James Angalgaq Nicholai was born on June 27, 1942, in Nalqigliq near Luumarvik to Qakvaralria Charlie and Culuk’aq Julia Nicholai. He grew up with his brothers Andrew Nicholai Sr., John Nicholai Sr., Peter Nicholai, Henry Nicholai, Louie Nicholai, Billy Nicholai, Wilson Nicholai, and John Paul.
He was married to his loving wife Ina for 57 years. They were arranged married in Nunapitchuk on December 28, 1958, and later moved to Atmautluak where they raised their children: Edward, Henry, David, Nick, Alice, Hilda, Moselle, Henrietta, and Calvin.
Dad was a loving father and Apii. He was kind, nurturing and had a loving demeanor to all. Dad enjoyed subsistence living, fishing, hunting and gathering. He passed on his knowledge of how to live off the land to his children and grandchildren.
He enjoyed going to Spring Camp, Fish Camp, and Fall Camp. He also enjoyed building and working with his hands, building boats and sleds. He loved dog mushing, attending dog races from village to village, and had a family kennel. He loved traveling and exploring.
He provided for his family by being a carpenter in the winter, and being a commercial fisherman in the summer.
Dad was a Staff Sargent in the National Guard military for 36 years. He was active in the village tribal council and served as President of the Atmautluak Traditional Council. He was also one of the first Health Aides providing medical care. He served on the YKHC Board of Directors and was a strong advocate for healthy communities.
He is proceeded in death by his father Charlie, his brothers Andrew, John, Billy, Henry, adopted sister Agnes Sims, and his son Henry J. Nicholai.
James is survived by his 98 year old mother Culuk’aq, wife Ina, children Edward Nicholai (Elizabeth), Henry Nicholai, David Nicholai (companion Lydia Carl), Dora Nicholai, Nick Nicholai (Caroline), Alice Leinberger (Dan), Hilda Oscar (Harry), Moselle Alexie (Aaron), Henrietta Nicholai, and Calvin Nicholai.
He is also survived by his siblings Peter, Louie, Wilson, and John Paul. He was Apii to 28 grandchildren and Amau to 6 great grand-children too numerous to name, and all carried a special piece in his heart.
The family would like to thank Atmautluak Health Aides, Life Med Medivac & YKHC Nurses and Doctors, Inpatient Nurses & Dr. Napoli, Day Nurse Summer & Night Nurse Cathy, Ivy Riley for food that was brought to the hospital, Sisters of Strength from the Bethel United Pentecostal Church, Atmautluak Limited for coffin, casing, and cross, Sophie Jacob, Martha Antone and Emma Active, Caroline and Nick Nicholai & Family for cleaning and taking care of the home while mom was with dad, Brenda and Paul Waska helping with getting the casket with the Atmautluak Limited Staff, Melvin Egoak for finding a place to lay him to rest, Sam Waska for being there for mom, Sam Waska and Sarah Riley for clothing him, and thank you to everyone who brought food, flowers, donations, sent condolences, and lifted us up in prayer.
Dad’s favorite verse: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phillipians 4:13
James was laid to rest at home in Atmautluak. Pall Bearers: National Guard Military Retirees
Cross Bearer: Byron Nicholai.