Archive for the 'nonagenarian' Category

Bethel the Kodiak bear one of the oldest

I’m not sure what human decade she is. I noticed in the video that she has teeth. Too bad she only gets salmon once a year, but the Kuskokwim River is rather far away (and at the opposite time of year).

Bethel the Kodiak brown bear, celebrating birthday in Australia

Bethel the Kodiak brown bear, celebrating birthday in Australia

Not grizzly at all… Bethel the kodiak bear lounges in her enclosure at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo. (ABC news)

Australia’s oldest bear has celebrated its 32nd birthday.

Bethel the kodiak [sic] bear also has the distinction of being one of the oldest of its species in the world.

It’s become a birthday ritual that never fails to delight the grand old dame of Taronga Zoo.

“She was bashing at the door as soon as she could smell that salmon coming in,” said zookeeper Deb Olsen.

“She knows that it’s a special day when she sees the big salmon there.”

I noticed while reading up on Bethel’s birthday bash that the Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC) has a tag or category for news feeds called aged-care. Click on the ink below to add it to your news reader.

  • Walter Soboleff, Tlingit linguist 1908-2011

    “Tlingit Elder Walter Soboleff Dies at 102”,0,4639306.story

    Noted Tlingit elder Walter Soboleff dies from the Juneau Empire.

    2009-11-14 Celebrating 101 years Juneau Empire – Juneau,AK,USA
    In the summer, he’d return to Alaska and work on the seine boats out of Sitka or the cold storage. The price of salmon then included humpies selling for 4 …

    2008-11-14 nonagenarian centenarian Tlingit linguist

    Dr Soboleff was a main speaker at the Elders and Youth Conference and at AFN in Anchorage this year. Elders and Youth is the convention which precedes the statewide Alaska Federation of Natives annual convention. Soboleff is important in anthropological linguistics but better known for his contributions to Alaska as reverend, teacher, organizer, archivist.

    Walter Soboleff, AFN 2008

    1908 was the year that the 88 million Americans living at the time heard about a “ball” dropping in New York’s Time Square to celebrate the coming of a New Year; it was the first year that Americans would honor their mothers (Mother’s Day). Teddy Roosevelt was president, a postage stamp cost 2 cents, and Henry Ford was developing the Model T, which would sell for $850.
    Kajakti, “One Slain in Battle,” was born November 14, 1908, to Alexander Ivan Soboleff, the son of a Russian Orthodox priest, and his wife, Anna Hunter of Killisnoo, Alaska. Kajakti (also spelled Kha’jaq’tii) was born into a world where his mother’s Tlingit culture was being forever changed by his father’s European one. He was named after an Angoon Clan leader to whom he was related.

    As a 7 year old, Kajakti was taken to an Iicht (shaman) by his mother and was treated for reasons he never understood. He also experienced being sent to the “Russian school” in Sitka as an 8-year-old, only to be sent home again because it closed due to the overthrow of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, its benefactor (1917). A year later, the 10-year-old served as an interpreter for a doctor who visited Killisnoo during the 1918 flu epidemic that brought many Alaska Native tribes to the edge of extinction.

    JUNEAU — More than 1,000 papers documenting Alaska Native history by Tlingit elder Walter Soboleff have been posted on the Internet by Sealaska Heritage Institute in what officials are calling a unique and priceless collection.

    Running from 1929 to 1995, the documents provide insight into the Native land claims struggle and the Alaska Native Brotherhood, institute president Rosita Worl said. … “He begins at a real pivotal time in our history,” she said.

    Web Extra: Dr. Soboleff at 100 (extended version)

    Tue, October 21, 2008 At the Elders and Youth gathering that precedes the AFN convention, First Alaskans Institute trustee Byron Mallot spoke about the incredible legacy of Tlingit elder Dr. Walter Soboleff. Soboleff will turn 100 years old in November and Mallot said introducing him was humbling. Here is an extended interview with Dr. Soboleff.

    [revised 2008-11-14] The Anchorage Daily Newsreader provides additional links to his birthday celebration.

    CELEBRATING A CENTURY-OLD NATIVE LEADER: The tributes continue for Walter Soboleff of Juneau – a Tlingit scholar and Presbyterian pastor – who turns 100 years old today, reports the Juneau Empire. In a speech Thursday at the Southeast Alaska Native Summit, Soboleff said that as white culture overtook Alaska, he “tried to take the best of both worlds.”

    His son Ross Soboleff, 57, said that pluralist attitude was novel in his father’s time. “It certainly was presented to us, and to his generation, ‘The Native ways are old. We’ve got to put those aside and take on the new life.’ He was someone who pioneered the idea that, well, no, you don’t have to put those aside, those things are part of who you are. … I can make it in this greater society we live in, but I’m still a Native. Things that are part of our way of life have validity and value. Someone had to come up with that idea. This guy was one of the first to see that it’s possible – not just see that it was possible, but to actually do it.”

    The article includes photos from Soboleff’s life. Soboleff gave a dramatic keynote speech at the Elders and Youth Conference last month in Anchorage. You can hear it at the Alaska Public Radio Network site. More than 1,000 papers by Soboleff documenting Alaska Native history are being archived by the Sealaska Heritage Institute. Many can be seen here.

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    Esther Martinez, nonagenarian Tewa linguist, 2008 honor

    For more on the remarkable Ms Martinez see the earlier post

    Esther Martinez: ‘A way to honor her spirit’ Historical roadside marker celebrates Tewa linguist and renowned storyteller
    11/8/2008 – 11/9/08
    OHKAY OWINGEH — New Mexico honored Ohkay Owingeh storyteller and Tewa linguist Esther Martinez Blue Water (P’oe Tsáwä) on Saturday by unveiling a new roadside marker at the pueblo north of Española.

