Soldotna resident and Alaska Native Mattie Johnson died Saturday, Jan. 14, 2006, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Huntington, W.Va. She was 78.
A viewing and panikhida service will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 23 at Peninsula Memorial Chapel in Kenai. Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24 at Holy Assumption of the Virgin Mary Russian Orthodox Church in Kenai. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. Father Thomas Andrew will officiate. Her grandchildren and nephews will serve as pallbearers.
Ms. Johnson was born March 10, 1927, in Afognak. She lived in Ouzinkie, Akhiok, Kodiak, Anchorage, Eagle River and Soldotna. She worked for many years in the cannery at Lazy Bay.
She was Russian Orthodox and enjoyed fishing, bingo, walking, window shopping and spending time with her family.
“A new star is shining in heaven tonight, it came from a lady on earth. My Mama left us this morning, and that’s how the star got its birth. She came to earth as an angel, a wondrous sight to behold. And she held me close to her bosom and protected me from the cold. Mama loved and raised seven children, and cried every time one would fall. She took us from birth to the altar, and taught us to stand straight and tall. Three children left early for heaven, and Mama is with them tonight. Holding their hands in that glorious land, I know it’s a beautiful sight. I held her hand all that morning, until the Lord came and took her from us. I’ll see her again, but until then, I’ll just say we all love you Mama,” her family wrote.
Ms. Johnson was preceded in death by her mother, Haritina Ashragcoon; father, Nick Berestoff; brothers, Karl, Oscar, John, Simion Peterson and Bill Berestoff; sisters, Helen, Kathy and Luba Berestoff; son, Richard Yagashoff; daughters, Jean Yagashoff and Marie Yagashoff; and grandsons and granddaughters.
She is survived by her brother and sister-in-law, Nick and Mable Berestoff of Soldotna; daughters and sons-in-law, Hilda and Lloyd Young of Soldotna, Marlene and Dave Canham of Waterport, N.Y., and Paris and Myron Young of Soldotna; son, Steve Yagashoff of Kenai; grandchildren, Viola of Anchorage, Earl of Sterling, Mattie Jean of Soldotna, Tony, Stephine, Janet and David of Waterport, Francine of Payallup, Wash., Dwayne, William and Paris Misty of Soldotna, and Michael Dominic and Tationa, both of Anchorage; many great-grandchildren; four great-great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
Memorial donations may be sent to the family at 36600 Moser St., Soldotna, AK 99669.
Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel in Kenai.
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