The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

Leo Apapapyoc Kunnuk Jr.

 

Courtesy photo

Lifelong Alaska resident Leo Apapapyoc Kunnuk Jr., passed away on June 21, 2017, at the age of 85. Born in King Island on Oct. 22, 1931, Leo moved to Nome at the age of 18 and lived there until he met his former wife, Olga Kunnuk, in Seward during the tuberculosis epidemic years. The two eventually married and had eight children. Leo also served for many years in the Alaska National Guard after turning 18.

Leo was a man of many talents. In order to provide for his family, he was a commercial fisherman out of Seward for many years, as well as being a longshoreman. He later moved to Nome for a brief time and worked at the Alaska Gold Company and Alaska Commercial Company before returning to Seward where he retired from Seward General Hospital after many years as a maintenance technician. Leo was not only an avid fisherman, but he was also a master ivory carver and teacher, using that as a way to instill his ways of life and teach the young and adults how to Eskimo dance and drum. Leo fished every Seward Salmon Derby until he was no longer able to. The community expressed a great loss of an Elder who enjoyed teaching the young. His children will miss everything about him and will ensure Leo's legacy continues, never to be forgotten.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Agnes Kunnuk; siblings: Paul, Peter, Charles and Timothy; former spouse, Olga Kunnuk; and his children Roy and Herbert; his son Leo Kunnuk III passed away the day after his father's death. Leo is survived by his children Leona Mayac of Nome, Debbie Rook of Seward, Irene Pipkin of Soldotna, Steven Kunnuk of Seward; siblings Julie, Marie, Theresa, Adrianne, Joseph, Dominic and William; and by 12 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild.

Services took place on Saturday, July 8, 2017, at 2 p.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Seward. The service was officiated by Father Richard Tero. A potluck followed immediately after the service, with the King Island dancers and drummers performing a grand exit for Leo.

 

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