Native leader recovering from aneurysm surgery

Posted: Monday, March 13, 2000

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Fairbanks Native leader and community activist Shirley Demientieff was recovering Monday at a Seattle hospital from surgery to repair a brain aneurysm, family members said.

Demientieff fell ill early Friday morning and was flown to Seattle later that day. She underwent surgery Sunday at Harborview Medical Center.

Demientieff, 49, is president of the Fairbanks Native Association board and also sits on the board of Doyon Ltd. and the Tanana Chiefs Conference Health board. She also heads up the Census 2000 count in the Native community.

Demientieff was stricken shortly after attending a midnight service Thursday at St. Matthew's Episcopal church.

''She was talking about the coming week,'' said the Rev. Scott Fisher, rector of St. Matthew's. ''She said prayers for those who came into her life and her family and friends, and she said thank you for my life the way it is,'' he recalled.

''People should pray for Shirley, if for no other reason than Shirley prayed for them without them even knowing it.''

Demientieff is the sister of Nenana tribal chief, Mitch Demientieff.

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