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BRISTOL BAY BOROUGH AND DILLINGHAM CENSUS AREA, ALASKA
OBITUARIES AND DEATH NOTICES
 
CARMEN Evelyn Pauline Carmen, 70, died March 11, at Harlingen Medical Center in Harlingen, Texas. Mrs. Carmen was born May 21, 1934, in Wood River. She attended schools in Dillingham, Cordova and Anchorage. Mrs. Carmen graduated from Anchorage High School in 1953. On May 9, 1953, she married Dennis Carmen in Wasilla. Mrs. Carmen enjoyed bowling, dancing, handiwork and crocheting. She worked as a medical secretary for many years. Mrs. Carmen and her husband traveled extensively after retirement. She is survived by her husband, Dennis; children and spouses, Lance Carmen, Larry and Kathy Carmen, and Nancy and Jimmie Rogers; sisters and spouses, Marietta and Dave Curtis, and Gladys and Ron Roberts-Workman; brother, Clyde Peterson; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
COBBAN Gwendolyn "Gwen" Cobban died Thursday, Aug. 5, 2010, at Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center. She was 95.A memorial celebration of life will be at 6 p.m. Saturday in St. James Episcopal Church in Kodiak. Her ashes will be buried with her husband and son in Kodiak at a later date.Gwen was born March 20, 1915, to Porter Roy Davidson and Nora (Clapp) Davidson, in Wheatland, Ore. She grew up in Wheatland, Bolton and Amity, Ore. She went to school in Amity, where she met her future husband, "Casey" Cobban, when she was 14. They married 5 years later and raised six children. She sewed for the family in her younger days, she knitted and crocheted and in her later years became interested in quilting, which she enjoyed very much. She was a hand-quilter and joined a group of other senior hand-quilters in Concrete, Wash.They came to Sitka in November 1941, where Casey was working as an electrician for Siems Drake at the Navy facility on Japonsky Island. After Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, all dependents were on an Alaska Steamship vessel Dec. 8 to Seattle. Casey stayed with Siems Drake and was working on Rugged Island outside Seward when the family was allowed back into the territory in the summer of 1944. They lived in Seward, where Casey became a fisherman, until 1954. They then moved to Seldovia until 1959, Seward again until 1963, and Dillingham, where she worked for National Bank of Alaska. They moved to Kodiak in 1973, where she continued with NBA until the late '70s. They traveled until Casey's death in 1981 and she subsequently moved to Oregon and Washington for 20 years. She returned to Kodiak in 2000.She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Barbara and Sonny Peterson; sons and daughters-in-law, Gary and Dodi Cobban of Kodiak, Mike and Joanne Cobban of Big Lake, Robert and Sherry Cobban, of Clarkston, Wash., and Craig and Junko Cobban of Anchorage; 15 grandchildren, 26 grandchildren, and 11 great-great-grandchildren, all of whom but one were lucky enough to know her.Gwen was preceded in death by her husband, Casey; son, Terry Sr.; and great-grandson, River Cobban.
CUSMA Jeanne Finely Cusma, 53, of Nondalton died March 6, 2010, at her residence. A service was held March 12 at the Alaskan Heritage Memorial Chapel in Anchorage. A second service was held March 13 at St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church in Nondalton, with Father David Askoak officiating. Pallbearers were Thomas Gardiner, Rodney Kakaruk, Randy Kakaruk, Walter Jackinsky, DaWayne Constantine and Ronald Alexie. Interment was in Nondalton Cemetery.Born June 18, 1956, in Dillingham, Jeanne was the daughter of John and Louise Gardiner. She was a graduate of Dillingham High School. Jeanne worked as a commercial fisher from 1977 to 2008, PCA from 2003 to 2005, and currently was working as an assistant cook. She enjoyed playing cards, puzzles, old-time dancing, picking berries and subsistence fishing.Her family said she was "a caring and loving mom and gram gram." She was loved by many and will be missed by all. "May her memory be Eternal," they wrote.She is survived by her husband of 34 years, Paul Jr.; mother, Louise; mother-in-law, Agnes; daughters, Margaret and Tina; sons, Paul III, Maxim, John and Robert; eight grandchildren; four sisters; three brothers; godmother, Olga Balluta; and numerous nieces and nephews and extended family throughout Alaska. Arrangements are with Alaskan Heritage Memorial Chapel, Anchorage.

