Remembering David Abraham Bill Sr “Assivran” July 4th, 1938 – March 28th, 2020

“The Bering Sea Elders Group is very saddened to learn about the passing of David Bill, Sr. late last week. David was from Toksook Bay and was one of BSEG’s founders, our first Chairman, as well as a longtime member of BSEG’s Executive Committee. He was a tireless advocate for our people, our future, and was steadfast in his commitment to the Bering Sea and our indigenous way of life. Our thoughts and prayers are with David’s family during this time.

Quyana cakneq, David, for your service, honesty, and decades of work that has benefited us all.” – Bering Sea Elders Group

“David Bill Sr. once said to me, “Everyone must leave something behind when they die.” In that statement I knew what a full and beautiful life David led and how he, too, knew of his mark on this world without the need for a billboard, lifetime achievement award or anything more than his knowledge of his impeccable service to his community.

David’s leadership included integrity, accountability, empathy, humility, resilience, vision, and positivity. He was not a perfect man, he was a great man and we along with his family will profoundly and equally grieve his loss and celebrate his life.”- Bering Sea Fishermen’s Associations

“David Bill Sr. of Toksook Bay

Has passed away this morning. May he Rest In Peace.

David was a leader of Kalukat Search and Rescue of Qaluyarmiut.

He will be remembered for his role to help everyone that need help Search and Rescue for their loved ones and relatives.

Many communities far and near looked to him for help. He never rejected anyone and always plan and gather search party.

Our deepest condolences to his wife his children his siblings too. May God be with him and his family.

God Bless to all!”- Toksook Bay Search and Rescue 

“My iluqa he called me “ungaggllu” like his Iluq Joseph Paniyak (Qaimelnguq/Nalugalria). He used ingqeq me trying to call me “Paniika, irniaqa, iluqa” and I would answer “nope” to all of them lol. And then he would ask me “qaillun mi?” And I would tell him I’m “ungaggllu”. He even used to let me “ungaggluk” his face and he would pretend to try to kiss me and I would pull away. Kenkamken cakneq iluqa. We all miss you so much”- Tresa Ilanaq Julius

“Every time people told stories about my dad they would refer to him as my Apacuai but I would correct them that he’s my Dad because growing up I saw him as a father figure. He taught us so much from how to treat people no matter the consequences to survival skills out in the wild if anything ever happens. It feels as if my world has stopped and my heart feels shattered. He is loved and surely will be missed. Quyana dad for everything that you have teaches us. ungayuqaqluta yuilqumi wall imarpigmi ayaqataquvet. Rest In Peace dad forever loved and never forgotten.”- Margaret Cingarkaq Therchik

“My personal note: Dad, quyaqa Agayun that he gave me you to be my Dad. My heart and spirit is with you and family as they prepare to see you. Kenkamken umyuaqamken”- Rose Qengaralria Julius

“As a kid, my Apacuai used to always tell me to nulluliuq (as he always had one of us do something for him to acknowledge his love for us), even if we were talking through the phone. Teased me saying things to me as he would to Cakuucin (person I’m named after). Called me Puuki or Puukaralria, and always made sure to tease me if I hit something, because I’m Pocahontas. For some time icecream became a thing for me and him in my high school years. He would even call me just to say “icecream” and hang up. On my graduation day, he was sickly and couldn’t come. But he made sure to write “Icecream” in big letters with a black sharpie on a blank piece of paper, and made sure pictures were taken of me holding it. The little things that don’t include the words “I love you”, but are in the little details. He wasn’t the easiest person, but he always made sure his love was known in his own way. The kind that is hard to let go of. Kiarnarqepiaqatartuq.

Please keep our extended family in your thoughts and prayers. My Apacuai was very family oriented.” – Laura “Quya” Therchik

“My Apacuai used to tease me a lot of times, some of those times I would get so luqsa (lol). He would always say “perayaaqunak ata, ayiimciiquten” and I would stand up and swing my body side to side ilangciaq-ing him and he would say “aguu”. I want to thank you for always showing love to me and my children and husband. My kids will surely never forget a man like you. You are greatly missed and loved. We will see each other again and I shall luqsa again 😂” – Printellina Stephanie

“George Bush”

My apa liked to call me all kinds of names, bc my auntie has the same name as me. He liked watching me and my auntie atliuruteq-ing. He always told me to follow them out to the tundra. He taught me a lot about the wilderness. I remember when we were younger, I always had to wake him up “George Bush tupagten, George Bush tupagten!” Until I got louder and louder. I remember he always called me to go fix his phone after he caqtarumaq it. Always never fail to introduce me as “George Bush” to other people. The way he got that name was when we were younger one of my siblings was caqtaaqing at his house, then I was like “nuu, George Bush am pikaa.” He overheard me and started calling me that ever since. I’m going to miss him alot. Yuarnarqelluni tuaten. He was very humorous, caring, and a great leader. Tuaingunrituq, cam iliini tangruciiqukut.”- Priscilla Stephany Julius

