John A. Christian, 72, of Venetie, passed in his home on April 22, 2014, surrounded by friends and family. John was born March 18, 1942 and raised up at the Old Christian Village by his grandparents, Chief Christian and Rachael Christian.
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In 1963, Joh left his home to join the U.S. Army. He was honorably discharged in 1966. He was a very skilled carpenter; he built his own log cabin, including everything inside. John helped his community to relocate the old BIA school and helped build the Community Center and other projects.
At a young age, John and his bro, Jim, taught themselves to play guitar, then John learned to play fiddle. He always looked forward to Old Time Fiddle Festival in Fairbanks and he enjoyed playing fiddle for his people during special occasions. John was always kind; he welcomed friends into his home. He loved to play pinochle or cribbage while drinking hot coffee or tea.
John was fluent in his Gwich'in language and educated in the traditional lifestyle he was taught by his parents, grandparents and other relatives.
He loved living off the land as well as fishing, hunting and trapping. We all have fond memories of John. He will be missed and he will forever be in our hearts.
He was preceded in death by his father, Abraham Christian, and mother, Elizabeth; grandparents, Chief Christian and Rachael; "Bro" Jim, William Christian and uncle, Noah Peter; Christian Tritt Sr., David Henry Sr.; aunty, Nena Roberts; niece, Christina Starr, and Rodney Jr.
He is survived by his step-mother, Annie Christian, of Venetie; sister Barbara Christian, and children; Darlene (Ben), Ryan, Loretta, Laura; Lonnie (Kathy) Kerwin and Karina; Darry and Jason Christian; sister, Caroline Bante, of Fairbanks; children, Clayton Tackett (Diana) Micala, Annam Arlo Bante (Katie), Marilyn Bante (Tim) Lexie, Jolene Bante and Breanna; aunty, Mary Gilbert (Trimble); Mary Jessie; niece, Corrina Christian (Bruce); children, Nevada, Trinit, Kelly, Skyler and James Ramsey Christian Jr.; Mabeleen (Joe) and children, Athena, James, Kiana; Dorothea and children, Jerome, Elizabeth, Derrick, and Christopher, Sabrina; Samanthia and children, Tayden, Breana, Phebee; and numerous nieces, nephews and other family members and friends throughout the Yukon flats.
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Published in Daily News-Miner on May 9, 2014