Richard Howard “Angutqaiaq” Westdahl was born October 3rd, 1954 to the late Frank and Fannie Westdahl. He was raised by his late grandparents Willie and Elena Sallison. Richard was married to his lifelong friend, Bessie Tikiun on November 18, 1978. Together they had five (5) children: Clifford, Clarice, Elena, Julia and Elden – raised their grandchild Sheranda, and also had seven (7) grandchildren, and nine (9) great-grandchildren.
He was taught the subsistence way of life early on in his life alongside of his grandparents; hunting, fishing, trapping and other subsistence gathering in Gweek. He was an avid subsistence hunter and loved being at fishcamp each summer time to help with gathering/fishing/cutting/smoking. After his grandparents passed on, he carried on the subsistence way of life to his children. He loved doing subsistence.
He was also an avid dog musher along the Kuskokwim villages and St. Mary’s together with his dog handler/brother-in-law James “Man-Man”. They would travel to many villages and most of the time, place in top prizes. He had many friends who would borrow his dogs. Later in life when his body couldn’t mush dogs – he then with a heavy heart gave his dogs to his friends Carl Ekamrak & John Simon.
His other love, of his many pastimes, was the love of basketball. BNC was his favorite team along with his friends and family. He would travel to many villages including St. Mary’s, he accomplished many awards for his effort. Recently, he went to an NBA game this past fall time to watch the LA Lakers play.
He was also a founder of the 35 and older league here in Bethel and at his retirement passed the reins to his son Clifford and friend Jason.
Richard worked for YKHC for 40 + years; he made many friends during his time working there. In his younger years, he also worked for the Fish plant here in Bethel. He also traveled with his Grandma and Ap’a in Gweek to their homestead and lived there for seasonal activities, and being with friends. Growing up, he had many friends who liked to be with him and played games outside until the street lights came on.
His Family also brought him and Bessie out of state for memorable vacations after he retired from his job. He loved his children and most especially his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was most respected by his family and friends; he will be greatly missed by all who came into his life.
Richard is survived by his wife Bessie and children: Clifford (Amy), Clarice, Elena, Julia (Tony), and Elden; his grandchildren: Daylen, Ramy, Aaliyah, Blair, Sheranda and Clayton; his great-grandchildren: Joseph, Andrea, Avery, and Hayden, John, Charlotte, Elden Jr., Ryland and Ace. Also his brother Alex Westdahl, Sr. and close relations: Chief’s, Sallison’s, Clark’s, Westdahl’s, Jim’s. There are too many to name.
Happy Trails and Happy Hunting Grounds.