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Josephine Bertha Roberts


1922 - 2019
Josephine Bertha Roberts Obituary
Born Feb. 1, 1922, to Edgar and AnnJean Nollner, Josephine was the first girl born in Galena and came full circle living the last years of her life at the elders' home. Brothers, Patty, Alfred, Archie, Larry and sisters, Cecelia (who took special care to look after her), Jean, Deedee (who made special visits to see her by boat and snogo from Ruby), Joyce and Maudrey, were all there to watch over and care for her as she missed her Tanana family. She also has her dear sister, Angela, who lives in Kasilof.
Josephine was the eldest child in the Nollner family and was taught to work hard from the time she was a young girl. She would gather snow and ice to melt to cook and clean, wash clothes on the scrub board and care for her younger siblings. Her mother taught her to sew, to snare rabbits, to tan skins - everything for daily survival. She sewed boots and clothing for her kids and grandchildren. She loved to read and write and always encouraged her children and grandchildren to get an education. She took in numerous boarding home students so that they could attend school in Tanana. Josephine was fluent in Denaakk'e, and spent many years teaching Denaakk'e for the Head Start program. Throughout her life, her dad always told her to never drink or smoke and for 97 years she kept that promise to him. Josephine was an avid believer in the lord, attended church regularly and passed the love of the lord onto her children and grandchildren.
Josephine moved to Tanana when she was 18 years old and began working at the IHS hospital. She married Henry Minook and had three sons, her two eldest, Walter and Arthur passed away as infants. Her eldest living son, Fred lives in California with his wife Delores and their two sons, John and William. After the death of her first husband, she married Lawrence Roberts and together they had nine children: Thomas Roberts Sr. (Bernadette), Gerald Roberts (Effie Kemp), Francis Roberts (Katherine), Joyce Roberts, Jeanette Scannell, Julie Roberts Hyslop (Thomas), Jackie Roberts (Marilyn), Bernadette Roberts (Andrew Folger) and Judy Kangas (Arvin). Lawrence and Josephine also raised their two oldest grandchildren, James Roberts (Cynthia) and Christine Erhart (John). In addition, she loved her daughter-in-law Hazel Mayo. Josephine had over 90 grandchildren and great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews and she loved them all.
Throughout her life, she made many friends from around the world working at the IHS hospital, making sure that they were treated kindly when they arrived. She retired in 1980 when the hospital in Tanana closed after 40 years. After retirement, she enjoyed time with her close friends Maudrey Sommer and Pauline Swenson. She enjoyed picking berries, playing pan, cruising on her four-wheeler, puzzles, knitting and working in her wood yard. Josephine met the lord on Aug. 1, 2019. Josephine was preceded in death by her parents, Edgar and AnnJean; husbands, Henry and Lawrence; brothers, Franklin, George, Barney and Gabriel; sisters, Mary and Sophie; son, Jackie; grandsons, Shawn Mayo, George Roberts, Michael Gau and Mason Clarke; and son-in-law, Timothy Scannell. She was laid to rest at the Tanana town cemetery Aug. 6, 2019.
Published in Daily News-Miner on Aug. 14, 2019
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