Story last updated at 1:10 p.m. Thursday, June 6, 2002

Juanita N. Melsheimer Obituary
photo: obits
Juanita Melsheimer  
Juanita N. Melsheimer, 82, died May 21 at home in Nanwalek surrounded by friends and family. She was buried in the cemetery of St. Sergius and St. Herman Valaan Russian Orthodox Church in Nanwalek.

Mrs. Melsheimer was born July 30, 1919 in Dogfish Bay. She was a resounding influence in the lives of almost everyone in Nanwalek. In her early years she was one of the first teachers in the village, teaching regular school as well as Sunday school and Head Start classes. Mrs. Melsheimer also taught traditional cultural values associated with the subsistence lifestyle prominent in her life. Her skills of gathering, preparing and preserving the wide variety of foods and medicinal herbs available in the diverse Nanwalek area environment spoke volumes of her knowledge. "She will be truly missed," her family wrote.

In her spare time she loved to play piano and guitar, sing, dance and knit. She was a devout Christian of the Russian Orthodox faith, living a life of humility, generosity and compassion. Cooking was another of her many passions, and she cooked indigenous and Western foods with ease.

Mrs. Melsheimer was preceded in death by her parents, Father Nicholas and Matushka Marfa Moonin; her brothers Sergius, Herman, Mickey, Apollo, Elias and Pete; her sisters Anesia, Helen and Ann; her sons Robert and Vincent; her first husband Sargius Kvasnikoff and her second husband Arnold Melsheimer. She is survived by her brother John Moonin; her daughters Teresa, Kathy, Irene, Alice, Pauline, Sally, Rhoda and Alma; her sons Mack, Wally and John; 72 grandchildren, 76 great-great grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren.