William Hunokk'ettnuyh Williams, 95, passed away peacefully in his sleep at Denali Center Sept. 6, 2011.
William was born June 20, 1916, at Rock Island Point below Hughes to Alfred and Julia Isaac. He was then adopted out to a couple who had lost their son, to ease their pain of loss. That's how he got his name "Hunokk'ettnuyh."
He grew up around what is now the Prospect area. He lost his adoptive mother at an early age. Only his adoptive dad raised him. He had a lot of stories about living out there alone with his dad. As orphaned by his mother he was not treated well by some people, but his adoptive sister Bessie Withrow saved him. She treated him well and fed him. Even this past summer he still mentioned how she was nice to him. As a young man of 19 years, his wife was chosen for him. She was Effie Ned, age 16. They got married June 23, 1935. They were married for 73 years when mom passed away.
He lived in the Allakaket and South Fork area all his life, until he had to live at Denali Center due to health problems.
Dad was a traditional hunter, trapper, fisherman and builder. He knew all the tributaries of the Koyukuk River. He did not go to school so he didn't learn to read or write. This did not hinder his life one bit. He was a great provider for his family and others.
He was a dog musher, gold miner, fiddler and banjo player, mechanic, builder, hunting and gold guide. He was always the first one to get some kind of machinery like snowmachines, outboard motors, radio, whatever. He and his wife Effie provided a home to many orphans and others who were less fortunate, even if it was for a short time.
His hobbies were telling stories and spending time with his family, especially grandchildren. He loved sitting on the bank of the Koyukuk River and watch village hunters go by or work on their catch. His favorite pastime was playing pan with his many friends and playing Bingo.
We would like to say thank you to all who helped him through these past few years, and the last months of his life. He accepted his "home" at Denali Center as part of his life change. He was well taken care of there. He was fed, clean and he was happy. Thank you to all his visitors and people who brought his special foods while he was there.
William is survived by his sons, Edison (Ann Edwards) Williams and Daniel Williams of Allakaket; daughters, Velma (Lary) Schafer, Fairbanks, Julia (Pollack) Simon, of Allakaket, Linda Demientieff, Sharon Williams of Fairbanks and Marie (Koyukuk) Henzie and her husband Moses of Allakaket; his beloved (cousin) sister, Maggie Nicholia of Tanana; nieces, Jennie Irwin of Nenana and Nellie Kollen Canuck of Fairbanks; grandchildren, Andy Simon Jr., Joy Simon of Fairbanks, Geraldine Simon of Anchorage, Barbara Simon, Washington, D.C., Jeff Simon of Allakaket, PJ Simon, Cheryl (Alex) Bergman of Fairbanks, Claudia (Philip) Vincent and Whitney Demientieff (Mark Frank) of Fairbanks.
Great-grandchildren, Justin Tonelli, William Frank, Tom, Tyler, Tia, Alex Jr., and Juliette Bergman, Nathaniel and Trinity Vincent, Stacey Captain, Calian Simon, all of Fairbanks, Keel Simon of Anchorage, Kim Huntington of Galena and Dena Sam of Alatna; and many close friends and family of the interior; to name a few, John Cole, Tony Moses, Stanley Ned, Steven Attla, Johnson Moses (adopted brother), David David and Linus Beattus; and special friend and grandson, Brandon Wholecheese of Minnesota.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Effie; his parents; his siblings; and he and Effie's first three children Joslyn, Annette and baby girl; and his cousins he grew up with.
Visitation will be 10 a.m., Thursday, Sept. 8, with service following at 11 a.m., at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Fairbanks. The family will then take him home to Allakaket where a service will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 10. He will be laid to rest at the Allakaket Cemetery.
Arrangements were entrusted to Chapel of Chimes Funeral Home.
Published in Daily News-Miner on Sep. 9, 2011.