Mary Mellick, Beloved Elder

Feb. 22, 1931 – Oct. 20, 2021

Mary Mellick, aged 90, passed away on October 20, 2021, in Anchorage. Mary was born February 22, 1931, in Nogamut, a now-abandoned settlement on the Holitna River. Raised in Sleetmute, Mary was the eldest of six children.

During her lifetime, Mary was employed in several different capacities: a school cook, village store clerk/manager, Yup’ik language teacher, and caregiver to her parents. Mary’s hobbies included spending time with friends and family, taking boating trips on the Kuskokwim and Holitna rivers, and “snow-machining” in the winter. If you happened to boat past her house up the Holitna River, you’d often see her waving from her front porch.

A proud Alaskan Native, Mary was a fierce advocate for preserving Yup’ik culture and traditional customs. She survived on a subsistence way of life as was passed down to her through many generations. Many family members fondly remember Mary teaching them how to filet fish for grilling, freezing, or smoking.

Mary was a mentor to not only her nieces and nephews but also to countless friends and acquaintances, near and far. She was awarded the 2021 Elder Shareholder Award by the Kuskokwim Corporation. Mary guided many people, and her boisterous, helpful, and friendly attitude is greatly missed.

Mary is preceded in death by her parents, Nicholas and Katherine Mellick; her sisters, Anna and Katherine; and brothers, Sam and Nixe. She is survived by her brother, Pete Mellick of Sleetmute, and countless nieces, nephews, and extended family members.

Mary will be buried at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 18, 2022, at the Mellick’s Trading Post in Sleetmute. A feast in her honor will immediately follow her burial at the Sleetmute Traditional Council building. Please direct any questions to Lorraine Mellick at (360) 969-5591.