Joseph Eningowuk passed away unexpectedly at the age of 72 at his residence in Nome, Alaska official date of death is March 29, 2019. Joseph was the beloved son of Amy Ataseuk Poorsuk Eningowuk and Reuben Eningowuk, both deceased, and was born in Shishmaref, Alaska on April 15, 1946.
He was also preceded in death by his brothers Scott, George and sisters Meta Mae (1) and Stella. He is lovingly endeared by his surviving sisters, Meta Mae Eningowuk-Nelson (Robert), Shirley Ann Thornton, Carolyn Crowder (Ryan), Helena Seetot (Floyd) and brother Frederick Eningowuk.
Joseph’s nieces and nephews lovingly called him “Uncle Joe” as he was important to them during their growing up years in Nome and Wasilla. They include Brett, Amy and Stephanie Michels, Dakota Crowder, Melissa Hoyt Simpson (Dan), Chelbi Mae Erickson, Tamara Eningowuk, and Travis and Dixie Thornton as well as his grand-nephews and niece: Collin, Alicia and Adonis Michels.
Uncle Joe spent many years teaching and caring for them as part of his extended family. Joe was extremely proud of his service to our country and as an Army Veteran and marched in many Memorial Day and Veterans Day parades. He was an active member in the Nome and Wasilla VFW posts where he enjoyed spending time with fellow soldiers, as well as a member of the Arctic Native Brotherhood. Throughout his career he was decorated with a Purple Heart Medal, Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with four Bronze Service Stars, Combat Infantryman Badge 1st Award, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Ribbon w/Device (1960) and Sharpshooter Badge with Auto Rifle Bar and with Machine Gun Bar.
He served two tours of duty in Viet Nam, including time in Korea, and continued his service through the Army National Guard in Nome where he was honorably discharged in June, 1990.
Joe loved his family and hometown of Nome and could often be seen fishing, crabbing, playing darts or pool, and singing Karaoke at his favorite hangouts. His family is confident that he will continue singing with his heavenly family, and looks forward to the time when we are all reunited again in God’s eternal garden.
Special thanks to the NSHC social services staff, Stan Anderson at the Nome cemetery, Janssen’s Funeral Home, Bering Straits Native Corporation, Sitnasuak, Alaska Airlines and especially all the VA staff who were all so respectful and helpful in seeing that Joseph had an honorable burial as an honored and decorated Alaska Native soldier. His sacrifices will never be forgotten and he can rest in peace with the knowledge that he left this world in a much better place. “We eternally love you “Uncle Joe” and will keep you in our hearts forever.”
Inurnment Burial Service was held at the Fort Richardson National Cemetery on Monday, August 12, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. A celebration of Joe’s life followed the burial service by the lake at the home of Ryan and Carolyn Crowder in Wasilla, which was one of his favorite spots when he lived there for three years. The family plans to return to Nome to spread some of Joe’s ashes at his favorite fishing hole in Cape Nome.