Francis Suluk Alvanna
Francis Suluk Alvanna, a devout Catholic, was born on December 6, 1940 to John and Magdalene Alvanna on King Island, Alaska. He lived on King Island with his parents and five siblings until the age of 12, then moved to Nome. He attended school in Nome through the eighth grade and joined the U.S. Army Reserve in 1958 and served three years. In 1988, Francis received his GED certificate.
In 1967, Francis married Edna Kiminock and together they raised seven children: Jennifer, Janice, Judith, John “JJ”, Jacob, James and Jason. Francis and Edna have 23 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Francis enjoyed helping raise his grandchildren and great-grandchildren at home and providing for them.
Francis was employed by Northern Commercial Company as grocery stocker and worked his way up to store manager for the Nome, St. Michael and Unalakleet stores.
Francis was also employed with Nome Public Schools at the Leonard Seppala Alternative and later at the Nome Elementary School until he retired in May of 2007. He continued to work as an on-call substitute teacher. He helped with both City and State elections until his health would not allow him to.
Francis had served as a Board of Director for King Island Native Corporation and IRA council member for the King Island Native Community. Francis participated as a member of the King Island Dance Group for a number of years.
His hobbies included taking many pictures, recording home videos, ivory carving, making traditional walrus stomach drums and, with help, he built two King Island kayaks with modern day material.
He was excellent at doing string games. Francis enjoyed going to the Recreation Center to sauna with his regular sauna buddies and taking car rides.
Francis had a great sense of humor that included jokes, and telling funny stories, with friends, family and strangers alike. He loved sharing his stories of growing up on King Island and is well known for his greeting of “good morning” no matter what time of day. He always looked forward to his breakfast, lunch and dinner dates he made with family and friends through the years.
Francis is survived by Jennifer and Gary Pitzke, Janice and Kevin Knowlton, Judith Alvanna and Rick Outwater, John Alvanna and Shauntel Bruner, Jacob, James and Jason Alvanna.
Grandchildren: William, Rebecca, Stephen, Charles, Amanda, Curtis, Laura, Aidan, Norma, Jameson Alvanna, Alexander Heredia-Alvanna, Christian Heredia, Lorraine, Christopher and Heather Ivanoff, Katherine and Indiana Thornton, Sophia Marble, Kalie Knowlton, Erica, Jonathan and Owen Outwater, and Audrey Bruner.
Great-Grandchildren: Clayton Johnson, Isaiah and Aaron Marble, Madison Larsen, Sage and Jasmine Ivanoff-Ahkinga, Alaina Koweluk-Outwater and Amara Jade Alvanna. Sisters: Agatha Kokuluk, Bernadette “Yaayuk” and Jim Alvanna-Stimpfle. Brothers: David and Paula Alvanna and Bellarmine Alvanna. Brother and Sister’s in-law: James Kiminock, Lena Kiminock and Mary Moyer. Many nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents John Alvanna and Magdalene Omiak, his sister Rose Koezuna, brother Dennis Pikonganna and wife Edna F. Alvanna.