Joseph Leo "Nuyahaaluk" Chikoyak (1941 - 2017)

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Joseph Leo Chikoyak "Nuyahaaluk", 76 passed away Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017 at Alaska Native Medical Center.

Funeral Services will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017 at Our Lady of the Angels, Kenai. Visitation will be held from noon-1 p.m. at the church on Wednesday. A reception will follow the burial.

Joseph was born Feb. 2, 1941 in Qiingsuq, a small gone village near Tununak, to Charlie Chikoyak and Antonia Ayaprun. He grew up a nomadic life on Nelson Island, traveling from seasonal camp to seasonal camp; finally settling down in the village of Tununak around the age of 14. Joe attended school at the St. Mary's Mission and went to New Mexico for art school at the Institute of American Indian Arts. He then went on to electrician schooling at Hillco Technical Institute in California.

He married his childhood sweetheart, Mary Menegak on Oct. 8, 1966. Together they had five children. The family lived in California for a brief time before moving back to Alaska in 1971.

During his life Joe worked as a commercial fisherman, a social worker for the State of Alaska, an assemblyman for Hewitt Packard, an electrician for BIA and eventually retired as an electronic technician for the Federal Aviation Administration after 27 years, receiving a plaque commemorating his dedication and hard work.

His family writes, "He never met a stranger and collected friends wherever he traveled. Dad's belief was 'If there's a will, there's a way.' He loved subsistence and camping. He was a jack of all trades who could fix anything. He was a talented artist and created beautiful watercolors and sketches. He also enjoyed photography and even helped produce a movie about life in Tununak. He enjoyed playing music on his piano and guitar."

Joe is survived by his wife, Mary (Menegak) Chikoyak; sons, Ira (Jennifer) Chikoyak, Joseph Chikoyak Jr. and George (Lori) Chikoyak; brother, Louie Chikoyak; sisters, Cecilia Aluska and Mariah Butcher; Sister-in-law Rita Blumenstine; grandchildren, Robert (Heather) Sholmer, Thomas Chikoyak, Kaitlyn Chikoyak, Sean Pope, Daisy Chikoyak, Christan Chikoyak, Ciara Chikoyak, Selena Chikoyak; and great grandchildren, Alison Blossom and Madison Sholmer.

He is preceded in death by his parents; sons, Ira Charlie Chikoyak, Patrick Alexie Chikoyak; siblings, Andy Charlie, Nellie Charlie, Pauline Charlie, Andrew Chikoyak and Patrick Chikoyak.

Funeral Home
Cremation Society of Alaska
7216 Lake Otis Parkway
Anchorage, AK 99507
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Published in The Peninsula Clarion on Nov. 28, 2017