, and originally called The Hut, was bought by Stanley Westover and moved to a location on the ground floor under the Masonic Lodge in 1959. After Stanley drowned in a hunting accident in 1961, friends and relatives rallied around Mardelle, her mom, and her children to work the business. Lakeside was eventually moved to its current location on Halibut Point Road.
    Mardelle’s family and friends have said that she always brought out the best in those close to her. She leaves a legacy of precious memories of touching others’ lives with kindness, warmth and generosity.
    Over the last four months, from the time she was first diagnosed, Mardelle was called and visited by numerous friends and well-wishers. The family thanks all those who took their time and energy to make her last days as happy as possible.
    Mardelle is survived by her daughters, Carolyn Hammack and husband Ray, Cheryl Westover and partner Mary Ann Jones, grandson Michael Coleman and wife Tessie, great-grandchildren Michaela, Malissa, Kaycie, Trevan and Chance; brother-in-law Wayne Westover; sister-in-law Marlene Westover; nieces Deborah Diebert, Diane Graveline, Gayel Cheing and Sandy West; goddaughter Tori Hay; and many best friends, including Pauline Fredrickson and Kate Sulser.
    A memorial service will be held 10 a.m. Friday, June 8, at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.
    Their mom also wanted a party for all those who would like to attend, so, on Saturday, June 16, there will be a celebration of life for her from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Elks Lodge,  her family said.
    The family asks that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Brave Heart Volunteers or another care-giving organization in Sitka.
“Had Mom had time to give her parting words, they would have been,  ‘Help others when and where you can. Be kind to all living creatures. Well, dear hearts, I gotta scoot.’”

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 7-23-21)

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 1:06 p.m. Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 239

Total statewide – 70,751

Total (cumulative) deaths – 377

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 1,688

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 8 p.m. Thursday.

Active cases in Sitka – 235

Hospitalizations (cumulative) in Sitka – 24

Cumulative Sitka cases – 696 (636 resident; 60 non-resident)

Cumulative recovered – 465

Deceased (cumulative) – 2

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

• • •


Sitka Vax Stats 

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

Partially vaccinated – 5,567 (75%)

Fully vaccinated – 5,187 (70%)

Total population (12+) – 7,385

Sitka has vaccinated fully vaccinated 78 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:





July 2001

Recent Sitka High graduate Brian Mork is serving as a summer intern in Sen. Frank Murkowski’s Washington, D.C., office. Mork, the son of Carolyn and Leon Mork of Sitka, plans to attend the University of Fairbanks where he’ll study political science.

July 1971

The Halibut Association of North America has released a plan for halibut landings “to minimize the problem of halibut which contains over 0.5 ppm of mercury.” Sitka Cold Storage, a member, has adopted the plan.