Andrew G. Kanaback


Posted: Sunday, April 23, 2006

Lifelong Alaska and Port Graham resident Andrew G. Kanaback died Monday, April 17, 2006, in Long Term Care at South Peninsula Hospital in Homer with family members at his side. He was 73.

Mr. Kanaback’s services were held at St. Herman’s Church in Port Graham on Thursday, April 20. Pallbearers were Leo Anahonak, Elmer Anahonak, Ephim (Moose) Anahonak Jr., Joshua Anahonak, Quentin McMullen and Karl Pulliam.

Mr. Kanaback was born Nov. 17, 1933, in English Bay and spent all his life enjoying Alaska from Port Chatham to Port Graham.

When Whitney Fidalgo Seafoods ran the Port Graham cannery in the second half of the 1900s, Mr. Kanaback or “Qalaya” (K-lye-ah), as he was known, could be found working as part of the high energy “beach gang” or crewing on local commercial fishing boats.

After his stepdad died in 1971, Mr. Kanaback cared for his mother in her small home overlooking Port Graham Bay. During this time, he picked up his second lasting nickname, “Unga” (meaning Uncle) from his nieces and nephews. This name continued for the rest of his life.

Mr. Kanaback enjoyed fishing, being outdoors and living the subsistence lifestyle in which he was raised.

“He was a grateful and loving son to Umma Mary, traits that he carried throughout his life. Unga greeted everyone with a ready smile and a handshake. He was a dignified, quiet and thankful man,” his family said.

Mr. Kanaback was preceded in death by his mother, Mary Moonin; sister, Tania Anahonak; father, Gabriel Kanaback; and stepfather, Pete Moonin.

He is survived by his sister and brother-in-law, Jennie and Victor Carlough of Port Graham; nieces, Nancy Pulliam and husband, Karl, of Ninilchik and Fenia Anahonak of Port Graham; nephews, Ephim Anahonak Jr. and wife, Darlene, of Port Graham, Elmer Anahonak and wife, Anesia, of Nanwalek and Leo Anahonak and wife, Natalie of Nanwalek; 11 great-nieces; nine great-nephews; six great-great-nephews; and one great-great-niece.

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