Vera Angasan
1924 - 2016
Vera Angasan (Kie) passed away peacefully surrounded by her children and family on Dec. 2, 2016, in Anchorage, Alaska. Anchorage funeral services were held at St. Innocent Russian Orthodox cathedral on Dec. 5, 2016, officiated by Father John Zabinko. Funeral services in South Naknek, Alaska, will be held on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016, at 12 p.m. at the Elevation of the Holy Cross Church, followed by a potluck at the South Naknek Village Council community center. Vera was compassionately known by all who knew her as "Gramma Vera," or simply as "Gramma." She was born at Ugashik, Alaska, on Oct. 4, 1924, to Joe and Anishia Kie. Vera led a blessed life, having overcome early hardship and the loss of her parents at a young age, as well as growing up during the post-pandemic era of 1918s Spanish flu. By age 7, she was adopted by Pelagia and Nick "Taata" Melgenak of New Savonoski, a refuge settlement established in the wake of the 1912 eruption of Novarupta in what is now known as Katmai National Park. Pelegia is most known for her matriarchal community leadership and humanitarianism having cared for several who were orphaned by the pandemic of 1918. During this time, Vera spent much of her childhood years learning the lifeways of her newly adopted family and by living a semi-nomadic subsistence lifestyle between various Naknek River settlements and "Kittiviq" at Brooks River, where she and her family harvested red fish and other migrating game to serve as the familys winter bounty. Vera's lifestyle was her livelihood and she was careful to teach and pass down these survival traditions to all her children and grandchildren including those willing to learn and work. In 1947, she wed Trefon Angasan II, who many affectionately knew as "Grampa Trefon." They made their permanent home in the village of South Naknek, where they went on to raise their 10 children. Vera worked 38 seasons for the Alaska Packers Association at Diamond "NN" cannery at South Naknek and later on as South Naknek's first community health aide. Eventually, she and her husband retired from seasonal work at the cannery and made their winter home in King Salmon, Alaska, where they enjoyed a domesticated life made easier through advancing modernization. Although Vera was well known for her hardworking subsistence oriented lifestyle of fishing, hunting, trapping and as a master skin sew, she is best known for her success as a commercial fisherwoman on the set-net beach at South Naknek. Vera fished with a fierce intensity and independence, and would often exclaim that "fish don't run during the winter," or "you have all winter to sleep." Her set-net operation was often manned by a small crew of grandchildren, who often performed with the precision of a small army and with tactical determination. She was known for her quick hands and fast picking and could often clear an entire loaded net by herself, while her crew moved fish from the water line to higher ground. When the waters were rough, she could often be seen in her small raft bobbing up and down in the waves keeping her nets clean in the hope of catching more salmon to market. She remained active as a permit holder at her commercial set-net operation until finally retiring at age 78. Vera and Trefon were strong proponents of formal and higher education. Each worked hard to provide access to quality education and eventually a secondary education for all their children, Vera was often proud to share that six of her 10 children were college graduates, four of whom went on to achieve post-graduate degrees. Several of her children and grandchildren went on to achieve high profile executive careers in post ANCSA for-profit and non-profit sectors. Vera was a devout Orthodox Christian, serving as church "starosta" at Elevation of the Holy Cross Church at South Naknek for many years. Vera is preceded in death by her brother, Nick Kie of Ugashik; parents, Joe and Anishia Kie of Ugashik; adopted parents, Pelagia and Nick Melgenak of New Savonoski; grandson, Troy Nielsen of South Naknek; grandson, Benny Kevin Leon Angasan of South Naknek; brother, Steve Kie of Naknek; husband, Trefon Angasan II of South Naknek/King Salmon; daughter, Katherine Groat of Boat Creek; granddaughter, Tisha M. Angasan of Anchorage; grandson, Trefon "Trapheme" Angasan IV of Anchorage; and granddaughter, Eva M. Nielsen-King of South Naknek. Vera is survived by her children, Fred T. Angasan and companion Elena Blunka of South Naknek, Mary Jane Nielsen and husband Donald of South Naknek, Trefon "Jr." Angasan III and wife Gwen of Anchorage, Ralph Angasan Sr. and wife Clara of King Salmon, Viola Savo of King Salmon, Val Angasan and wife Cecelia of Anchorage, Martin Angasan and companion Mary Jadinger of South Naknek, Steven Angasan and wife Nola of Naknek and Anishia Elbie and husband Jeff of South Naknek. Vera leaves behind a legacy of many grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren, and countless friends from around the world.
