The last sunset for Richard Charles Carroll was July 28, 2020, for our beloved peacefully left this world to enter the next while at the Denali Center in Fairbanks, Alaska, to be with his wife, Eva Carroll.
We, family and friends, are left to mourn, yet we believe our parents are now united in the next life, feeling appreciative for the time we had together.
Richard Carroll was born in Fort Yukon, Alaska, on Oct. 14, 1930, son of the late James A. and Fannie Martin Carroll. Richard is preceded by his parents and siblings Clifton Carroll Sr. (Alice), Mabel Carroll, James Ward Sr., Joe Carroll (Margaret), Harry Carroll, Tommy Carroll (Nellie), Albert Carroll (Alice), Anne Moran (Terrance), and Calvin Carroll. Richard is survived by his sisters Fannie Booth and Delores Sloan. Richard also was preceded in death by his wife, Eva Carroll; daughters Kathleen Meiser, Sylvia Karen Carlo and Christine Rifredi; and sadly by grandchildren Martin Chance Carroll and Branden Hughes; and great-grandchildren Zen Carroll and Onis Kivi.
Richard is survived by daughters Beverly Beardsley (Mark), F. Mabel Michael, Juanita Diane Bridges (David), Frannie Hughes Cobb (Jeff) and Velma Carroll; sons Richard Charles Carroll II (Kathleen), James Paul Carroll (Jennifer), Anthony Carroll and William Wade Carroll; grandchildren Gregory Stover Jr. (Missy), Tamara Morris, Damon Smith, Shawn (Jessica) Fears, Lewis Richard Firmin, Andrew Firmin, Jolene (Brandon) Telford, Gabrielle and Jamie (Marlin), Kimberly Carlo, Leon Carroll, Christina Rifredi, RC Rifredi, Nicolya (Jim) Hargrove, Gavin (Jenn) Rifredi, Eda Carroll, Richard Carroll III, Samuel Shane Hughes, Jason Kivi, Travis Carroll, Jeanetta Carroll, Lynneva Carroll, Shaylene (Gary) Simple, Kayleen Carroll, Karissa Carroll, Brittany Carroll, Mary Paige Carroll, Todd Solomon, Chaz Carroll and Mitchell Carroll. The many blessings of great-grandchildren Tessa Wallis, Nations Jordan, Thea Carlo, Emily Morris, Lily Grace Fears, Samuel Ethan Hughes, Tori Hughes, Aiden Smith, Carter Smith, Grayson and Chandler Solomon, Bliss Simple, Walker and Matt Jr., Roy, Evonna and Carson, Haisley Belle, Martin Bo and George Lucas, Angelica and Karrilee Firmin, Josiah and Avril Firmin, Brooklyn and Sawyer, Jesse, Aviana and Cain Vent, Bryson and Mckinney, Emma and Koda Bear, Tayler and Tyson, Seraphina Carroll, Liam and Elaina Telford, Kiley, Kennedy, Mason, Kaydence, Alyx, Isaia, Asher and Hunter.
As a young man, Richard held family and honor and giving to our community and our people in the highest regard. Eager to do his part, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and worked at Ladd Field in the weather station. This may very well be where he grew to love flying airplanes. He said he would have our mother watch as he practiced "shooting landings" with a small plane. In 1963, he received a Certificate of Appreciation from President John F. Kennedy for serving on the Selective Service Board.
Richard married Eva Kelly, and together they decided to take up the family tradition of trapping. As their family grew, Richard was quick to learn how to operate enterprises as his father had run, like Cash Grocery on Front Street in Fort Yukon. As he told us, he operated a bakery shop when new construction of the military site came to Fort Yukon. When he saw heavy equipment being brought into Fort Yukon, he was so interested that he talked his way into the driver's seat and learned construction. Today, we have many buildings built under his direction as he took leadership roles to make a better life for us in the Yukon Flats. With seasonal changes, he always managed to get us our subsistence foods.
Richard raised his family by teaching by example - having us work in his many ventures, from operating the Show House to selling ice cream from his Boat Street Grocery.
In searching for ways to support family, Richard was the first Alaska Native appointed as a U.S. Commissioner and Justice of the Peace in rural Alaska. It is as if some of us can still hear him rapidly tapping on his typewriter with two fingers! Documents prove he assisted in creating our local government as he was the past president of the Fort Yukon Village Council. He became the local station manger for Wien Air. This job had relocated his family twice, then in 1971, the family settled back home in Fort Yukon.
With the love of home, Richard worked to make life in Fort Yukon a better one as we needed infrastructure and locally controlled schools. He worked and trained many staffers to operate systems that helped Fort Yukon become a second-class city, with roads and a safer water system. A side note: Richard had very scribble type handwriting, as many of his staffers had to first read his handwriting in order to function in his office as city manager.
With all of his family members, Richard was part of the start of our Gwitchyaa Zhee Village Corporation as one of the original signers on our Articles. The transactions for the purchase of our existing power company bears his signatures. With dreams for our future, he also served on the Doyon board of directors.
All the while, Richard's heart is sincerely connected to the Porcupine River, for it is here he most enjoyed the everyday hard work, the quiet evenings and the still mornings. He eventually retired to operate his lodge, the Porcupine River Lodge, which was his dream. He so enjoyed trapping, as that is where he and his bride started their journey together in their first years of marriage. The circle of life allowed them many years on the trapline. The stories he enjoyed telling are with us, and we will look forward to sharing some with you, his family and friends, when this COVID pandemic shall allow for a celebration of life and memorial services. For now, he leaves us with many wonderful stories as he was generous to share with many family and friends who visited him with laughter and a good cup of tea.
We shall have a private family burial in Fort Yukon, next to his beloved, Eva, at 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020, at Hudson Stuck Cemetery at our Ole Village Site, after his final boat trip up the Porcupine River.
Published in Daily News-Miner on Aug. 1, 2020.