Beloved memories of Kilbuck School

by Peter Twitchell

Seven years ago this month on the morning of November 03, 2015, we lost our beloved Kilbuck School. It went up in a huge fiery billow of smoke and ash. It was much more than that though before the fire. It was where baby boomers went to school, our kids and grandkids were educated there.

Mr. Max Fancher was the superintendent when I was going to school there. You see, I attended the Log Cabin school when Mr. Skeen was head of the school, and where I was taught by Gladys Fancher, Mrs. Gray and Mrs. Kangas. Kevin Murphy was a teacher there during that time but later became my math teacher at Kilbuck.

I thoroughly enjoyed my fourth and fifth grades. It felt like we were really involved by the teachers and administration. It was during those years students were asked to name the new school. Someone in our class picked “Kilbuck” and that’s how Kilbuck school got its name.

Most of my teachers from the Kilbuck School are listed here: George Sparr, David Martinson, Rex Root, Rudy Bertram, Mike Stitchick, Dennis Cline, Bob McCabe, Kevin Murphy and Bruce Crow taught us. Of course, there were many educators there like Raymond Youdan, and others.

I can see a lot of faces having a photographic memory, but just can’t place names. I would have gone to my yearbooks, however those were destroyed when my storage was vandalized on Watson’s Corner, by a young boy in the neighborhood.

You see, the Kilbuck School is now just a memory. It was where many lasting friendships were formed. One that sticks out in my mind is my ILUQ Johnny Guinn and his future bride Tootsie. I remember vividly Johnny finishing up school and we wished him well as he was going directly to join the U.S. Marine Corp. We were all somewhat down that day, but Johnny did us all proud, and people like Vern Kinegak, and Henry Hunter, others.

In the hallways of the Kilbuck School was where we held some of our pep rallies before Thad Tikiun and the Varsity Warrior Basketball team would head up to play the Nome Nanooks and other high schools. Annie Kinegak, Litt Venes, Joyce Gamble, Judy Guinn, others were cheer leading.

My dad, David some fifteen years after serving under General Patton was a custodian prior to his accident at the Kilbuck School under the supervision of Charlton Carlton of Texas.

At 12:30PM, November 3, 2015, I walked over to the Bank and turned my head toward what was Kilbuck School and cried. Later my daughter Saranne said to me, “God has a better plan in mind.”