Daniel Qakiqsinauraq Karmun, Sr.
Beloved Husband, Father, and Grandfather Daniel Qakiqsinauraq Karmun, Sr. was born on December 15, 1926 in Deering, Alaska to Harry and Nellie (Harvey) Karmun. His siblings were Edward, Alfred, Emerson, Evans, Elsie and Wilbur. Dan adored his mother. He often told stories about how she nursed him back to health after he fell from a top bunk when he was five. Dan’s father Harry passed away when Dan was thirteen. Dan’s early years were spent with his family herding reindeer.
Dan attended school until the eighth grade. He and his siblings each learned to play musical instruments by ear. He enjoyed music and singing and often played his accordion for family and friends.
From 1943 to 1945 he worked in Nome as a laborer with the US Corp of Engineers. Dan was 17-years-old and decided to change his date of birth so that he could enlist with the Alaska Territorial Guard, serving from March 1942 to June 1945. In 1945 he was inducted into the US Army. He was honorably discharged on December 31, 1946. He visited Washington DC in 2014, escorted by his son Harry, as part of the Last Frontier Honor Flight in honor of his service in World War II.
Dan married Ethel Davis on March 9, 1949, in Candle, Alaska. He often told the story of how he had to borrow $5 from his brother Alfred to pay for the marriage license. Dan and Ethel had 13 children. They made their home in Deering, moving the family to Nome where he began a career with Wien Air Alaska in 1959. He was a station manager in both Nome and Kotzebue. Dan and Ethel moved the family to Anchorage when he transferred. They proudly supported and encouraged their three oldest daughters Lucille, Laraine and Elsie as they attended Business College.
He worked for the Kawerak BIA Reindeer Program as the director from 1975-1981. He retired from the University of Alaska-Cooperative Extension Service in 1991. He spent many years as a member of the Reindeer Herders Association. Dan often spoke about a trip he made with Willie Hensley and Don Sheldon to the Chukotka Regions to learn about Reindeer herding here. For many years after that trip, they greeted each other with, “Hello Comrade.” Even after his retirement, many called on him for his expertise.
Over the span of his life, Dan was an active member of his community. He served as a president and chairperson of the Alaska Federation of Natives Elders/Youth Conference; a member of the Arctic Native Brotherhood; a member of the Chamber of Commerce; a member of the Advisory Parent Committee; a volunteer of the Emergency Medical Service; a member of the Nome School Board; a member of the Western Alaska Tribal Council, and a member of the Rotary International Club.
He also served on the Bering Straits Native Corporation board, the Nome City Council and the Sitnasuak Native Corporation board. He served on the State of Alaska Commission on Aging, and volunteered with local youth groups and church boards. He received recognition for his service.
Dan belonged to the Democratic Party and supported many local, regional, and state candidates.
Dan was an ardent Nome Beltz Nanook fan. He encouraged everyone. He was the family prayer warrior. He spent his life teaching others about traditional ways of hunting and sharing. Dan and Ethel opened their home to many visitors over the years.
Dan and Ethel pastored the Friends Church for several years and he was an ordained minister, performing marriages around the Seward Peninsula. Dan spent his life serving God and ministering to his family and friends. He will be missed for his kind counsel and sweet prayers.
Dan is survived by his children Gloria Ann (and partner Perry Olanna), Porter (and wife Leslie), Judith (and husband Bryan Reed), Harry, and Donnie; and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and four great great grandchildren.
Dan as preceded in death by his parents Harry and Nellie Karmun, his wife, Ethel; sons Glenn, Bert and Danny; daughters Shirley, Laraine, Lucille, Elsie and Edna; grandsons Fredrick Olanna, Leonard Garrison and Bruce Murphy.
Dan was laid to rest at Deering next to his beloved wife.