Fred “Shacky” Aakan Sheldon Ryan, Sr.

July 14, 1936 – Feb. 22, 2023

Fred “Shacky” Aakan Sheldon Ryan, Sr., was born to Frank and Susanna Ryan in Unalakleet, Alaska, on July 14, 1936. He walked onto his next adventure on February 22, 2023, at Quyanna Care Center in Nome, AK, where he spent the last years of his life. 

Shacky graduated from Mt. Edgecumbe High School in Sitka, AK. After high school, he joined the Alaska Territorial Guard as a Quarter Master, where he coordinated delivery of supplies from the warehouse. When he returned to Unalakleet, he married the love of his life, Laurina Ivanoff. They spent a lot of time recreating and subsisting at their cabin on the Unalakleet River and in the surrounding countryside. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and gathering with his family to live a subsistence lifestyle. 

He spent his career after ATG with the United States Postal Service, where he served as Postmaster for 32 years. As Postmaster, he traveled to many villages to train USPS employees and attended conferences. He retired from USPS and decided to start sport fish guiding, where he met clients who returned to fish year after year. 

Shacky loved to travel and spend time with his friends. He adventured to Mexico and Switzerland, Germany, Austria and France, visiting and meeting people and telling big stories.

The later years of his life were spent in Kenai, where he enjoyed spending time at the Kenaitze Elders Program for lunches, making friends, and enjoying meals and events. 

Fred is preceded in death by his parents Frank and Suzanne; step mother Eunice; brothers Stanley, Wilfred Sr., Timothy I, Hank, Timothy II, and his sister Mabel; son Freddie, and grandchildren Roberta, Jason I and Axel.

Aakan is survived by his children: his son Bryant Ryan, his daughter Colleen (John Odden), his daughter Jessie (Robert Huett III, his  grandchildren Eric, Amber, Annabelle, Kyle, Rebecca, Jason, and great-grand children Ryder, Taylor, Erin, Calliope, Phoenix, Cypress, Jesse, Karter, Arya, Ava, and Sarah.

The family of Fred Sheldon Ryan, Sr., would like to thank the community of Unalakleet for coming together to help with the celebration of life. Quyanna to BSNC, NVU, UNC, NSHC, and NSEDC for burial assistance funds. Taikuu to Henry Nielsen and the City of Unalakleet for digging the gravesite. Quyanaqpak to Pastor Abel Razzo, Jolene Nanouk Jones, and the Unalakleet Covenant Church for your guidance and support. Many thanks to Gary Eckenweiler and L.A. Commack for building the cross and box for the burial. Special thanks to Dana Sherman for putting together a fundraiser for the family. Melanie Sagoonick and BSSD for printing the programs and inserts. Quyanna to anyone not already mentioned that has helped the family, financially, physically and mentally, and to all who have lifted us up in prayers during this difficult time. Extended thanks to the doctors, nurses, and staff of Quyanna Care Center in Nome, for the excellent care and love shown to our father and grandfather over the last several years. Quyanaqpak to all who attended the Celebration of Life.

Aarigaa, we are blessed to have such a generous and caring community, friends, and family. Peace to Shacky’s memory. Rest easy and fly high. 




The Nome Nugget

PO Box 610
Nome, Alaska 99762

Phone: (907) 443-5235
Fax: (907) 443-5112

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