“My dad loved being out in the yuillquq. He used to tell me it’s his home. Quyaunga cakneq maliksulallruarpenga ayagaqavet natmun yuillqumun (qessangerma Lol) especially going fishing and kayangusuq. I’m glad I went every time. We will all miss you so much, dad. No more pain and no more sickness. Kenkamteggen iquilngurmek, heaven has gained another beautiful soul. Tuaingunrituq.”- Magdalene Lurvalria Julius

“I’m lost for words but I wanted to share this picture. I was told I was adopted from birth and that my dad was excited to get me even if he didn’t really know how to handle babies. He kept me in a baby carrier and had ladies around him and the flight attendants on the plane help with caring for me. (Alartenrilkuma) This I believe was taken in Anchorage when he was on one of his meeting trips and around the time he got ready to bring me home to Toksook Bay.

To Dad, I just want to say quyana for having so much love and for raising me. You were a great leader and a strong family man. Full of wisdom and full of jokes lol I’m just happy that you’re no longer in pain. This is not the end, we’ll see you again. I love you Dad. Rest In Peace.”- Mary Miaraq Bill

“When traveling by boat or snow machine on a windy day, I never used to be scared because my Haiat was driving. I always knew he would take me home safely. When we were out in the waters and land, he’d let me point out which direction home was when we traveled by boat and snow machine to Chevak and Hooper Bay. He used to mention the names of the landscapes, tell me about the people that used to live where and what type of food they used to gather in those areas. Once in the rivers, he’d tell me where his parents were laid, where he was born and where mom was born and where they camped for their winter supplies of food. Dad used to tell me about his relatives and how I’m related to them, and also he told me to never call them by their names but by how I’m related to them, acanka, acagelluganka, matcungalleranka, ataatanka, ataatarpingka, acacuallengka, aparpingka, aparelluganka. He used to tell me about the start of his fights for the CDQ program for the western coastal areas, things that happened during those years and after those times. I sometimes I would get so frustrated but his word to me was always, you have to serve the community you reside into the best of your ability. Things you do for them is not for your own. Think about the future of the community, prepare them well so that they too will prepare well for their future leaders, your children, your children’s children and so forth also for their own children too. Our children today need to learn to survive otherwise they will not survive, camiliniku nunaput akartung ayuqelliritciquq. Many things he’s also told me to towards respecting the land and the sea because they are our providers and when we take from the land and the sea we have to take good care of them because they provided for us. This way when you go out, it’ll always provide for you.

There is so many I could say about his teaching, his words that are a treasure not to be kept but to be taught. Kenkamken Haiat, tuayingunrituq, Nunaami nunanirqelriami cavkenata tangerusskilta.

Tumaralria and your matcungalleq and hayapi.” – Florance Tumaralria

On March 28, our mother was called to go see our dad by the hospital, we were informed that at the evening of March 27 dad’s heart had stopped but he started breathing again on his own, because he was not to be resuscitated if his heart stop. Upon our mother’s arrival she place the oil that was give to them by the church on his chest, his hands, and feet as told by the deacon. And the priest blessed him over the phone because he could not make it to the hospital. When the prayer was done, our mother took his hand and that was when he breathed his last breath. Because dad was always calling out for mom, he waited for her to arrive to his side so she would know that he has passed on to be with his family praising God eternally.

David (Assivran) Abraham Bill Sr. was born July 4th, 1938 to Peter Nuyarralek and Agatha Angutekaraq Bill. His birthplace was Qissunaq and moved to Tununak when he married his beloved wife Julia (Qirvan) Agatha (Fairbanks) Bill on December 29th, 1959, later moved to Toksook Bay on March 18th, 1967, and moved to Anchorage, due to his health on December 2018.

Husband, Dad, Haiat, Apacuai, Aright, Amaucuai, Ah-lucky, Pall, Iluqaa, paq-paq, was a great leader, He loved to tease and showed his compassionate love for all regardless of who they are. He showed his love in his own ways, the little things that don’t include the words “I love you” but are in the little details of how he showed his love for all.

