Nora (Marks) Dauenhauer (1927 - 2017)

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Nora Marks Dauenhauer passed away in her home on Marks Trail in Douglas, Alaska on September 25, 2017. Nora was Tlingít and she belonged to the Lukaax.ádi (Raven Sockeye) clan from Shaka. Hít (Canoe Prow House) on the Alsek River. She was preceded in death by her mother, Emma Frances Marks of Dry Bay; her father, Willie Marks of Hoonah; her husbands Antonio Bambao Florendo of La Union, Philippines and Richard Dauenhauer of Syracuse, New York; her siblings Johnny Marks, Linda Marks Dugaqua, Leo Marks, Eva Marks, Jimmy Marks, Alex Marks, Willie Marks, Raymond Marks, Raymond Marks, Katherine Marks, Katherine Marks, and Betty Govina; her nephews Alan Dennis and Charles Dennis; and her grandchildren Philip Florendo and Patrick Venner.

Nora was raised traditionally amongst master carvers, weavers, and beaders who lived a subsistence lifestyle. She did not learn how to speak English until age 8 when she attended the Indian School in Douglas. She left school early in order to help support the family.

Throughout Nora's life, she worked as a housekeeper, a fish slimer, an egg puller, a Tlingít language researcher, a professor, and as a poet and linguist. She recognized the importance of education, and she returned to school in 1970 to obtain her GED. She later earned her Bachelor's in Anthropology from Alaska Methodist University in Anchorage and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Alaska Southeast.

She was a member of the Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp 2, a lifetime member of Filipino Community, and she was instrumental in establishing the Women's Auxiliary of the Juneau Filipino Community. She and her husband Richard were well known for their contributions to preserving the Tlingít language and culture. Together, they published several works including poetry and prose, dramatic plays, beginning Tlingít textbooks, oral narratives and stories shared by Tlingít elders, and Alaska history anthologies related to the Battles of Sitka.

Nora's awards include: Humanist of the Year (1980), Alaska Governor's Award for the Arts (1989), Community Spirit Award (2005), Lifetime Achievement Award (2007), American Book Award (1991 and 2008), Alaska Women's Hall of Fame Inductee (2010), Indigenous Leadership Award (2011), and Alaska State Writer Laureate (2012).

Nora is survived by her siblings Peter Marks, Florence Sheakley, Leo Marks, and Paul Marks; her children Leonora Florendo, Carmela Ransom, Lorenzo Florendo, and Adela Florendo; numerous nieces and nephews; her grandchildren Geoffrey Florendo, Elena Topacio Wise, Genesis Ransom, Ronaldo Topacio, Andrea Florendo, Jamaica LaTurner, Marissa Teske, Teresa Ransom, Amelia Rivera, Antonio Florendo, and Dominic Florendo; her great-grandchildren Cole Florendo, Gabriel Florendo, Mikaela Florendo, Aiden Florendo, Isabel Wise, Javier Wise, Elijah Jarrett, Sophia Ludeman, Katalina Topacio, Carmela Wise, Ione LaTurner, Moses Jarrett, Taj LaTurner, Joshua Jarrett, Mason Florendo, Olivia Florendo, Ayla Teske, Marlow Teske, Theo LaTurner, and Isaiah Jarrett.

Russian Orthodox services will be held on Saturday, September 30th at St. Paul's Catholic Church at 1:00pm and traditional Tlingít services will be held at the Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall on Sunday, October 1st at 1:00pm.
Religious Service Information
St Paul's Catholic Church
9055 Atlin Dr
Juneau, AK 99801
(907) 789-5529
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Published in The Juneau Empire from Sept. 29 to Oct. 28, 2017