The full moon is going down as the sun is rising in the Goldstream Valley. Just hours before was the lunar eclipse that was last seen by our ancestors over 600 years ago. Loretta "Auntie WaWa" Sue Joseph Luke joined our ancestors in Heaven the day after the eclipse, on Nov. 19, 2021, in Fairbanks.
Loretta was born Sept. 24, 1960, in Anchorage, Alaska, to Elsie Luke and Godfrey "Moe" Joseph of Tanana. Loretta was raised in the old way by her father's uncle and wife, Abby (Evan) and Edgar Joseph in Tanana. Her first language was Denakk'e. She was very talented beader and made her living that way. She was a fun person and had a lot of friends.
Loretta attended school in Tanana and at Mt. Edgecumbe. She was a Tozitna shareholder and a Tanana tribal member.
Loretta had a large family and although she didn't often see them, she cared for them and loved her children, grandchildren and family very much. Loretta will be missed by many.
Loretta is survived by her sons, Ralph (Rachel) Holmberg and Peter (Misty) Luke; grandchildren, Paul Jordan, Winter Mae, Abigail Tori, Lily Clara and Emmett Christian; aunt, Helen Peters; friend, Olinka Constantine; and numerous extended family and friends.
Loretta is preceded in death by the love of her life, Ralph "Snake" Holmberg; parents, Elsie Luke and Godfrey "Moe" Joseph; adopted parents, Abby and Edgar Joseph; siblings, Mae Edwin, Stanley Joseph and Peter "Fish Creek" Joseph; aunt, Virginia (Joseph-Moses) Mayo; uncles, Jason Joseph, Julius Joseph, Nelson Joseph, William "Swift Water Bill" Joseph, Paul Henry; and numerous extended family and friends.
There will be a funeral service on Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, with an 11?a.m. visitation and noon service at Blanchard Family Funeral Home, 611 Noble St.
Burial to follow at Birch Hill with a potlatch at the JP Jones Community Center.
Online condolences may be made to the family at Blanchardfamilyfuneralhome.com.
Published by Daily News-Miner on Nov. 24, 2021.