Ralph Julian Saccheus
Ralph Julian Saccheus was born November 25, 1937 to David and Jeanne Saccheus in Elim, and passed on January 9, 2022 in Anchorage. Ralph was the fifth of 11 children.
Ralph married Arlene K. Saccheus.
Throughout his lifetime he held many positions. In his early years he trapped lynx by dog sled and then by snow machine. Papa helped skin them. He worked in Nome as a janitor, on the slope as a welder, a carpenter, water plant operator for the City of Elim, Power Plant operator for AVEC, and as a commercial fisherman in Elim, Lower Yukon River and Kotzebue. Ralph and Henry Murray had to complete an Arctic Training Survival Class before starting work on the slope. The instructor took one look at them and said they already knew about survival in the Arctic.
Ralph was a great hunter who provided for his family but also to the community of Elim. He used a dog team to hunt and later a snow machine. Ralph hunted caribou with many hunters, one story he shared, He rode in the sled of his brother Clarence and a teacher. The next day they went hunting with David Otton from Koyuk. Both Ralph and Clarence shot caribou. David told the teacher next time he goes hunting for caribou he will bring those Saccheus boys because they were crack shots. When whale-hunting season started, you can find him looking out with his binoculars by his house, even while out hunting. Charlie said he was a real fast skater.
The greatest thing Uncle Ralph, like his brothers, will be remembered by is his storytelling. He had great stories of hunting, fishing and every aspect of life.
Ralph stayed in Shaktoolik for a few months helping out his brother Ernest Saccheus Sr. and Marion. He helped his sister Clara raise Marvin, Marlene and Lyndon (Adot). One of the memories, of Marvin, Ralph was getting ready to go out in the country, when he came out his snow machine was gone because Marvin took it. Marlene and Adot’s children called him Gramps as well his niece and nephew’s children, but he was known as Uncle Ralphie to many.
One time he bought a freezer and Arlene saw it and said, “real big.” Someone told her Ralph is a hunter and he will have it filled in no time. Albert shared that Ralph and Arlene bought a new couch but they didn’t like it because it was too big. They sat too far apart from each other, so they sold it and bought a smaller one.
Kacy Aukon shared her birthday with Uncle Ralph and he spent it with her. His last birthday when he turned 84, was on Thanksgiving Day, and he went to his brother Charlie’s for dinner and his party.
Special thanks to Clarence “Biaq” Saccheus who lived with Uncle Ralph since April, 2021. Also, his nieces and nephews Marlene, Thomas, Charles “Doos” Saccheus Jr. and Darla and John Jemewouk.
Ralph is survived by his brother Charles F. Sr. and Marjorie Saccheus. Sister-in-law Marion Aukon who passed on two days later. Stepchildren Dale Crum, Raedene Bray, Karla and Robert. Also many nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his wife Arlene, stepdaughter Donna Winters, his parents David and Jeanne, brothers and sisters Clarence and Kathleen, Clara, Ernest Sr., Gladys and Fred Savok, Julius and Bessie, Anna and Oscar Murray, Elizabeth (Aloon) Crews, Selma (Sally) Paukok, and Thomas H. Saccheus.