Published by Anchorage Daily News on Dec. 7, 2016.
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18 Entries
I am sorry for your loss. How happy we will be when we can see the words of 1 Corinthians 15:54 come true. ("Death is swallowed up forever")Praying that your family can endure during this difficult time by relying on each other and our heavenly Father. Take care.
December 29, 2016
Vera was truly a great women and a friend of my dad as he worked for Alaska packers to make a living for all of us . He spoke fondly of the hard working and happy friends he made and knew . my condolences to all the family especially Mary her daughter you are blessed to has had a beautiful mom hugs /prays Marie
marie walker katcheak
December 14, 2016
Sending our condolences and prayers to your family during this time of sorrow. May God bless and comfort your family, and hold you all in His loving arms. Andy & Helen Aderman-Dlg
Helen Aderman
December 14, 2016
I am so sorry for the loss of your loved one. Please find peace and comfort in Psalms 119:76.
December 12, 2016
my condolences and prayers to the Angasan family.Vera I will miss you especially our Slavi christmas eve choir practice.I really enjoyed those times even though I didn't learn to sing very well.God be with your family and south Naknek during this sad time and the Christmas Season.Josie
josie Savo
December 12, 2016
To the family,

I am so sorry for your loss. Death is never an easy situation. Psalms 9:9 helps us to see that God is a secure refuge for the oppressed, A secure refuge in times of distress. Please rely on Him in this time of need.
December 12, 2016
Vera was much loved and will be sorely missed. Keeping your family in our thoughts and prayers.
December 10, 2016
Rest In Peace, to a Beautiful Soul and Blessing to her family.
December 8, 2016
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
December 8, 2016
Our sincere condolences to the Angasan family. We are honored to know so many of you. May the sweet memory of your mom/gramma/great-gramma be a blessing to you in the years ahead.
George & Heidi Steinberg
December 7, 2016
What a beautiful legacy. Condolences.
Joy Crow
December 7, 2016
Love you gram!
Dorena Angasan
December 7, 2016
Condolences to her family, love and prayers, also.
Agraphina Ward
December 7, 2016
Our sincere condolences to the angasan family . Love you all.
Henrietta Hogue
December 7, 2016
Gram-Vera will be missed by many she touched so many lives. She was always helping and offering people food if they were in need or hungary. Rest Easy Gram, love you and will miss you more than ever. Love you
Lydia Emory
December 7, 2016
For all my life there were constants in my Naknek, one f these was Vera Angasan.I remember as a child my Mother taking us over to South Naknek in her old wooden skiff to visit the Angasans. The Angasans and Andersons were the first families of Naknek and South Naknek and the Angasans were the biggest with 10 children, Vera ruled their home with a glance or a gentle smile that warmed their home. I am pleased to say I grew up under her smile and she commented that my Mother was her best friend.. Rest now Vera you deserve it, as does the other elders that guided us to where we are today..
Norman (Nickilio) Anderson
December 7, 2016
Our heartfelt condolences to the family. The strength from God can sustain you through this difficult time. May your loving memories of the times you shared bring you a measure of comfort now and in the days to come.
December 7, 2016
My condolences to the family. Vera's input helped me get through grad school. I'll be forever appreciative of her patience.
Mary Anne Wilson
December 7, 2016
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