Ralph Simon Manook peacefully passed on Dec. 9, 2020, at exactly 13 minutes after 12:30 a.m. listening to Elvis Presley's "Mansion Over the Hilltop."
Ralph was born in Nulato, Alaska, to Simon and Irene (Demoski) Manook on Dec. 28, 1938, where he grew up mischievously playing along the banks of the Yukon River, eventually attending Holy Cross Mission at a very young age. Ralph's desire for adventure soon had him enlisting in the Army, where he was stationed in Korea. There he immersed himself in culture and language. After his discharge from the Army, he moved to California, where he became a skilled roofer. He took pride in teaching his roofing skills to many, including a young man named Tony who looked up to Ralph as a father figure. Ralph had enthusiasm for music, often entertaining small outdoor crowds, family gatherings, and other functions by playing guitar and cracking jokes.
After spending many years in California, Alaska called for him to move home to his family. Ralph soon found himself in Galena where he ended up bartending at Archie's Yukon Inn and the Mecca Bar in Fairbanks, gaining numerous friends from all over. Ralph's charismatic humor and fun personality made him a friend to many people of all ages, and he was lovingly known as Uncle Ralph to all. Ralph's generous and loving spirit carried him to helping others. He was known for assisting at community fundraisers and helping with search and rescue efforts which followed with his humble acceptance of numerous awards. Ralph is known for an exceptional pool game and played for the Mecca Bar team, in which their team-winning skills had them competing in Las Vegas more than a few times.
Ralph's love and ability to entertain people had him fully involved with the Athabascan Fiddler's Festival playing guitar, singing, dancing and selling raffle tickets, where he quickly was known as the "50/50 man" at every fundraiser event. Ralph's pastimes included his daily involvement with the FNA Elders program and playing bingo.
Ralph had a fierce and binding love for his family and was greatly loved by all of his nieces and nephews. Ralph left us with fond memories of his loving spirit, kindness, generosity, friendly demeanor, and crazy sense of humor. He easily connected with people of all ages and all walks of life and was known to be "The Coolest Uncle" by everyone. Ralph was a beloved son, brother, uncle, grampa, friend and respected elder who will be deeply missed by all of us.
Ralph is preceded in death by his father, Simon, and mother, Irene; sisters, Catherine Manook and Agnes Ostlund; brother, Elmer Manook and wife Shirley; niece, Karen Rifredi; and nephew, Ron Manook.
Ralph leaves behind his brother, Alvin Manook; nephews, Duane, Douglas and William; nieces, Catherine, Cheryl and Arlene Shelley, Tamara, Erika and Tara; and his many great- and greater- nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and adopted kids he loved so dearly along the way.
Published in Daily News-Miner on Jan. 13, 2021.