Martha Clara Chiklak, Yup’ik name “Apuren” but known as Panik, was born to Mary Emmanual and Charlie Peterson on November 12, 1941 at Owl Village. She was raised by Charlie and Lucinda Peterson. Lord called her home on October 18, 2020.
She grew up in Chevak, while her dad managed a store for George Sheppard. She went to Chemawa Boarding School. Later she worked at the Naknek Cannery with her brother Raymond Peterson, where she met her husband Alphonsus P. Chiklak, Sr., and later married in Anchorage, Alaska.
She was actively involved with her subsistence lifestyle, gathering berries, greens and cutting fish for the winter. She taught her daughters how to cut fish so that they can be able to provide for their own families to put away food for the wintertime.
In the fall time, she taught her daughters to pick berries really fast around her, so it was fun to be around her. Her favorite past time was manaqing, playing bingo, yuraqing, telling stories about her upbringings and keeping up to date on Facebook and playing games. Martha also made many qaspeqs and beaded necklaces for her daughters.
She worked as a Teacher Aide at the Lower Yukon School District and as a Health Aide for Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation for many years, with where she served many people who needed medical help. And to this day, there are former students who still call her “Teacher”.
Martha was actively involved with her children and grandchildren’s extra curricula activities such as basketball and wrestling. She would cheer them on the mat or on court. During potlatches, she would open her home to anyone who needed a place to stay and feed them, so they can enjoy potlatches throughout the day. She also loved to serve in church where she acted out as a choir leader and a Eucharistic Minister and picked out songs. Martha loved saying rosary and would pray for people who were in need. She was also fostered many young ladies who were going to school at Mountain Village in the early 1980’s.
Martha had a cheerful personality who cared deeply, even in her silence. She loved sharing stories about how she grew up with her dad and how they overcame challenges living in the village. She enjoyed telling stories so she can make people laugh. Her stories rekindle our spirits about the life she had lived during challenging times as she was growing up.
Martha C. Chiklak is proceeded in death by her daughter Theresa Charlotte Chiklak, Baby Girl Chiklak, her son Anthony George Chiklak, and her husband Alphonsus Paul Chiklak Sr., her parents Charlie and Lucinda Peterson and many brothers and sisters. Martha’s life will go on through her children, grandchildren and three great-grandchildren whom she fondly loved.
She leaves behind her children Francine D. Chiklak, Ivan Theodore Chiklak, Mary M. Ulroan, Alphonsus Stanislaus Chiklak Jr., Marie P. Polty, Anthony F. Chiklak, and Angelina Chiklak, her aunts Lena Long of St. Mary’s and Marie Sudo of Colorado and Uncle John Elia of St. Mary’s, her sisters Francine Nagel and Mary Peterson, her brothers Tony Peterson and David W. Peterson.
Our family would like to give thanks to all those who have donated their time during our time of great need. We are eternally grateful for all uplifting prayers during this very difficult time of our great loss. Thank you for donations from Asa’carsarmiut Tribe, Azachorok Corp., City of Mountain Village, Calista Corporation and YDFDA, Alaska Commercial Co, Kashunamiut School District Staff, City of Chevak, Chevak Corp, Our Cache-Greg, and Brenda Slats, Jean Doughtery, Karen Peterson, Charlotte Tikiun, Sharon Agwiak, Nick & Cora Long, David & Margaret Peterson, Laura Perez and all the grave diggers. We are grateful for all who donated on the GoFundMe. Honorary pallbearer is David W. Peterson and pallbearer are Ulric Ulroan, Jack Polty, Ivan Chiklak, Alphonsus S. Chiklak Jr., and Anthony Chiklak.
A Time for Everything
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.