David (Assivran) Abraham Bill Sr., was a man who always provided for his family, throughout the seasons he hunted, fished, and gathered. Every summer David loved looked forward to traveling for camping at Talarun and Cakcaaq with his wife and family and the families of late Charlie Karl Sr. (his ataataurluq) wife, late Maggie Karl (his nuliacungalleq), late Joseph Lincoln Sr. (New Joe), wife Theresa Lincoln, and late John Charlie and late Theresa Charlie to pick berries, fish for Cuukvak and Qassayaaq. He taught his children and his grandchildren how to survive off of the land and sea by taking them out to the tundra and to the sea. Identifying landscapes, names of the landscapes and what to do if they ever lose their way to their destination. Making them know their traditional and cultural ways of living.

David was also a drummer, yuraq at times and always encouraged his children and his grandchildren to yuraq and drum.

David (Assivran) Abraham Bill Sr. is survived by his loving wife Julia (Qirvan) Agatha Bill; Son Joseph (Nuyarralek) Peter Bill, children Stephanie “Usrucung”, Marilyn, Samantha, Floyd and with partner Annie Kassel, children Gloria and Eric; Florence (Tumaralria) P. Therchik, husband Raymond (Nalugalria) John Therchik, children, Printellina “Usrucungacuaya” with husband Abraham Moses, Darryl “Apangiar Power”, Laura “Puuki Puuki”, Margaret “Adoption Paper”, Regina “Kenkayak”, Isidore “Isdore nancit? Nani maani”, and Daniel “Ah-Lucky Keybank”; Rose (Qengaralria) and her husband Thomas (Kangrilnguq) Julius, children Magdalene “acac”, Tresa “Iluqa”, Priscilla “George Bush”, and Abraham “Aaaabilie”; David Bill Jr., children Audrey and Francis with wife Linda Motgin Bill, children Eliza “Bum-bum”, Atsaruaq “grandma”, Kitcaraq; Harry “Panayuq” with wife Myra “Acqaq” Nevak with children “Qussauyaq”, “Qiraun” and “Assivran”; John “Nusailaq” Bill with children Racheal “Kancurluq”, Tamara “Come here”, Harry “Qussauyaq”, Peter “aat” and Brandon “BB”; Julia C. Bill with son Simeon “Unguss’aq”; Ulrick with sons Boo Boo Usugan, and Travis Bill; Mary “Piipiya” Bill with son Tennor “Illurapall” and Justin Joseph “Atapuks” Bill. And many more grandchildren and great-grand children too numerous to name.

Please know that you are all loved dearly. Also survived by his siblings, Aggie Ayakarak, Daniel Bill, Andrew Tall, Stella Tall, Luke Tall, Nastasia “Assie” and Ikel Tall. Friday Family. He is preceded in death by his grandfather Ingluilnguq, parents Peter and Agatha Bill, Stepmother Louis “Atsaruaq” Tall, Joseph “Nuyarralek”, Joan “Pirciralria” Hamilton, Joseph “Paniuyaq” aka “apalluk’ Bill and all families under Ayagaraq, Tall, Lake, Friday, Naneng and many more too numerous to remember. Quyana cakneq for your teachings, cam iliiniku tangruciiqukut. Tua-i-ngunrituq.

How David Abraham Bill Sr. Served his people and community.

David A. Bill Sr. tirelessly fought hard for the people/communities along the western coast of Alaska by traveling to meetings without any compensation for the economic development of the communities. He’s had lots of elder mentors whom he turned to for direction so he could speak for the people.

During those times he served as an Advisory School Board member for LKSD in Nelson Island School and he used to donate all of his stipend to the Nelson Island School, so he could help the school and the students out.

He was also volunteering at the Kaluukat Search and Rescue. At times of need for searching anywhere along the coastal villages and Kuskokwim area, he used to get calls for help and he never once turned down anyone asking for help. He served the community by being on the council of Nunakauyak Traditional Council. David Abraham Bill Sr. was also known to be a founding father of Qaluyaat Herring Association, Bering Sea Fishermen’s Association, Bering Sea Elders Groups, Coastal Villages Regional Fund and he served as a board chair and board member in all of those companies. David also served as a board member for Fish and Game.

He has always been a part of the growth of the economic development for the communities, searching for ways to help the people out from poverty until he was no longer able to help due to his health.

Quyana to:

 Chefornak Search and Rescue Team, Calista Corporation, Nunakauyak Traditional Council, Fred Watson, Mary Smith, Priscilla Jimmie, Chantel Nukusuk, Josephine Charlie, Stella Tall, Doctors and Nurses of ANMC 5th floor and ICU, Legacy Funeral Home, Father Luz, and to those who donated that wanted to be anonymous.  Also, Quyana cakneq for the prayers.