David was born on July 4, 1933, in Anuuraaq, which is about 3 miles southwest of Kwigillingok, and was adopted as a newborn to Uyuruciaq and Cikigaq David. He passed away peacefully at Alaska Native Medical Center on February 24, 2017 at 7:05 a.m.
David was raised in Kwig, but his family often migrated to places where food was more accessible. David’s parents decided to settle in Kwig when a school was built there when he was a child. While growing up in Kwig, he attended BIA school until he was in 4th grade. Though he did not graduate, he was educated by the Yup’ik elders to become a lifelong hunter, subsistence fishermen, and to raise his children and grandchildren in the traditional Yup’ik way. On November 3, 1955, he got married to Patty (Paniguaq) Snow, and together they had five daughters and adopted son: Sharon Atti, Cynthia David, Dolly Martin, Janet Andrew, Polly Carl, and Steven David. David and Patty had been married for 61 years.
From the time he became an adult until the day he had a snow machine accident, David actively fought to keep subsistence rights and the Yup’ik language in order to ensure the Yup’ik people continue their own unique way of life. He regularly travelled all over Alaska and various places in the lower 48 to attend meetings. To name a few, he served as an AFN Chairman, AVCP Chairman and Board Member, YKHC Board Member, Rural CAP Board Member, Fish and Wildlife Subsistence Advisory Council member, and Kwigillingok Tribal Chief.
Since he started raising his family, David had an innate leadership quality that affected everybody around him. He often brought his children and grandchildren to go hunting, fishing, and gather food from the tundra.
While in Kwig, he was a member of the Moravian Church. As a member, he translated numerous hymns from English to Yup’ik, was a choir director, and served in other various positions. After completing bible school, he served as a lay pastor in Tuntutuliak in the 1980s. He sternly encouraged his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to give their lives to God so they can one day go to heaven. He had nicknames for all his grandchildren and ‘inqeq’ them no matter how old they were.
The family would like to thank Kwig Health Aides, YK Regional Hospital, and ANMC Staff for providing great healthcare when it was needed; CVRF, Kwik Incorporated, and Kwig Moravian Church for monetary donations; loved ones traveled from other communities to pay their respect; people who continually prayed for David after his accident, brought in food and good, assisted with household duties, cooking, and cleaning. May God richly bless you all!