William Christian Samuelson, well known to everyone as Gubby, began his journey on this earth on October 17, 1957 to the late Connie and Billy Samuelson in Bethel, Alaska. He passed away on November 17, 2017 surrounded by his loved ones in the family home.
Gubby attended grade school at Kilbuck Elementary and Bethel Regional High School, later earning his GED. Summers were spent with his Grandma Marie Forrest in Akiachak, helping her with anything she needed.
In 1981, he met Nancy Laraux where he gained 2 children; Charles (Mister), Mary (Miss) and she was pregnant with Susan (Boop). Then he welcomed his daughter Carol Ann and a few years later, his son, Billy (Bud) was born.
He loved to take the family camping. He and Nancy would take his family and a bunch of his nieces and nephews camping every summer below Crooked Creek, where he taught everyone about living in the outdoors. He would stop in just about every village to say “Hello” to everyone. He spent a lot of time visiting Joe Demantle Sr. in Tuluksak and Iftikum Evan in Lower Kalskag, learning from their wisdom and the stories they would tell each other.
In his younger years, he drove Kusko Cab with his good friend Sam Smith. Often times they were the only ones on the roads; in the middle of the night, on holidays, in crazy weather, they drove. Gubby and Nancy moved the family upriver to Kalskag for a few years. There, they had a small store in the house where he sold survival equipment like flashlights, knives, gun parts, engine parts, even toys.
He taught his son Bud how to work on all sorts of engines starting when he was very young. For years, they held jobs at Back Creek Marine as mechanics and later at Swanson’s Marina. Gubby would help others with their engines too. Often having people drop off their vehicles and have them in the yard until they were back in working order. He also drove around town often talking with strangers about Tea Tree Oil and how it can cure a lot of ailments.
He had many, many friends up and down the Kuskokwim, all around Alaska and all over the country. Gubby made friends with everyone he met.
On June 18, 2011, he met and married Molly Bailie where he gained 4 more children: Anna Patton, Aaron, Audrey, and Danika Bailie.
Gubby had a special gift and he used it by helping a lot of people during his lifetime. He would help people who were having a hard time coping with things in their lives, he would go out of his way just to give them a good talk and encouragement. Everyone has their own story about Gubby and how he helped them. Gubby was an avid member of the Bethel Search and Rescue, where he helped the team bring many lost souls back home to their families.
Gubby is preceded in death by his parents; Connie and Billy Samuelson and brother Huey Samuelson, his longtime friends Nancy Kameroff-Smith and Sam J. Smith; nephews Robert Samuelson Jr., Oscar Samuelson Jr., and niece Tiffany Samuelson and his Godfather George Chaney.
He is survived by his wife Molly Samuelson; children Charles (Melissa), Mary (Gerald), Susan (Roy), Carol, Billy (Gert), Anna, Aaron, Audrey and Danika; grandchildren: Caitlin, Aiden L., Jordan, Brittany L., Cody, Dylan, Shandon, Rebecca, Alec, Luca, Elia, Elsie, Jakynzie, Brittany G., Shawnti, Dreden, Lacey, Brayden, Arian, Sagheer, Peter and Aiden B.; brothers and sisters: Gail, Earl (Krissy), Bob (Shirley), Sam (Rachel), Mike (Abigail), Pepper and Oscar (Dinah).
Thanks to everyone who provided love and support during this difficult time.
-The Samuelson Family