DURR

TALKEETNA -- Alaskan author and artist Robert A. Durr died suddenly February 10, 2009, of congestive heart failure at his home in Talkeetna. He was 83. Durr was born August 27, 1925, in Brooklyn, New York, to Grace and Alfred Durr. After serving stateside in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, Durr married Carol Betty Lipps on September 6, 1948, and began to pursue his education in English literature. Durr received a B.A. from Hofstra College, an M.A. from the University of Connecticut and a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University. As a graduate student, Durr was honored to have spent time with famed American author H. L. Mencken in that author’s last years. Afterwards, Durr’s essay, “The Last Days of H. L. Mencken” was published in the Yale Review.Durr began teaching at Syracuse University in 1957 where he eventually became a full professor of English and head of his department. In and around this time he published two book length scholarly works, On the Mystical Poetry of Henry Vaughn and Poetic Vision and the Psychedelic Experience. After spending a full year on sabbatical in the Wood River Lakes area of Alaska in 1963/64, Durr realized a lifelong dream when, in 1968, he and his family moved permanently to Alaska, settling initially on a remote shore of Lake Iliamna. Two years later the family relocated to open-to-entry land north of Talkeetna where Durr lived on the shores of “Back Lake” in a cabin in the woods until two and a half years ago when, due to health difficulties, he relocated to Talkeetna.Durr worked as a commercial fisherman in Alaska’s Bristol Bay from 1964 through 1970. In the 1970s, Durr rediscovered an old love: visual arts, and went on to become well known in Alaska’s art community in the 1980s, winning numerous awards for his artistic endeavors.In the 1990s Durr returned to writing, publishing two non-fiction novels with St. Martin’s Press in New York: Down in Bristol Bay: High Tides, Hangovers, and Harrowing Experiences on Alaska’s Last Frontier (1999) and The Coldman Cometh: A Family’s Adventure in the Alaska Bush (2004).His family says, “Our father was an adventurer in all areas of his life, from the decision to move his family to Alaska to his intellectual and artistic pursuits, and he lived life to the fullest. He loved nothing more than his life in his cabin at Back Lake, where he could hear the wind in the trees, the loons on the lake and the soft hiss of the fire in his woodstove. He also felt blessed to be part of the wonderful community of Talkeetna. We loved him, and he will be greatly missed.“His daughters, Sarah and Elizabeth, would like to publicly acknowledge their older brothers, Steven and Jonathan Durr, for caring for their father in his years of poor health and allowing him to enjoy the life he loved for as long as was possible. The family as a whole would like to thank Sunshine Community Health Center, Access Alaska, Dr. Scully with the Alaska Heart Institute and the Talkeetna and Trapper Creek EMS.”Durr was preceded in death by his former wife and lifelong friend, Carol L. Durr, and his sister, Juliet.He is survived by his sons, Steven Durr and Jonathan Durr of Talkeetna and Robert Woods and Elizabeth Kay of Grants Pass, OR; grandsons Christopher Birdsall of Juneau and Fairbanks and Zachary Kay of Grants Pass, OR; granddaughters Cara Durr of Anchorage, Jessica Durr of Daytona Beach, FL, Jennifer Birdsall of Talkeetna and Ashland, OR, and Annabelle Woods of Seattle, WA. He is also survived by many friends both near and far.Memorial services were held Feb. 20, 2009 at 6 p.m. at Whole Wheat Radio in Talkeetna. Memorial donations may be sent to Sunshine Community Health Center, P.O. Box 787, Talkeetna, AK, 99676.
EMBERG Dillingham - Truman Emberg, a member of Alaska's Constitutional Convention in the 1950s and a signer of the constitution, died in his home in Dillingham on Friday. [October 1982] The 72-year-old Emberg had been suffering from respiratory and heart ailments for some time. A native of Duluth, Minn., Emberg came to Alaska in 1936 as part of the Mat-Su Valley agricultural relocation project. A year later he moved to Dillingham and spent the rest of his life as a commercial salmon fisherman in Bristol Bay. Emberg held various appointive offices on fisheries management councils. At the time of his death, he was the manager of the Western Alaska Cooperative Marketing Association, a Dillingham-based fishermen's group. Buried in Wood River Cemetery in Dillingham, Alaska.
ERVIN Ethel Shirley Ervin, 54, died March 22, 2003, at the home of Phil and Kay Osterhaus in Anchorage, Alaska. Ms. Ervin was born Sept. 1, 1948, in Dillingham, Alaska. She is survived by her loving companion, Bob Hand; children, Phil Osterhaus, CJ Dolchok, Alice Umetsu, Jewel McCarr, and Tracy McCarr; 11 grandchildren; sisters, Myrtle Heinrich, Darlene Fitting, and Brenda Jensen; and brother, Russ Osterhaus.
JOHNSON Robert A. Johnson, 73, died Jan. 9, 2002, at Franklin Hospital in Benton, Ill. Mr. Johnson was born May 28, 1928, in Naknek, Alaska. He is survived by his wife, Millie Johnson; son, Robert D. Johnson; sisters, Elvira Maney, Agnes Parks and Emma Love; and brothers, Martin Johnson and Richard Johnson.
