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Theresa Nellie "Tiny" (Demientieff) Devlin


1945 - 2020
Theresa Nellie "Tiny" (Demientieff) Devlin Obituary
Aug. 18, 1945 - Feb. 4, 2020
Theresa "Tiny" Devlin, of Anchorage, died on Feb. 4, 2020, from pulmonary fibrosis. She was surrounded by family and friends. They were witness to her strength and courage and how she bravely crossed over. A Catholic funeral service was held at the Holy Family Cathedral in Anchorage, on Feb. 14, and a reception followed. Condolences may be sent to Jack Devlin and Family, 9450 Strathmore Drive, Anchorage, AK 99502.
Tiny, as she was known to all, was born Aug. 18, 1945, in Nenana and was the eighth of 10 children of Nick and Nellie Demientieff. She grew up on her parent's riverboats that ran freight on Interior rivers. It was hard work, but a beautiful life along with her brothers, Floyd, Nick Jr., and Samuel. Her sisters included Eva, Carolyn, JoAnne, Irene, Sugar and Rita. Light hearted and mischievous, she grew into an independent and strong, Deg Xitan, Athabascan woman for which her Native culture and community wellness was paramount.
Tiny married the love of her life, Jack Devlin, on June 22, 1973. Tiny and Jack always valued family and together they raised 5 children: Justin, Vincent, Eric, Scott and Jacklynn. They made their home in Anchorage but always found a good reason to come back for visits to Fairbanks where she spent most of her childhood years with her loving family in a big log house they built on the banks of the Chena.
She attended grade school in Fairbanks and graduated from Copper Valley School (CVS) in Glennallen. Tiny was a member of the Student Body Council, also a cheer leader. Played basketball and later she served on the CVS Alumni Board of Directors. She was schooled as an LPN. Tiny made a big difference in all she did in school and the many organizations she worked with. She made many friends through out Alaska and the world.
Among her many jobs and work, she traveled to New Zealand, Australia, South America, working with native tribes and people. She worked for the Catholic Diocese in Anchorage, was part of the enrollment Division during the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. An advisor for the University of Washington on HIV/AIDS, she helped on building wellness, and spirituality in native villages. She was a director and producer at KAKM I, Channel 7, public TV in Anchorage. In her late life, she promoted wellness, spirituality, healing and happiness in her family and friends. She loved her native foods, berries, salmon strips and moose meat. She spent some summers at the Evans Fish camp at Galena. She was an eloquent advocate of the native experience and also the responsibility of all people to come to terms with their personal and collective history. Tiny wrote articles of memories of her childhood growing up on the Yukon, Tanana, Iditarod and Innoko rivers for the Tundra Times. She was in the process of writing a book of her life, stories, prayers and reflections. She is survived by her daughter, Jackie and grandson Devin, her husband Jack and stepsons, Eric, Vince and Scott. Also, her sisters, Carolyn, Irene, Sugar, and brother, Sam.
Published in Daily News-Miner on Mar. 1, 2020
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