Lillian Harriet Pitka Olin, born Nov. 25, 1924, to Tassianna Big Jim Pitka and Richard Pitka of the Dolby River died at her home in Galena on Jan. 13, 2010. Her beloved daughters, Cindy Olin and Eva Olin Sensmeier, were with her at the time of her death.
Lillian will be buried in Ruby on Jan. 18, 2010.
Lillian lived in Galena for many years after moving from Ruby to Fairbanks and then to Galena. She started her lifelong passion and career at the University of Alaska Fairbanks at the Commons, Galena Air Force Base and then the Galena School District as the bilingual teacher.
Though she retired from the Galena School District, she still taught anyone who was willing to learn the Athabascan language and culture in her home. She taught sewing the traditional way. She had many students who are now parents and grand-parents. She will be remembered as "Grandma O." Lillian was an active member of the St. John Berchman's Catholic Church as a eucharistic minister.
Lillian is survived by her sister Nora Kangas and family of Ruby, and Franklin Pitka and Aida Frank of Galena; sister-in-law Lorraine Honea and family; Annie and Don Honea Jr. and family; Amy and Pap Tarver and family; Margie and Joe Juckett and family; brother-in-law James and Maudry Honea and family from Galena; and her surviving children, Christine and Daniel Smith and their children and grandchildren from Pavo, Ga., and Freda and PJ Williams and children from Fairbanks; Dee Olin and her children and grandchildren from Anaktuvuk Pass; Amy and Mick VanHatten and children and grandchildren from Fairbanks;
Eva and Ray Sensmeier and children and grandchildren from Yakutat; Fred and Betty Jean Olin and children from Anchorage; Cindy Olin and children from Galena; Mary Olin and children and grandchild from Anchorage; Rick Olin and children from Fairbanks; Valerie and children and grandchildren from Nenana; Larry Olin from Galena; Conrad and Jen Olin and children and grandchildren from Winslow, Maine; she has many grandchildren and great-grandchildren and all her family and friends of Galena, Ruby, Huslia, Hughes, Koyukuk, Nulato and Tanana.
She was preceded in death by Freddie Richard Olin II; son, Paul G. Olin; parents, Tassianna and Richard Pitka; and brothers, Harry Pitka and Timothy Pitka of Ruby.