Lifelong Alaskan Feodoria Kallander Pennington, 88, died March 24, 2010, at Providence Extended Care Center of complications of Alzheimer's.
A service will be at noon Tuesday at the Salvation Army Church, 2100 DeArmoun Road, with visitation from 11 a.m.-noon. A potluck will follow.
The eldest of nine children, Feodoria was born April 7, 1921, in Point Possession, a village on the Kenai Peninsula, to Julius and Cora Kallander. Her grandfather was Chief Nicholai, head of the tribe at Point Possession. Her grandmother was Doris Nicholai.
Feodoria married Robert "Bob" Pennington on Nov. 24, 1963. After their marriage, Feodoria made her first trip outside of Alaska. Bob and Feodoria spent 27 wonderful years together.
In 1927, Feodoria and her sisters moved to Anchorage to attend school. In the summer, family members returned to Point Possession to fish, trap, log and hunt. As the eldest, Feodoria helped her mother raise her brothers and sisters.
Feodoria started her own family and raised them in Anchorage and Point Possession, teaching them the commercial and subsistence lifestyle, including making her famous smoked salmon.
One of Feodoria's favorite stories passed down by her family was Captain James Cook sailing into Cook Inlet, landing at Point Possession in June 1778, taking possession of the land for the King of England and meeting with her ancestors. The story (as documented in Captain Cook's log book) is he buried a jar with some coins and a map somewhere at Point Possession. To this day, people still tease her family about returning every summer to look for his buried treasure.
In the 1940s, Feodoria worked at the Alaska Railroad with her best friend, Johanna Kerr. Later, because cooking was her passion, Feodoria worked in Anchorage restaurants. Starting out as a dishwasher, she was eventually promoted to cook. Feodoria retired from the Hotel Captain Cook. She received several awards during her many years there, including employee of the month and employee of the year. The employees nicknamed her "Super Pennington."
Feodoria and Bob loved decorating their home for Christmas. Her beautiful displays won prizes, including first prize from the city one year. She was proud when the picture of her home was on the front page of the newspaper. Feodoria enjoyed doing this because it makes people happy, especially children. In the summer, they prepared and cared for their beautiful flower gardens and yard. Feodoria also loved to play bingo, enjoying the company of good friends and bingo workers, who affectionately called her "Grandma."
During the 1960s, Feodoria worked with many people in the Kenai and Anchorage areas supporting the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. Feodoria testified in federal court, documenting the history of Point Possession to help create the group status of Point Possession village. Feodoria was elected president of Point Possession Inc., a position she held until retiring at age 80.
Feodoria is one of the featured elders in the publication, "Our Stories, Our Lives," which contains interviews with Alaska Native elders of the Cook Inlet Region. In the book, she speaks of how important education is for future generations.
In 2003, Feodoria was one of two elders recognized as "Shareholder of the Year" of Cook Inlet Region, Inc. Feodoria was also a member of the Kenaitze Indian Tribe.
Her family states: Feodoria "Moma" was a pioneer, an elder, a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and a great-great-grandmother who was selfless and proud and taught us the many joys of life. She is dearly loved and will be missed by all.
The family extends a heartfelt thank you to the staff at Providence Extended Care Center for providing her love and compassion and treating her like she was their grandmother.
Feodoria is survived by her children, Roy and Barbara Kallander, Sammy Kallander, Betty and John Gilcrist, Norman and life partner Kenneth More, Mary and Mike Dougherty, Sharon and Dave Isaak, and Karen Tollackson; three sisters, Annie Knigge, Clara Kish and Virginia McMillan; 19 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Bob; children, Jimmy, Bobby and Cora; brothers, Julius, Gilbert and Peter; and sisters, Minnie and Mary.
Donations in lieu of flowers are suggested to the Salvation Army, P.O. Box 101459, Anchorage, 99510-1459.
Published by Anchorage Daily News from Mar. 27 to Mar. 28, 2010.