Roberta Louise “Bun” Nanouk Rodin
Roberta Louise “Nanouk” Apok was born to Robert “Anamaiq” Apok Sr. and Martha “Achugruaq” (Walker) Apok on May 17, 1943 at the Maynard McDougall Memorial Hospital in Nome. Her father proudly named her and she was also given the nickname ‘Bun’, short for ‘bunting’. It would be the name used affectionately by her family and friends throughout her life.
She and her brothers and sisters were raised in White Mountain, where they lived a subsistence lifestyle.
In the early 1950s the family relocated to Nome for work. Roberta attended high school in Nome and later on, clerical training in Kenai and Anchorage. She worked her whole life, starting behind the concession booth at the Nomerama Theatre at the age of fourteen. Through the years, her work included: Glue Pot, Northstar Restaurant, Board of Trade, Checker Cab, Nome D.A.’s office, Anvil Mountain Correctional Center, Kawerak and various waitressing and bartending jobs.
In 1972, Roberta met a tall musician who would become the love of her life. She and Gaylon J. Rodin were married on July 13, 1973. Together they raised their family in Nome and Kenai. Gaylon’s work as a musician led them to travel throughout the Kenai Peninsula and Interior Alaska, as well as out of state. Throughout their marriage, Bun and Gaylon shared many interests, including playing pool and darts in the ANB leagues. They lived for a while in L.A. and during this period, travelled all over the U.S. Whatever they did as a couple, their love for each other was obvious for all to see.
Family was very important to Bun. She loved to provide for her family, from picking berries, to baking and cooking for special events and family get-togethers. Blueberry and salmonberry cakes were some of her favorites to bake. She was conscientious about remembering birthdays and anniversaries, and enjoyed coordinating family gatherings to celebrate holidays and special occasions. Bun’s pride and joy were her children and grandchildren; she was extremely proud of their academic and athletic achievements, and was a constant fixture at local sporting events, including wrestling, volleyball, running and basketball. She was their number one fan, and was often one of the loudest people cheering in the gym.
Coming from a very musical family, Roberta enjoyed singing, especially with her mother and sisters. Staying in touch with people was very important to Bun. She kept up with phone numbers and new addresses throughout moves and made it a point to visit family and friends both far and near. She loved to read, collect picture frames to display family photos, and enjoy beautiful days out in the country fishing and berry picking. Spending time at camp was special to her and she created wonderful memories of picnics and get-togethers there. She was kind to all and loved to laugh.
Roberta Louise Rodin left us to be with the Lord on August 16, 2016, passing away peacefully in her home in Nome, Alaska. She is survived by her beloved husband of 44 years, Gaylon J. Rodin; sons Willis Pate III and wife Emma, Dwayne Rodin and wife Gracie; daughters Sharla Pate, and Joanna Wassillie and husband Jack Adams; grandchildren Carissa Trigg, Willis Pate IV, Austin and Robert Pate, Micah Reynolds, Landis Bjorgen Jr., Tanis Bjorgen, Jaelyn, Hayley and Ezekiel Rodin, Katya Wassillie, Liam and Quinn Adams; sisters Annie and husband Phil Kozak, Mary Apok and partner Chamble Adams, Arlene Soxie, Barbara and husband Angus Mazonna; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Roberta was preceded in death by her grandparents Fred and Alice Walker, and John and Muumuu Apok; parents Robert Sr. and Martha Apok; brothers Robert Jr., and James Apok; sisters Ethel Koshney, Marge Troffer and Martha Tate; and son Gerald Apok.