Our beloved Doreen Lae Nikolai (Dee-Dee Gaih) was called home Feb. 5, 2013. Doreen was born Aug. 15, 1975, to Sam Sam and MaryAnn Nikolai, of Arctic Village.
Doreen loved the Native culture. She enjoyed learning about the subsistence lifestyle, Native dancing, sewing, ice fishing and berry picking. She was raised in Arctic Village and worked for the Yukon Flats School District, and was the manager for the Midnight Sun Native Store.
She also had a passion for spending time working with children and the elderly.
Doreen attended and graduated from Arctic Village High School. She was very close to her nieces and nephews. Dee-Dee will be greatly missed by all who knew her, and will leave a strong impact to those whom she touched.
She was preceded in death by her father, Sam Sam; her mother, MaryAnn Nikolai; brother, William; and sister, Ruth; grandparents, Moses and Jennie Sam, Andrew and Mellissia Gregory; uncles, Timothy Sam, Moses Sam Jr, Isaac Sam, Neil Sam, Steve Lee, Bill Fickus, Ben Hopson, Fred Martinez, John Titus, Stanley Frank, Johnathan Solomon, David Panigeo, Donald Sam and Norman Borg; aunts, Sarah Hopson, Rose Lee-Walker (Jim), Lily Fickus and Margaret Tritt; cousins, Lil Moe, Linda Mann, Timothy Alexia, Charlotte and Jackie Titus and Selena Perkins.
Dee-Dee leaves behind her beautiful children, Shawtelle, Devonne, Darius and Deshawn; sisters, Virginia Gilbert (Darryl Tritt), Gayle Tritt (Steven) Janice Smith (David) Jerrilyn John (Rangel); brothers, Darryl Nikolia (Lorraine), Scott Clow, Mike Lee (Katie Ward), Danny Lee and Robert Sam; nieces, Rose Alexia, Yvonne Gilbert (McGarrett John), Fiona Tritt, Jessica Tritt (Galen Gilbert), Cheyenne (Ba'), Kayla, Nikkitta Holguin (Kevin Smoke); nephews, Albert and Darryn Gilbert, Adrien and Peter Tritt, Kobe Nikolai, David, Harley and Adam Smith; aunties, Elizabeth Martinez, Hannah Solomon, Virginia Titus, Exenia Sam, Sarah W. John, Elsie Ivey (Herb); uncles, Edward Sam, Allen Tritt, Nick Alexia, James Gregory; cousins, Pamela, Danny, and Tanya Sam, Jennifer Verney, Brian John, Jacob Russell, Jerrald John, Darren Erick, Shawn, Bluesky, and Margie Martinez, Jimmy John, William Sam, Brenda Gilbert, Mary Groat, Deena Tritt, Julie Hollandsworth, Martha Folden, Audrey Tritt, Jamie Tritt, Donna, Jennifer, Roberto, Tina, Matt, Tim and Debbie Fickus; friends, Adam and Linda Pitka, Jason Thomason Jr, Christopher Cunningham, Conrad Isaac, Lena Simmonds and JT and many more friends and relatives.
Dee-Dee's God children are Athena Ki Chilcote, Brittany Marie Hollandsworth, Jewel Maggie Mae Gilbert and Lillian Daisy John.
Visitation for Dee-Dee will be today from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013, followed by the service from noon to 1 p.m., at St. Matthews Church. Sandwiches and refreshments will be served, after the service, at the Parish Hall.
Dee-Dee's family will take her home to Arctic Village. Funeral service in Arctic Village is Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, at Bishop Rowe Chapel. Dee-Dee will be laid to rest at the Arctic Village cemetery. WE LOVE YOU OUR DEE DEE!!!