Gladys Jung nonagenarian

5-9-07, by Greg Lincoln, Delta Discovery

Beloved elder Gladys Jung of Bethel celebrated her 90th birthday last week. Many friends and loved ones came to wish her a happy birthday at her comfortable home near the Kuskokwim River.

Gladys was born on April 30, 1917 in St. Michael to parents Oscar and Annie Hall. Her mother was from St. Michael and her father was from West Virginia. … Gladys is a University of Alaska Fairbanks Alumna, graduating from college with a teaching degree. She returned home where she taught in the old village of Nunacuaq, which has long been gone. In Nunacuaq she worked as an apprentice teacher. She remembers burning coal in the stove for heat. The teacher she worked with had the main school and she would send the little ones to Gladys, who was learning how to teach.

“There were no chairs and the kids would stand at the table and do their work,” she said.… Shortly after, she married Henry Jung and together they had nine children. The couple was asked to open the school in Napaskiak, which had not had a school before.

“My husband made little tables, there were no desks,” she recalls. “We traveled by dog team and by […]

Gladys was also an active member of the Senior Center. A few years ago she recorded a radio ad against the use of iq’mik (sometimes ikmik), a mixture of chewing tobacco and “punk” or tree fungus ash, which is used by adults and even children. She then became known to the latest group of schoolchildren as the “Iq’mik Lady”
Gladys Jung iq’mik YKHC ad


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    2 Responses to “Gladys Jung nonagenarian”


    1. 1 vuee 2008 May 19 at 4:53 pm

      Congratulations again. The new elementary school building in Bethel is named for Gladys Jung, May 13 2008. Although she never taught in Bethel itself, she has certainly been at home here after active teaching.


    1. 1 Gladys Jung, nonagenarian, 1917-2008 « O’Folks Trackback on 2008 October 7 at 10:57 am
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