Funeral service held for Athabaskan leader Ralph Perdue

Posted: Monday, May 05, 2003

FAIRBANKS (AP) A funeral service was held for Athabascan leader Ralph Perdue who died last week at the age of 73.

Perdue was remembered as charismatic, generous and inspiring during a funeral service attended Saturday by nearly 400 people in the David Salmon Tribal Hall.

State lawmakers and longtime friends of Perdue, Sen. Georgianna Lincoln and Rep. Hugh Bud'' Fate, offered the first of four eulogies.

He just had a quiet, light way of providing people with what they needed guidance or humor and he was always there,'' Perdue's daughter Karen said after the ceremony.

A jeweler and former president of the Tanana Chiefs Conference, Perdue was born in Koyukuk and was a founder of the Fairbanks Native Association. He served as a member of the Fairbanks Borough Assembly and a board member for the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District.

He leaves a legacy of generosity, respect, love, humor and caring for his people and family, all of his many friends and business associates,'' said Orie Williams, Doyon Ltd. president and CEO, who hosted the service.

The services represented a mix of Alaska Native, Roman Catholic and Episcopal traditions. The singing of one hymn in English, for example, was concluded in Athabascan.

Family members read passages from the New and Old Testament, and some attendees joined in the singing of an Koyukon Athabascan song.

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