Our sister, mother, grandmother and friend, Joyce Mae Charlie, 54, passed on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012, surrounded by her children in Fairbanks.
Joyce was born Feb. 4, 1958, to Florence McQuestion and Floyd Demientieff, and was raised in Fairbanks. Joyce married Larry "Flutch" Charlie in 1975 and moved to Minto where she enjoyed and fully engrossed herself in subsistence activities. Driving dogs, setting nets, gardening, berry picking, hunting - both big game and ducks - with her husband, and sewing and making jam were just a few of her favorite activities. Joyce served as a 4-H leader when her children were young, involving all the children in the village in gardening, cooking, canning and keeping animals. Ducks, geese, laying-chickens, complete with a rooster that crowed every morning, rabbits and even pigs were tended with the village children. The summer of ducks and geese had Joyce's bathtub full of water and baby water-birds for weeks.
Joyce was an exceptional baker, who always had bread made or in the oven for visitors and for every event. Visitors never went hungry; Joyce didn't have much, but would always invite people in to eat. Joyce had friends from all over; she was an unassuming woman who never complained, and with a great heart she was a friend to all. Joyce's home was always full of kids; she loved the laughter of children in her home. One of her favorite pastimes was to cheer on the Minto Lakers, the team her sons and daughters played for.
Joyce was preceded in death by her husband, Larry Charlie; daughter, Lydia; mother, Florence McQuestion; father, Floyd Demientieff; and mother-in-law and father-in-law, Linda and Cerosky Charlie. Joyce is survived by her children, Kristina (Ethan) Schutt, Nathan, Sam, Bianca, Travis, Zachary, Lafon and Ben. Joyce delighted in her seven grandchildren. Joyce was a sibling to Paula and Gabe McQuestion, Mike Curtis and Dee Lillie; she is also survived by aunt Edith Bifelt; uncle Sam Demientieff; aunts Irene Catalone, Shirley Merculieff, Teresa Devlin, and Carolyn Demientieff; sister-in-law Pauline Simmons (Richard); brothers-in-law Kenny (Sheryl) and Vincent Charlie; and lifelong friend Cheryl John. Joyce loved and treasured her many nieces, nephews and numerous cousins.
The funeral and burial services will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23, 2012, in Minto. A potlatch will follow.