Kiatcha Lie (July 29, 1923 - July 19, 2014)
Kiatcha Lie was born on July 29, 1923 to Elmer H. Dahle and Ingeborg Hanson Dahle in Teller Mission, Alaska. Her missionary parents named her with a name derived from the Russian and Inupiat words for "princess." Kiatcha grew up loving life in several Alaska villages - especially the island village Shishmaref.
She rode on dog teams. She was bilingual as a child speaking Inupiat as well as English. Her Inupiat friends taught her how to seek out snacks in the caches of siksikpuk (ground squirrel).
During World War II Kiatcha attended St. Olaf College. Writing to Norwegian seamen, as a part of the war effort, was an assignment for Kiatcha's Norwegian class. A belated response to this assignment occurred a year later when young Leif Lie got one of the letters. He quickly decided that Kiatcha was the lady he was going to marry but initially she was not so sure. However, Leif prevailed and the couple were married October 23, 1948 in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Kiatcha and Leif had two daughters, Linda Kathrine and Martha Ingeborg. To help Leif complete university Kiatcha: gave piano lessons, did parish work at a Lutheran Church, took in sewing, taught sewing, and helped Leif in his photography business by tinting the photos with oil paints.
Although she had previously taught a year in a village school in Shishmaref, Kiatcha attended Chicago Teacher's College and taught in Chicago, Albany, New York and Anchorage, Alaska. Her particular love was teaching kindergarteners.
Kiatcha was a musician. She was a founding member of the Juneau Oratorio Choir. She played the piano and organ, created original music and conducted choirs. When Martha and Linda were little girls Kiatcha would play Chopin polonaises and Grieg pieces while the girls danced, twirling sheets from the laundry.
Kiatcha also enjoyed sewing beautiful apparel including costumes for her daughters and also did applique on pillows and baby quilts. She enjoyed sketching and reading great literature.
Kiatcha enjoyed corresponding with her daughters and ten grandchildren. She included stickers in all of her letters, choosing ones to specifically match the interests of each recipient.
One of her friends described Kiatcha as being a "prayer warrior." Kiatcha had a deep faith which she shared with her daughters through bedtime Bible stories and prayer times. Her love of Jesus influenced every aspect of her life.
Kiatcha died on July 19, 2014 in Martha's Florida home surrounded by family members. She was eager to join Leif (whom she had been missing for two years) and the Jesus she loved. She is survived by her daughter Linda Kathrine Lie Ancell and husband Paul; daughter Martha Ingeborg Lie Coning and husband Robert; ten grandchildren; and eleven great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband Leif; her brother, Ben Dahle; and her parents.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Juneau. In lieu of flowers contributions can be made to: Alaska Synod - SPLM Endowment. The address is: SPLM Endowment Fund; Alaska Synod, ELCA; 1847 W Northern Lights Blvd #2; Anchorage, AK 99517.
Published in The Juneau Empire on Aug. 20, 2014