Mike Joe Tanape


Posted: Friday, July 02, 2004

Lifelong Alaskan Mike Joe Tanape died Friday, June 18, 2004, due to complications from a heart attack and stroke at the South Peninsula General Hospital in Homer. He was 66.

Funeral services and burial were held Wednesday, June 23, at the Sts. Herman & Sergius of Valaam Russian Orthodox Church and Cemetery in Nanwalek. Fr. Sergie Active officiated. Pallbearers included Mike Radtke, John Romanoff, Sarjus Moonin, Tim Greene, Johnny Moonin and Nick Tanape Jr.

Mr. Tanape was born March 18, 1938, in Port Graham, and he was raised in Nanwalek, attending school until the fifth grade. Mike worked various jobs throughout Alaska, most recently as the supervisor for the Nanwalek Salmon Enhancement Project until he retired in 2004. He was a member of the Sts. Sergius & Herman of Valaam Russian Orthodox Church in Nanwalek. He also was a member of the Nanwalek IRA Council. He enjoyed subsistence hunting.

"Mike was a leader of the community and a mentor for many of the younger people in the village. His skills in hunting were phenomenal from many years of practice. He was able to provide a vast variety of game not only for his family, but for the whole village. He loved the outdoors, spending many hours alone in the woods reading the signs and planning the next hunt," his family said.

"Subsistence gathering of fish and game was Mike's favorite pastime, passing on his invaluable skills to the younger generations made him smile. He loved all kids with his generous spirit. No child ever left his house without a treat and a big dose of attention. Mike will be missed. The knowledge he had will not soon be forgotten. He lived the life of a Sugpiaq, a hunter and gatherer and was truly a real person."

Mr. Tanape was preceded in death by his first wife, Nadia (Ukatish) Tanape; father, Joe Tanape; mother, Alma (Kvasnikoff) Tanape; and brothers, Chris and Steve Tanape.

He is survived by his wife, Irene Tanape of Nanwalek; son and daughter in-law, Gus and Vivian Ukatish of Nanwalek; brothers, Ralph Johnson of Kenai, and Nick Tanape Sr., Lloyd Tanape Sr. and Herman Tanape, all of Nanwalek; grandsons, Peter and Gus Jr. Ukatish, both of Nanwalek; granddaughters, Helen Anahonak of Anchorage, and Nadia and Tehya Ukatish, both of Nanwalek; great-granddaughter, Michelle Melkoff of Anchorage; stepsons, Mack and Seraphim Jr. Ukatish, both of Nanwalek; stepdaughters, Nancy Radtke and Kristina Kinneevauk, both of Nanwalek; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Arrangements were made by the Homer Funeral Home.

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