Henry “Chalaavaluq” Ivanoff Sr.

Feb. 20, 1944 ~ March 30, 2022

Henry Ivanoff Sr. “Chalaavaluq” was born Feb. 20, 1944 to Ralph Ivanoff and Laura Moses in Nome, Alaska. The eldest of 13 children, he grew up in St. Michael and Unalakleet.

Henry and his first wife Isabelle had Henry Ivanoff Jr. raising him in Fairbanks, Juneau and Bethel. During this time, Henry worked as a television technician for KTVF TV station (Fairbanks), a radio engineer for KINY TV and Radio in Juneau, and a general manager and chief engineer at KYUK TV and radio in Bethel.

In the early 1970s, Henry later married Barbara Francis and settled in Unalakleet where they had two children, Lorraine and Alexander Ivanoff. He continued his work in the broadcasting industry, founding KNSA Unalakleet Broadcasting Inc. where he served as the general manager and chief engineer since 1982.

On August 7, 1998 Henry married Yvonne Sipary. Together, they had Renae Ivanoff and raised le their blended family, including Ryan Sipary, Sonia Stevens and granddaughter Lexi Ivanoff. Henry and Yvonne loved spending time outdoors and traveling.

Henry actively served the people of the Bering Strait, Norton Sound and the Alaska Native community for many decades. Henry started his service as a Board Director for Bering Straits Native Corporation in 1978, serving as President from 1985-1989 and Board Chair since 1989. He had the distinction of being the longest serving board member and Chairman in BSNC’s history. Other board services include the Alaska Federation of Natives (1982, 1988-89), Community Enterprise Development Corporation (1982-2002), Bering Sea Fishermen’s Association (1983-1995), Norton Sound Economic Development Corp.  (1993-1996, 1998-2004), Unalakleet Native Corporation (1978-1980), the Rural Alaska Television Network (1984-1986) and Mayor of Unalakleet (1994-2006). He also holds the distinction of being the longest-serving Mayor of Unalakleet.

Henry was an avid subsistence hunter, fisher and gatherer learning from his father, passing his knowledge down to his children. His passion and love for the outdoors for those who witnessed his countless hunting and fishing adventures. Henry was also a commercial fisherman from 1980-2008.

Henry had a great sense of humor. He laughed with and teased those whom he loved and cherished. We will miss his genuine love of life and his wisdom. He will be greatly missed by his large extended family, the BSNC Board of Directors and employees, his broad network of dear friends and by all who knew him in our region’s communities.

Henry is survived by his wife of 34 years, Yvonne Ivanoff; children Henry Jr. (Karen), Lori, Alex (Sheri), Ryan, Sonia and Renae (Marcus); brothers Weaver (Lucia), Burkher (Huda), Herb (Heidi, Lena in memoriam), Larry (Maggie); Jerry (Brenda); Steve (Zoe in memoriam), Galen, Rick, Dean (Treca) and Art; sister Doris; 15 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.

He is preceded in death by his parents Ralph and Laura Ivanoff; grandparents Paul and May Ivanoff; grantparents George and Martha Peterson and siblings Irene and Paula Mae.


The Nome Nugget

PO Box 610
Nome, Alaska 99762

Phone: (907) 443-5235
Fax: (907) 443-5112


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