James S. Thomason, Former Sitka Banker, Dies in Oregon

James Stewart Thomason

James Stewart Thomason, 89, of Roseburg, Oregon, passed away peacefully with family by his side on January 22, 2021.

Jim was born on July 29, 1931, in Seattle, Washington, the son of Gena and J. Thad Thomason. He grew up in West Seattle, and frequently could be found outdoors with his friends in the neighborhood or with his cousins at Lake Twelve.

He graduated from Seattle University in 1953. While a Navy Reservist, Jim began a career in banking at First National Bank of Washington in Seattle, quickly rising to a management position, and opening a branch in Sitka, in 1957.  While in Sitka, he met and married the love of his life, Irene Geleszinski. They and their seven children spent many memorable years in Sitka and Anchorage, where they enjoyed hunting, fishing, family camping and road trips.  In 1978, the family moved to John Day, Oregon, where they owned and operated Nugget Lanes until moving to Roseburg, in 1987.

After his retirement from the Douglas County assessor’s office in 1998, Jim relished golfing with family and friends, once shooting a hole in one.

Jim supported his family and community in many ways, including active involvement in Boy Scouts, Little League, Rotary Club, Elks Lodge, and other organizations.

He served on the board of directors at Western Cascade Credit Union (now Cascade Community CU) for many years, and volunteered numerous hours at the Roseburg Visitors Center, honored in 2003 as Recycler of the Year.

He was known to many as JT throughout his life, RUJ (“rich” Uncle Jim) to his nieces and nephews, and DOD (Dear Old Dad) to his kids.

Super patriotic, he always had an American flag flying at his home.

He adored his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and his many close friends, and was deeply loved in turn.  A charismatic story-teller, he was a friend to all.

Jim is survived by his sons James Jr. (aka Skipper), Darhl (Cricket), and  Kyle (Darcee); daughters Susie Thomason-Ankeny (Jerry), Mona (Brian Shenk), Lynn Rooker, and Natasha Smith (David).

He was preceded in death by his wife, Irene, and his sister, Beverly O’Kelley. A celebration of his life is planned for July 31, 2021, at River Forks County Park near Roseburg.

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At a Glance

(updated 1-12-22)

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 11:55 am Wednesday.

New cases as of Friday: 2,512

Total statewide – 172,329

Total (cumulative) deaths – 955

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 3,337

Current Hospitalizations – 103

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

COVID in Sitka

The COVID alert rate for Sitka is “high,” based on 153 new COVID cases in the past 7 days. Case statistics are as of Sunday.

New cases in Sitka – 34

Cases in last 7 days – 153

Cumulative Sitka cases – 1,531

Deceased (cumulative) – 6

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





January 2002

Classified ads, Rentals: 3-bdrm. house on the beach. $900; 3-bdrm duplex, washer/dryer $945; Great downtown house, 2 bdrms., 2 baths, furnished,
W/D, hardwood floors $850; 2-bdrm. roomy apartment $945..


January 1972

The City and Borough Assembly Tuesday approved an ordinance establishing a transportation committee to advise the assembly and promote transportation services for the municipality. Members are Cecil McClain, Ray Mabey, Clarence Kramer,
Dick Cushing and Burt Hansen.