Frank “Ungus’aq” Temple, 75, was born on September 24th, 1945 to Henry and Alma Temple in Napakiak, Alaska and passed away at his home in Bethel, Alaska surrounded by family and loved ones on January 6th, 2021 after a lengthy battle with lung cancer that eventually spread to his stomach.
Ungus or just “Uncle” as most of us called him, was the fourth of seven children (Lucille, David, Mildred, Frank, Evelyn, Elena, and Diane who was adopted). He was raised as the only boy of Henry and Alma, yet he had an older brother David who had passed on when they were just children due to a tragic shooting accident.
Ungus went to school through the 8th grade, and to go further in his education he would have to travel to the lower 48, but instead he stayed in Napakiak and learned carpentry and he learned from his parents and other family members the way of subsistence survival by hunting and fishing.
Life back then was very different than the one we know today. There was no electricity, no phones, no Toyo-stoves, nor snow-machines or out-board engines, just kerosene lamps and wood stoves, dog teams and row-boats. He learned to raise sled-dogs and breed leaders, and eventually as time went by he became well known as one of the best sled-dog trainers that people would bring him their dogs for him to train. He used to let his dog team sleep inside when they were pups, especially the leader as to form a close bond.
They lived a migrant subsistence lifestyle following the fish and game from the village of Napakiak in the winter to Kialiq in the spring, a fish camp between Napakiak and Tunutuliak. They would travel down by dog team hauling all their gear and their boat over the frozen river. They stayed at the spring camp trapping furs from fox, mink, otters, beavers and muskrats.
When the birds arrived in the spring they would hunt them and gather eggs. After the spring thaw when the ice went out they traveled back to Napakiak by row-boat hauling their new furs, gear, and dog team back as well. They would spend the summer gathering fish to dry and smoke for the winter and to feed the dog teams.
During the Salmonberry season, mid-July, they would go bird driving to Long-Lakes as soon as the birds began to molt, which made catching them much easier. They would also gather berries for their winter supply and then head back home again to Napakiak.
Frank’s nephew Richard recalls the days when he was a kid, when all they had was a 25 horse-powered engine for their heavy wooden boat and he would have to do a lot of rowing when they fished. All this hard physical work made people tough back then. There are many stories of Ungus’ strength and he was known to be able to carry a full 55 gallon drum from his boat on the riverbank up to his house on his shoulders!
When Frank was 17 years old he joined the National Guard and at 20 years old he married Agnes Nora Paul from Nunapitchuk on April 28, 1965 in Bethel. They settled in Napakiak and there he worked as a carpenter, subsistence and commercial fishermen, and rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant in the National Guard.
On May 22, 1990 Staff Sergeant Frank Temple was awarded the Certificate of Service in recognition of 25 years of service in the Armed Forces of the United States, including 25 years of service in the National Guard.
Later on in life, his parents Henry and Alma Temple needed to be closer to a hospital so they moved from Napakiak to Bethel and Frank and Agnes joined them as to help care for them until Henry’s passing in 1995 and Alma’s passing in 2009.
Frank and Agnes longed to have children, but were unable to have children of their own. Yet in 2003 when they were both in their 50’s and to everyone’s surprise, they adopted a baby girl they named Lucille Sharon “Arra’aq” Temple after Frank’s departed older sister Lucille. Then a few years later in 2011, they adopted a second baby girl they named Mildred Alma “Aanaq” Temple, after Frank’s other departed sister Mildred. They now had a family of their own and these two girls became such a joy and blessing to Frank and Agnes as they always wanted to have children.
Frank spent the rest of his days rising his girls and watching them grow. He was never as happy as when he was with his kids and whenever you would see them together he would always have the biggest smile on his face. He was very proud of his children and he loved them very, very much.
Frank “Ungus’aq” Temple is preceded in death by his parents Henry and Alma Temple; father-in-law Alexie Paul and mother-in-law Anna Paul; brother David Temple, and sisters Lucille Kammeyer and her husband John and long-time companion Tommy Maxile, Mildred Combs and her husband Robert; sister-in-laws Charlene Tobeluk and Cylvia Paul; brother-in-law Ivan Wassillie; nephew Steven Ayagalria, nieces Mary Clyde, Jessie Ayagalria, and most recently by Jacqueline Ayagalria (who passed away on January 1st, 2021); nephew-in-laws Jerry Jerry and Jason Riley; great-nieces Jaiden Marie Ayagalria.
Frank is survived by his wife of 55 years Agnes Temple, daughters Lucille and Mildred Temple; sisters Evelyn Marcum and her husband Robert, Elena Hames, Diane Black and her husband Aaron; brother-in-law John Paul, Edward Paul and his wife Joann, and Carl Tobeluk; sister-in-laws Elsie Wassillie, Sara Riley and her husband Walter Sr., Mary Snyder and her husband Hugh; nephews Richard Kammeyer, Gary Hames and his wife Janelle, Henry Combs, Timothy Hames, Glenn Clyde, and Christopher Weibel; nieces Shirley Jerry, Charlotte Hathaway and her husband Steve, Jennifer Masker and her husband Randy, Jessica Hollandsworth, Patricia Hollandsworth, and Ericka Marcum; great-nephews John Karels, Joseph Wilson, Bradon Brink, Chance Kammeyer, Tylor Kammeyer, and Christian Hames; great-nieces Krissy Medina, Kristy Ayagalria, Catherine Greydanus, Lucille Kammeyer, and Sabrina Hames. Followed by many, many more great-great nieces and nephews, cousins, in-laws, and extended family too numerous to count!
Frank “Ungus’aq” Temple was very loving, caring, honest, and big-hearted Husband, Father, Uncle, Cousin and Uppa that will be greatly missed and adored by us all. We love you Uncle!!!
The Temple Family would like to acknowledge and thank the following people & organizations: Lori Strickler, Bethel City Clerk & the City of Bethel for all your assistance with the military burial site and reserving a spot next to Frank for Agnes, Lloyd Black & Napakiak/Naparyalruar Corporation for purchasing Ungus’aq a casket and for paying for the shipping and for personally delivering the $500.00 AC Gift Card, ONC for burial assistance, The Alaska Military Honor Guard and Sgt. Cory Reed & Sgt. Serita Unin for traveling to Bethel to provide the burial service, Huey Snyder for making the cross and casket cover & Mary Snyder and Sara Riley for all your steadfast comfort & support, John Karels for all his steadfast help & assistance in escorting Uncle Frank to Anchorage and helping him to all his many appointments, Patty Hollandsworth for all your help and providing transportation, Casey Mildred Kammeyer for providing transportation, Joseph Wilson & Erica Hoffman for providing transportation. Also, to all those who are not named that game support, guidance, food, rides, flowers and prayers – thank you all from the bottom of our hearts and may God richly bless you!
Thank You & God Bless You!
A New Year’s Blessing for the Temple Family & Relatives
Provided by Sara Riley
We pray that this New Year will bring us closer to You. Help us to truly celebrate the gifts You have graciously given us and use them to serve You and spread Your word. May we also see and love You in all the people we meet, so that in turn, they can see You in us. In this New Year, let us realize that every action of ours no matter how great or small enables us to be in touch with You. Let us accept You in our lives, in the way it pleases You, as Truth, to be spoken, as Life, to be lived, as Light, to be lighted, as Love, to be followed, as Joy, to be given, as Peace, to be spread about, as Sacrifice, to be offered among our relatives, friends, neighbors, and all people, in Jesus Name. Amen!