Florence Tobuk Nictune, 91, passed away February 22, 2022, at Denali Center where she resided for the last years of her life. Florence was born at fish camp along the Kobuk River on June 8, 1930. Her parents were late Frank and Dora Tobuk. She married Wallace Nictune in 1949 and they had 8 children. Originally from Alatna, but later relocated to Evansville, Florence was skilled at living off the land. 

Florence was a good cook, native arts teacher, trapper, dog musher, school board member, river observation specialist, voter official, and the best mom, grandmother, aunt, and friend. She loved all her children, grandchildren, siblings, nieces, nephews, and friends unconditionally. 

Her son Roy remembers fondly:

When dad was diagnosed with TB and had to stay in Anchorage hospital, mom took over our family. My older brother Ricky and I did all the men’s chores, and my sisters helped mom with the house duties. One day mom wanted to drive the dogs. We asked how many dogs to hook up, she said 10. It took 3 of us to hold the sled back while we hooked up. She set a record running pace down to Old Bettles and back (about 14 miles) that day.

One spring, dad and Uncle Red were trapping beaver below Old Bettles. They came back with both their limits. While they were home the snow melted so they couldn’t make it back to camp. We went out with boat right after breakup. The tent was still up, no animals bothered it. We found a half of sack of mush. Mom cooked that for us. We did not bring bowls, so we ate the mush right out of the pot. I thought I was eating the best meal in the world.

One time she called and sent word that dad hurt his hands, she needed wood. So, I went to Bettles to help. While I was walking around the wood yard, I found a beaver house. I told mom about it. Dad set snares and could not catch the beaver. So he pulled his snares and mom set her snares. She caught one the next day. That is one lucky trapper to catch beaver in clear water.

Florence opened her home to many people. People that were passing through stopped at her home to eat and rest up before they traveled on. She was a kind and nonjudgmental person.

Florence is survived by her siblings, Sonya Knight and William “Bill” Tobuk. Her children, Lula James, Roy Nictune, Nancy Nictune Ambrose, and Barbara Beatus, who she took care of when Barbara’s parents were in the hospital with tuberculosis. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews, too numerous to list. 

She was preceded in death by her parents, Frank Sr. and Dora Tobuk; siblings, Frank (Din) Tobuk Jr., Millie Evans, Pauline Demientieff, Ella Thompson, Andy, Richard, and Homer Tobuk. Her children, Richard Nictune, Mabel Shanahan, Judith Ann Nictune, Robert (Bobby) Nictune. Her grandchildren, Robert Lee James, and Aaron Lee Tobuk-Ambrose.  Her daughter Debbie Sue Nictune has been missing since August 2020. 

A service will be held at 11:00 a.m. February 28, 2022, at the Chapel of Chimes in Fairbanks, and the burial will be held March 2, 2022, in Allakaket/Alatna. 

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