Clifford G. Big Joe, of Nenana, passed suddenly from undiagnosed health complications at the young age of 35 years old, on Nov. 6, 2013, while surrounded by family at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital.
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Clifford was born Dec. 22, 1977, in Fairbanks to Caroline and Norman Big Joe.
Clifford was a kind and gentle soul who was always willing to lend a helping hand to anybody in need. He loved his family and friends unconditionally and loved spending time with all of them.
His daughter, Florence (aka: his little pancake), was the light of his life and the driving reason for Clifford to enter the Alaska Dream Center to better his life for the both of them. While at the Dream Center, he found the lord and gave his heart to God. He loved to sing in church, "loud and proud," as his family and friends like to say.
Clifford loved to live a subsistence lifestyle. Whether out hunting, fishing or cutting wood, he could always be found on the river or in the wilderness of Alaska. He loved to work with his hands. He was skilled at working on all small engines from boat motors to snowmachines. He was also skilled at running equipment.
Clifford lived in several places in his lifetime: Fairbanks, Nenana, Birch Creek, Ft. Yukon, and recently Palmer. He impacted many people's lives in each one of these places with his laugh and loving, caring ways along with his profound ways of telling stories.
He will be greatly missed by all that knew him. He was taken too soon from our lives but has forever left footprints in our hearts and memories.
He is preceeded in death by his mother, Caroline James-Big Joe; father, Norman M. Big Joe; grandparents, Mary and Rocker Big Joe; great-uncle, Paul Oulette; uncles, John and Greg Big Joe; aunt, Shirley Crookham; and brother, Steven Smoke.
He is survived by his great-aunt, Winnie Atwood; aunt, Linda Luke, uncle, Rocker Big Joe; uncle, Steven Big Joe; sisters, Deanna Richard, Dinah Jo Richard, Rebecca Big Joe; brothers, Norman Richard, Kenneth (Rucky) Richard, David Big Joe; daughter, Florence R. James, Son Kyle Alexander; many nieces and nephews; and cousins by the dozens.
If anyone was left out, please forgive us, as it was not done intentionally.
Funeral services and viewing will take place at 2 p.m. Nov. 13, 2013, at the Mitch Demientieff Tribal Hall in Nenana. Burial will follow up on the Nenana Native cemetery. Potlatch will take place at 7 p.m (Indian time) at the Tribal Hall. All are welcome to join us.
Donations can be made to the Nenana Native Council, or to Alaska USA, account
Chapel of Chimes is handling funeral arrangements.
Please visit www.legacy.com/obituaries/newsminer to sign an online guest book.
Published in Daily News-Miner on Nov. 12, 2013
Chapel of Chimes Funeral Home
415 Illinois St. Fairbanks, AK 99701