    “It is an honor to have a marker that recognizes her contributions to her pueblo and to others,” said Martinez, speaking to the large crowd gathered at the site along N.M. 68. “She was a person steadfast to the end.”

    The wooden marker is the second of 55 that will be installed around the state in recognition of influential New Mexico women. .. The marker program was conceived by three women — Pat French, Beverly Duran and Alexis Girard. They created the New Mexico Historic Women Marker Initiative and lobbied the Legislature to fund the project.

    “As we drove around the state, we realized all the historic markers up and down the road were all for men,” French said Saturday as she waited for the cutting of a silver ribbon around Martinez’s marker. “This is to create a better balance.”

    Martinez, born in 1912, was known as an exceptional storyteller. Her family said she could use almost anything as the source of a good yarn, even everyday events. “My mother’s stories had such life and character,” daughter Josephine Binford said with a chuckle. “You could see what she described. When she spoke, it was like she cast a spell.”

    … Martinez received many national honors for her work in preserving the language and stories of her people. She taught Tewa in the Ohkay Owingeh (formerly San Juan Pueblo) schools for years and created a Tewa dictionary. She traveled widely to share stories with non-Pueblo people. She received the Teacher of the Year award from the National Council of American Indians in 1997 and a year later was given the Governor’s Award for Excellence.

    In 2006, Martinez was named a National Heritage Fellow by the National Endowment for the Arts.

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    Otto Friend, nonagenarian

    The Delta Discovery is one of our regional newspapers. Many of the articles may also be read on-line. Unfortunately, there isn’t a photo of Mr. Friend.

    by Jodi Friend, student Kuskokwim Campus

    My paternal grandfather Otto Friend has lived in the native village of Kwigillingok, a costal village located on the Southwestern Region of Alaska, nearly all his life.

    When my grandfather was a young boy, most of the Yup’ik people in the village lived on the left side of the Kwigillingok River, while only a few lived on the right side.

    …what are my grandfather’s personality, favorite foods, and hobbies?
    My grandfather is mean, grumpy, strict, selfish, and forgetful at times, but he is also humorous, caring, and loving. His nickname is “Apiin” (similar to grandfather) and “Dad.”

    Otto loves to eat blackberry “akutaq” (Eskimo ice cream), beluga whale blubber, dried salmon, white fish, bird soup, and loves drinking Red Rose tea with his elder friends.

    His hobbies include watching Kung Fu movies, taking naps, snow machine riding, checking the Kwigillingok River, playing with his grandchildren, working on seal skin, carving wood, and taking steam baths.

    … After serving in the Alaskan Territorial Guard (ATG), his sight has not been the same. My paternal aunts and uncles told me that Otto, little by little, stopped going subsistence hunting because of his affected vision. Although he has this problem, it does not keep him from being in charge of how the gathered and hunted food is prepared or stored for the winter.

    Right now, he’s 90-years-old and he still walks and takes a steam bath in the “maqivik” (steam house or sauna) just about every night…. In conclusion, Otto is a lot of fun to be around. I admire and respect him because he has been through so much in his life and because he has a lot of experience when it comes to subsistence living. He is also a very good grandfather, not just to me, but to my other relatives as well. […]

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    Gladys Jung, nonagenarian, 1917-2008

    I was sad to hear the recent news about Gladys Jung, Gladys Jung passes away Tue, September 30, 2008, She was an early school teacher and the first Alaska Native (Yup’ik) school teacher in the Yukon-Kuskokwim region. Late in life she was known as the “Iqmik Lady” for her public service announcements about the hazards of tobacco use.

    Gladys had been active on the Senior Advisory Board to the Eddie Hoffman Senior Center in Bethel. Her Archive for the ‘nonagenarian’ Category biography and poster is posted earlier here–

    revised 2008-10-26
    2008 Alaska Federation of Natives Elder of the Year, Gladys Hall Jung, Bethel

    [revised 2008-11-10] The Tundra Drums has two good stories about Ms Jung
    Gladys Jung named Elder of the Year, By Alex DeMarban, October 30, 2008

    Sunny side of Jung

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    Nonagenarian MySpacer, Kirk Douglas

    Kirk Douglas nonagenarianLori Shepler / Los Angeles Times, click to view original

    By Tina Daunt, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer, April 4, 2008

    AS F. Scott Fitzgerald once famously said, there are no second acts in American life. But Kirk Douglas, at age 91, has not only found a second act but now is writing a third in, of all places, cyberspace.

    “Someone once told me, ‘Be ashamed to die before doing something for humanity,’ ” said Douglas, relaxing on one of the plush couches in his Beverly Hills home, with its gardens and courtyards, colorful paintings by Marc Chagall — a personal friend — and two beloved large dogs wandering in and out. “As you get older, you must think more of other people. You must strive to help other people. Who needs the most help but the young?

    “What kind of world are we leaving them?”

    It’s a question to which Douglas returns over and over on his website and in his new book, “Let’s Face It: 90 Years of Living, Loving, and Learning,” which was recently released as an audio book read by “Seinfeld’s” Jason Alexander.

    MySpace page is

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    Nonagenarian greatgrand to Alaska teacher

    Katherine Fink, nonagenarian Katherine Fink of Green Bay. Click picture to read more

    A retired regional supervisor for AAA, Katie never backed away from a challenge. Learning to downhill ski at age 58 and looking rather like a Mountie in her orange jacket, she quickly gave up the bunny slope for the ‘big ones’. After retiring, she took computer classes so she would be able to be of help in the office at Trinity Lutheran Church. A gifted seamstress and tailor she also became an accomplished and prize-winning porcelain doll maker after retiring. from Kasigluk

    O’Folks (off their rocker)

    Old age isn't a disease.

    Arctic sunset

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    RSS Nonagenarian news

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