LANGSDORF Anna Lee Langsdorf, 37, died Dec. 2, 2002, at home in Auburn, Wash. Ms. Langsdorf was born Jan. 17, 1965, in Kanakanak, Alaska. She is survived by her mother, Verona O. Langsdorf; stepsister, Gloria Kron; and stepbrother, Fred Keith.
LARSON Elizabeth G. Larson, 89, died March 13, 2000, at the Alaska Native Medical Center. Mrs. Larson was born in Snag Point, Alaska, on February 23, 1911. She is survived by her seven children, their spouses and families: Marie and William Tennyson, Adolph and Kay Larson, Pauline and Don Hart, Elizabeth and Peter Galbraith, Irene and Richard Hartwig, Ada and Henry Ford, Richard and Agnes Larson; sister Marie Andrews; 46 grandchildren; 90 great grandchildren; 33 great, great grandchildren and three great, great, great grandchildren.
LOPEZ Barbara Joyce Lopez, 49, died March 2, 2000, at the Alaska Native Medical Center. Mrs. Lopez was born in Naknek, Alaska, on July 11, 1950. She is survived by her husband Leonard and sons Darrell, Bryon, Darren and Kevin Lopez.
LOPEZ Leonard Lee Lopez, Sr., 61, died July 15, 2002, at home in Anchorage, Alaska. Mr. Lopez was born Sept. 10, 1940, in Portage Creek, Alaska. He is survived by his sons, Darrell, Bryon, Darren and Kevin; daughters-in-law, Lisa, Nina and Darbe; grandchildren, Steven, Darien, Ashtyn and Lauryn; sister and brother-in-law, Mary and Jim Freeman; brothers and sisters-in-law, Morris and Barbara Lopez, Delpin and Lila Lopez, Mickey Jr. and Betty Lopez, Benny and Nancy Lopez, Albert and Rita Lopez; and numerous nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
MOODY Corporate jet pilot and tugboat captain extraordinaire, Frank Moody, 65, died unexpectedly Aug. 25, 2010, in Anchorage.Services will be held in San Diego in November.He was born Sept. 20, 1944, in Palmer.Frank was raised in the village of Aleknagik, where he was regularly exposed to boating and flying with his family. He grew up commercial fishing in Bristol Bay and later attended college in Washington state. Following his passion for aviation, he worked for a variety of airlines and as a flight instructor.During the 1960s, he was drafted and served as an Army medic in Vietnam. After serving his country, he returned to Alaska, and one of his first jobs was as a flight instructor in Bethel, where he became an active member of the Bethel VFW Post 10041.As his aviation career advanced, he moved to Southern California, where he worked as a pilot on corporate jets. Before the age of 40, he was appointed president of Nucorp Financial, a publicly traded company, and was a member of the Young Presidents Club. Always returning to aviation, he became a pilot of choice for several Hollywood studios and was on a first-name basis with many of the stars of the 1980s. For almost a decade, Frank regularly flew Barbara Walters between her California home and her New York studio.The family tug and barge business called Frank back to spend a portion of his summer captaining salmon tenders and towing fuel barges. He enjoyed the contrast between his Alaska frontier roots and the glamorous life in Southern California. Frank and his brother Richard took over the family business and remained in the marine transportation industry.Frank enjoyed sharing his roots and was able to engage his two daughters, Monica and Jacquie; two sons, Brian and Sean; and wife Joyce in his Alaska endeavors.Frank had a legendary gift of gab and was an appreciated source of stories and anecdotes. Frank will live on through these sayings and will be missed greatly by his family and countless friends in the marine and aviation industries.
