Wayne John Tobuk, Sr.
Wayne John Tobuk was born in Nome, Alaska on February 9, 1952 to Roy and Catherine Tobuk; he joined his older brother and sister, Roy Jr. and Esther. As the youngest sibling, he was not only doted on but also “bossed around” by his older siblings, which he fondly remembered. Throughout his childhood, the family spent many summers camping at Salmon Lake, picking berries, fishing and hunting. Wayne told many stories of hauling water from Fox Creek and tromping around the Salmon Lake area with Blanch Walters and her kids and other families who camped there all summer long. Wayne and his close friend Pat Kelliher spent lots of time at the at Salmon Lake and at the Kelliher’s Snow Creek camp off Glacier Road 4-wheeling in Wayne’s Jeep Wrangler.
Wayne attended Nome Elementary School and graduated from Nome-Beltz High School in 1972. He was an avid basketball player and a star guard/forward for the mighty, mighty Nome Nanooks and in 1970, they won the State Championship. His lifelong friend Jake Sherman fondly remembers Wayne being in the gym practicing ball every chance he got.
In 1975, Wayne, Jake, Tommy Lee, Louie Nance and Herman Berndardt attended the Heavy Equipment Operator training program in White Swan, Washington and operating heavy equipment was his trade of choice and he loved it. Wayne worked for many construction companies in Nome and throughout the State of Alaska, including on the Alaska Pipeline project. He was well-known and revered for his unrivaled heavy equipment operating skills, especially with all types of loaders.
In 1982 he married Lola Okitkon and together they raised Gabriel, Tara and Wayne Jr. When Tara was born, she instantly became “daddy’s little girl” and he focused his attention on teaching her how to talk—she was talking sentences at eight months! His children were his pride and joy and he thoroughly enjoyed being a daddy, even turning Wayne Jr. into a little “naatuq” (night owl) because he did not work during the off construction season. In 1992, the family moved to Anchorage where Wayne continued his heavy equipment operating career with Quality Asphalt and Paving, primarily running their gravel pit in town. He retired from the Operating Engineers Union in 2004 after 34 years.
His greatest loves were his children and grandchildren William, Andrew, Davis, Daniel and Dylan. He was the best daddy and “papa” and he spent countless hours spending quality time with them; just being with them was always enough and the feelings were mutual.
Wayne had many friends throughout Alaska and everyone loved his infectious smile and laugh, his sense of humor, his kindness and consideration and his ability to make everyone feel welcome and comfortable around him. Wayne loved throwing darts and often helped his team win game after game. His lifelong friends all say he was the “smoothest dancer” from Junior High on.
Wayne passed away on August 9, 2018 with his children by his side.
Wayne is survived by his daughter Tara (Ryan) Fletcher and their three sons, William, Andrew and Davis; his son Wayne Tobuk, Jr. and his twins Danial and Dylan Tobuk; his sister and brother-in-law Esther and Joel Craft and their children, Martha, Jay, Roy David and Annette; his sister-in-law Janet Tobuk and children, Flora Jean Ige, Marsha Tobuk, Debra Tobuk, Cheri Kremper, Genelle Cain and Roy Tobuk III; his aunt Virginia Thomas of Seattle, WA, uncle Bob Testu of Tumacori, AZ, many cousins, nieces, nephews, great and great-great nieces and nephews and many good friends.
He was preceded in death by is grandparents Flora and Robert Oumauk and Esther and James Tobuk, his parents Catherine and Roy Tobuk, Sr., his aunts Frances Testu and Margaret Koontz, his uncles Jimmy and Eddy Oumouk, George Tobuk, his siblings Floranette, Bruce, and Everett; and step-son Gabriel Blatchford.
Arrangements were made by Legacy Heritage Chapel at Angelus and the Memorial Service will be held in their Chapel at 440 East Klatt Road on August 18, 2018 at 1 p.m. A celebration of life potluck will be held immediately following. A service will be held in Nome at a later time where he will be buried with his mom and dad.