Darlene Dolly Northway, 70, died Oct. 1, 2012, at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital surrounded by her children, family and friends. She fought bone cancer long and hard for her grandchildren and children.
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Darlene was born July 10, 1942, in the old village of Northway.
She was a homemaker until she started working as Northway's health aide. Later, she worked at the Northway Airport Lodge as a cook then at Naabia Niign Ltd.'s Coffee Café, and retired from Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge as a park ranger.
Darlene lived a traditional lifestyle and could always be found sewing, making birch bark baskets, and hunting and gathering her subsistence foods. She also was a strong advocate in practicing traditional values such as singing and dancing. She was one of the only Northway elders who composed traditional Native songs. She was involved in Native language classes and served as a mentor to many in this field. She loved gathering with family and friends in her home and at 1242 Camp. She always had a hot pot of tea and some traditional food ready to eat.
Darlene married Teddy Walter Northway Sr. in the privacy of their home on Dec. 19, 1998. Together, they had six girls and two boys. She also adopted Keith Albert, Russell Gallen, Doris Miller Girard, Kenny Felix, A.J. Felix and Stephanie David until they were placed in permanent homes.
Teddy and Darlene raised their children and grandchildren in their subsistence lifestyle. The family spent springs and summers at Ten Mile, Mark Lake, Stover Creek, Clearwater and Scotty Creeks.
Darlene was diagnosed with her illness after her husband passed away. In the past few years, she decided on her own to discontinue medical treatment. She remained ill but still drove her car and continued her normal routine of cooking, cleaning and subsistence living. Darlene also continued her Christian walk and helped pray for people who need comfort and support.
Survivors include daughters, Cheryl, Brenda, Salina, Sherlene, Charlotte, Maggie and one son, Teddy, Jr., and sisters, Donna Baker and Dorothy Titus.
Darlene was preceded in death by her husband Teddy Walter Northway Sr.; son, Ravelle Northway; father, Andrew Bill John; mother, Maggie Ann Northway, and siblings, Moore and Calvin John.
A funeral will be held in Northway at 1 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012.
Arrangements are entrusted to Fairbanks Funeral Home.
Published in Daily News-Miner on Oct. 4, 2012