South Naknek resident Katherine "Kata" Rose Groat, 60, died unexpectedly Aug. 30, 2010, at Providence Alaska Medical Center from complications from surgery.
A visitation will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Sunday at Evergreen Memorial Chapel. A funeral will follow in South Naknek at a later date.
Kata was born Dec. 1, 1949, in Naknek, the fifth of 10 children born to Trefon Angasan Sr. and Vera Kie Angasan. In her daily life, she practiced the Sugpiaq values passed down from her parents and grandma Pelagia Melgenak. She would say, "I want to be a Real Person (Sugpiaq) and serve my people," and in fact, that characterized her life.
Kata became an elementary school teacher with the Bristol Bay School District in 1974 and was recognized on many occasions for her contributions to primary education and culture in the classrooms. Her work was cited in the book "Transforming the Culture of Schools: Yup'ik Eskimo Examples." In 2000, she participated in bringing the virtual classroom to licensed teachers in rural Alaska. Kata was the only Alaska Native teacher in the Bristol Bay Borough School District for many years and even as she approached retirement, she was working toward a master's degree.
Her husband, Charlie Boy, was always at her side. They enjoyed doing everything together, especially outdoor activities. Among her favorites were taking their grandkids up the Kvichak River to Igiugig; having munyuq on Naknek River's "Red Cabin"; visiting her ancestral grounds at Kittiwiq (Brooks Camp) and Old Savonoski; and beachcombing to the Johnson Hill flats. They enjoyed sharing these adventures with others and took as many people as they could.
Kata was a very generous person, looking out for the welfare of her entire family (immediate and extended), keeping tabs on everyone and making sure they were not in need.
Kata is survived by her husband, Charles "Charlie Boy" Groat; her daughter, Lydia Emory; son-in-law, William Emory; granddaughters, Micaela Emory and Deborah Jones; grandson-in-law, Sylvester "Baba" Jones; mother, Vera Angasan; six brothers; three sisters; and numerous nephews and nieces.
Arrangements are with Janssen's Evergreen Memorial Chapel: www.janssenfuneralhomes.com.
Published in Alaska Dispatch News from Sept. 3 to Sept. 4, 2010