Ellen Amaateka Baize
Ellen Amaateka Baize was born on June 19, 1936 to the late Jimmy Tulii and Mabel Pungowiyi-Toolie of Savoonga. She grew up in Savoonga alongside her siblings Jane, Walter, Katherine, Morris Sr., Raymond, Eugene, Herman, Thalia, Norma, Ilene and Gregory.
Ellen was arranged in marriage to the late Arthur Gologergen on March 28, 1955. Together they started their family and worked hard to raise their eight children Brenda, Aaron, Sharon, Jessie, Bivers, Delory, Glenda and Rena. After Arthur’s untimely passing in 1968, Ellen and her children relocated to Nome.
A hard worker and a fiercely independent woman, her greatest passion above all was her family. Ellen was a very loving and devoted mother and grandmother. She was light-hearted, always kind, and often made you laugh with her amazing sense of humor and teasing nature. She loved spending time with her family and friends; being a gracious host to numerous dinners.
She was also a very talented seamstress sewing traditional atkuks and qipaghaqs for all of her family. She often crocheted hats, socks, mittens and blankets for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well.
Ellen enjoyed watching basketball, attending games to watch her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren and loved to clap and cheer for them.
Some of her favorite pastimes included Eskimo dancing, crocheting, berry picking, picking greens, preparing and cooking Eskimo food for her family. Everyone loved her delicious bread rolls, zombies, akutaq and cinnamon rolls the most.
As she became older, she cultivated a love for the preparation and processing of traditional foods. She also loved to spend time outdoors and always had the most peaceful and graceful stride as she walked along the beach or through the tundra.
One connection, which she valued very highly was her relationship with God. She was a very spiritual woman, involved in many church activities and often shared her talent of playing the piano, as well as being an avid accordion player. One life lesson that grandma always wanted to instill in her family was to remember to Always Pray. She taught her family that no matter what happens to us or around us, we get through it by faith. It’s difficult to limit a lifetime so richly lived into a few short paragraphs. She was brave, strong and steadfast in living, loving and succeeding no matter what difficulties she faced. She was the matriarch of our family and guided the way to the kind of people we all hope and strive to be.
She will be deeply missed by her family, friends and all who knew her.
She is survived by her brothers Raymond, Eugene and Gregory Toolie. Her children Brenda, Aaron and his wife Eleanor, Sharon and her husband Thomas, Bivers and his wife Barbara, and Delory and his wife Selina. Her 22 grandchildren Tyson, Brendon, Stephanie, Brianne, Sophia, Kallan, Tammy, Rhonda, James, Rena, Jessica, Joshua, Orlin, Galen, Jelsey, Jaylen, Jana, Samantha, Arthur, Jessie, Mandy and Harley. Her 18 great-grandchildren Gabriel, Abner, Jeffrey, Sharlyna, Keisha, Charisse, Lillian, Edward Jr., Gracelyn, Taylor, Natalie, Mary, Trevor, Theodore, Joseph, Matthew, Dylan and Tyler.
Our family would like to extend sincere thanks and appreciation for the tremendous amount of love and support shown to us throughout our journey; we thank you for your prayers, visits, phone calls, monetary donations, airline miles, food, gifts, comfort, condolences and everyone that took part in helping us.