Fred Chernikoff Sr., 86, passed away in Anchorage in the early morning of January 19, 2013.
Fred was born in Ouzinkie, Alaska, the only child of Jenny (Torsen) and Mike Chernikoff. He grew up in Ouzinkie, and attended school there. Fred was a World War II veteran, serving in the Army during the Aleutian campaign 1945-1947. Upon honorable discharge he returned home and married his sweetheart, Esther Carlsen on November 2, 1947. They were together over 65 years, until her death in September 2012.
Fred was a hard worker, raised in the traditional way of doing things. As a boy, he packed wood almost daily from the back beaches of Ouzinkie. He enjoyed that activity so much that it was a pastime, not a chore. Such physical labor naturally built his strong physique that he maintained all his life. He was a self-taught, all around handy man, and built several houses from the ground up. He loved spending time in his shed, where he could mutter and putter to his heart’s content.
He worked in the seafood industry most of his life, including Ouzinkie, Port Bailey, Kodiak, Squaw Harbor, Egegik, and Port Graham. He became a real estate broker in Anchorage during the 1970’s. After their children were grown, Fred and Esther spent their time between Anchorage and Ouzinkie. No matter where he lived, Ouzinkie was always his home.
He was a devout member of the Russian Orthodox faith, attending church services regularly and providing labor intensive volunteer work for many years at the Nativity of Our Lord church in Ouzinkie.
Proud of his heritage, Fred was a fluent speaker of the Alutiiq and Russian languages. At the time of his passing Fred was the oldest shareholder of Ouzinkie Native Corporation, an informal “title” he’d held for several years. He was also a shareholder of Koniag, Inc.
Fred is survived by eldest grandson Jim Skonberg Jr; children Fred Chernikoff Jr, Robert Chernikoff, Jeannette Chernikoff, and Karen Chernikoff; grandchildren Lorena Skonberg, Alexa, Erika and Larisa Chernikoff, Curtis and Joshua Chernikoff, Bob Merculieff, Ron, Ryan, Andrew and David Chernikoff, Mike, Esther and Lisa Chernikoff; great grandchildren Devin, twins Jacob and Lucas, Khira, Jaiden, Zoe, Adam and Ethan; son-in-law Jim Skonberg Sr.
He was preceded in death by his wife Esther and daughter Marie Skonberg.