John Gary Amik was born to the late Chief Luke Amik Sr. and Bonnie K. Amik on April 21, 1961. He had four brothers and five sisters. He passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on June 8, 2017 at the Alaska Native Medical Center where he had been hospitalized since the 16th of April, 2017.
John was a blessing to his family of 56 years. His education began in his grade school years, where he attended the Bureau of Indian Affairs and he graduated from the 8th grade. He then attended the Lower Kuskokwim School District here in Kipnuk until he graduated as a gifted student. After his high school years he took college courses.
John had a great belief and faith in God and he gave his complete success to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. John’s employment history began as a tribal administrator for the Kipnuk Traditional Council. While working as an administrator he obtained grants for the community including: a grant for the cultural heritage programs, first B.I.A. contracts under the Indian Self-Determination Act, before any other community was able to get theirs. He started the new airport grant process, the allotment survey under the B.I.A. grant, the boardwalk project and the first river erosion contract, the Atmaulluaq Boat Harbor grant. He also started the grant process for the washeteria under the federal government, the water distribution system in the village and assisted the village by obtaining a matching grant for the Coastal Villages Region Fund fishery plant.
John was blessed by God and he was remarkable, intelligent and successful in whatever he endeavored to do in his early careers to which we give all the glory and credit to our Lord Jesus Christ, including getting his dream of becoming a pilot and this led to his aviation involvement in the Y.K. Delta.
He was employed at Yuut Yaqungviat as an assistant administrator through the Association of Village Council Presidents from August 2002 until 2004 and he was promoted to operations manager from 2004 to 2013, where he inspired many students to pursue their pilot training to earn their wings. Truly that achievement was historic to the delta and to the young people who had the same dream to get their wings. One of his nephews said, “As a director for the Yuut Yaqungviat flight school, he put many wings in the air, angels,” and added, “I wasn’t pilot material, but he gave me wings when I worked for the Kipnuk Traditional Council.”
John Gary also worked for the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation when the Yuut Yaqungviat ran out of funds from 2013-2014 as a contract specialist. His last employment position was as an assistant manager for the Kugkaktlik Limited Corporation. Where he left his footprints, he made a positive impact to the entities and people he worked with. As a member of the Board for the corporation, he assisted in getting the present Kugkaktlik new store building and other projects including, assisting the Alaska Energy Authority with a million dollars for the bulk fuel tank farm for the community from the Denali Commission. Some not mentioned due to space.
John’s love of life included subsistence activities including hunting, fishing, gathering quagciq, berry picking, and gathering tundra tea. John will be remembered for his generosity to help, not only to family, but anyone who asked for his help. His belief in God involved in acquiring donations and offerings to entities including the children’s funds. He always used to tell his family to pray and forgive people who may have done us wrong. John will be greatly missed enormously by family, relatives, and friends.
John had various verses that he quoted and shared with family. Some of these include Psalm 62:5, “Yes, my soul rests in God, my hope comes from Him.” John 3:16 and Romans 15:4, these were among his last posts. John once shared a video of his cousin Ralph singing “God shall wipe away all tears” and said “someday I’ll be able to sing like this up in Glory.”
Fly high John on any aircraft you desire on Angel wings. But as you told us once, we will see each other again. You also said our loved ones are waiting for us up there.
John was preceded in death by his late dad, Luke Amik Sr., his sister Annie Dock, including 3 other sisters and one brother. He leaves behind his Mom Bonnie Kiunya Amike, brothers: David (Marcie) Amik, Gilbert (Carrie) Amik, Elena (Paul) Dock, Victor (Stephanie) Amik, Fancy (Jackson) Lomack, Lovina Sally Amik, Luke (Geraldine) Amik Jr., and many numerous nephews and nieces including cousins, aunts and uncles.
We, the family would like to express our thanks to the Alaska Native Medical Center for caring for John during his time of illness, Alaska Airlines and Ravn Air for transporting his body to his hometown of Qipneq, Alaska. All the family members for supporting us by visiting, singing and praying for him during his hospitalization. Special thanks to Ryen Christianson, Elena and Paul Dock for escorting and being there for him. Our utmost thanks to Oscar and Elena Evon for helping out with housing, and food and all his many friends who came to pay their respects during and before his time of passing including Andrew Guy, Eric Sabin, Ralph and Shirley Fox.
Last but not least, thank you Qipneq for yoru donations and presence of support during our time of grief. Much, much thanks for all the food and singing, you will be greatly blessed. Also to the Association of Village Council Presidents and whoever we missed, you know who you are. God’s blessings to all.
Honorary Pall Bearers: Bonnie Kiunya Amik, David Amik, Brian Amik, Paul Dock, Carl Kiunya, Paul Kiunya Sr., Bobby White, Gilbert Amik, Victor Amik, Luke Amik Sr., Clinton Christianson, Jackson Lomack, Thomas Amik, Tommy Dock Sr., Tommy Dock Jr.; Freda, Carrie, and Anlynn Dock; Fancy Lomack, Christopher Dock, Caleb and Jason Dock, Victoria and Freda Lomack, Trey and Nelson Kasayulie, Alice Fredson, Luke Amik III, Geraldine Amik, Alice Amik, Kathy and Gina Amik, Marci Amik, Cherith and Lisa Amik, Michael Amik, Warren Dock, Ryen Arnold, Jonathan Dock, Steven Amik, David Christianson, Peter K. Paul, Elena Dock, Lovina Sally Amik, Alice Baines, Jonathan Dock, Andrew Guy, and Lovina Arnold.
Pall Bearers: Lewis Lomack, John Lomack, Jerry Amik, George Amik Sr., Carl Dock, and Ryen Christionson.