OSTROSKY Harold 'Hank' Ostrosky, 71, died Oct. 3, 1997, in Anchorage. A service will be from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at Fairview Recreation Center. Burial will follow at Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery. A potlatch celebration featuring North American and Pacific Island indigenous performers will be conducted from 4 to 8 p.m. at the recreation center. In addition to family members, honorary pallbearers will include representatives of the following groups: Yupik, Inupiat, Athabaskan, Dena'ina, Eyak, Tlingit, Haida, Hawaiian, Ozinki, Oneida and Lakota. They are: Zeck Koa Donahue, Daniel Ostrosky, George, Archie and Clayton Gottchalk, Etok, Gary Harrison, Mary Ann Mills, Thomas McGloin, Ralph Mancuso, Gary Patton, Tom Able, Androcles Kaawa, Ron Barnes, Nick Katelnikoff, Pam Colorado, Richard Grass, Marie SmithJones, Peter Pitka, Moses Pavilla, Liko Martin, Harry Davidson, Drew Froelich, Dr. Richard Haard, Jim Sykes, Mark Clark and Peter Ruocco. Mr. Ostrosky was born Aug. 2, 1926, in Torrington, Conn. An Alaska resident since 1948, he lived and worked in various places. He was a bush pilot and cattle wrangler on Afognak Island from 1948-1956. A commercial fisherman from 1948-1990, he was also an electronics technician from 1957-1967, and publisher/editor of the Bristol Bay News 44 from 1960-1971. At the time of his death he had been a human rights and sovereignty advocate/consultant to various indigenous peoples throughout North America and the Pacific since 1969, and official representative for the traditional elders council of Atmautluak and Tununak, Alaska, since 1987. His children wrote: ''Hank was jailed twice as a political prisoner, once on 'littering' charges and later he spent over six months in jail for saying the words: 'You have no jurisdiction here.' '' ''He was a champion of people everywhere, fighting for their indigenous rights and titles. His main purpose in life was to develop, for future generations, what he called a 'psycho-socio-bio-economic system.' ''Our dad taught us the meaning of integrity, dignity, honor, and unselfish generosity. He was a master craftsman of words. Always articulate, he reconstructed the language to eliminate the possibility of its corruption and to more accurately depict the truth. He never compromised his ideals and integrity, and the power of his being and his presence on our Earth made us feel protected and safe from injustice and oppression. We fervently hope that those of us left will find the courage to rage, rage against the dying of the light.'' Mr. Ostrosky is survived by his daughters, Lori of Alaska and Julianne of Hawaii; grandchildren, Zeck and Ryder Donahue, both of Hawaii, and Emerald Kaitryn of Alaska; sister, Barbara Mancuso; brothers, Daniel and Edward; nephews, Ralph, Steve and Mike Mancuso; niece, Darlene; and son-in-law, Thomas McGloin. He was preceded in death by the mother of his children and the woman he loved, Kathryn Louise Baker Ostrosky, and Zeck Martin Ostrosky. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Harold ''Hank'' Ostrosky Memorial Fund at First National Bank of Anchorage, and later to the Hank Ostrosky Indigenous Rights and Titles Foundation. Arrangements by Evergreen Memorial Chapels.
PETERSON Andrew Peterson Sr., 80, South Naknek resident Andrew Olaf Peterson Sr., 80, died March 31, 2006, at Kanakanak Hospital, of complications from prostate cancer. A service will be at 3 p.m. Friday at Valley Funeral Home in Wasilla. His ashes will be spread in the Naknek River, where he loved to fish. Mr. Peterson was born May 13, 1925, in South Naknek to Andrew and Mary Peterson. He married Alice Kraun on April 8, 1950, in South Naknek. He was raised in the Jesse Lee home in Seward and Nenana until he ran away. On Oct. 2, 1942, he joined the Alaska Territorial Guard at the age of 16. In 1945, he joined the U.S. Army and was trained as a military policeman and diesel mechanic and stationed at Dutch Harbor as an equipment mechanic. He was in charge of the big guns on Mount Ballyhoo near Dutch Harbor. Mr. Peterson earned the Asiatic Pacific Theater ribbon and the World War II Victory metal. After his military service, he moved back to South Naknek, where he learned to fly and started Peterson's Charter Service. He also fished commercially all his life, starting in sailboats, and was considered a high-liner in the trade.He retired from the Operating Engineers 302 and continued to commercial fish until the age of 77. His family wrote: "Andrew had a big heart and never asked for a handout. Whenever someone was sick, he flew them to the hospital, whether they could pay or not. He never asked for payment." He is survived by his wife, Alice Peterson; daughter and son-in-law, Vickie and David Alto of South Naknek; sons and daughters-in-law, Elliot and Lois Peterson of Sammish, Wash., and Andrew and Ruth Peterson Jr. of Wasilla; sister, Katherine Atkis; grandchildren, Valli, Dwena, Vanessa, David, Thomas, Andrew and Bennett; and many great-grandchildren. Mr. Peterson was preceded in death by his brothers, Nick and Ernie, and sister, Freda Aspelind.
WHEELER
LaVerne Marie Wheeler, 45, died Feb. 10, 2003, at the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage, Alaska. Ms. Wheeler was born Aug. 16, 1957, in Dillingham, Alaska. She is survived by her daughters, Sonja and Kindra Wheeler; sons, Anwar, Dominic, and Jamaal Wheeler; mother, Elizabeth; father, Bernard Wheeler; sisters, Meta Wheeler, Sandra DeLanney, Theresa Boden, Shannon Bustillos, Marcy and Samantha Hoffseth; and brothers, Bernard Wheeler, Jr., Henry Wheeler, Thomas Wilson, William, Jon, and Brian Allison.

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