Vincent Jones Kigiqtaq Tocktoo, Sr.
Our beloved father, Vincent Jones Kigiqtaq Tocktoo, Sr. went to be with the Lord on May 17, 2021. Dad passed away peacefully at the Norton Sound Regional Hospital in Nome, Alaska at 5:41 p.m. surrounded by his family.
Vincent was born to Eddie and Grace Tocktoo at Shishmaref, Alaska on March 10, 1925. During his childhood, Vincent was raised by his grandparents from his mom’s side at West Fork in the Serpentine River to help provide subsistence food for them.
At the age of 19, Vincent began his career as a cook at the Kuzitrin Mining Camp near Nome, Alaska. He learned to prepare entrees and desserts from scratch. He then worked at Dredge #7 as a miner where he gathered enough money to send for his family to their temporary home in Nome. Vincent did some construction in Shishmaref afterwards to help build the new Church. He also helped bagged sand for the first seawall and the sewage lagoon by the City with his wife Molly. Later, Vincent joined the Alaska Territorial Guard to help protect his hometown, then joined the U.S. Army. He retired after 37 years of service.
Vincent married Molly A. Tocktoo on May 14, 1950 in Shishmaref. Together, they had eight children: James, Florina, Hannah (deceased), Kakaruk (deceased), Darlene, Benny (deceased), Vincent, Jr. and Karen. Together, they had 25 grandchildren, 62 great grandchildren, 13 great-great grandchildren and fostered 11 children from the surrounding villages of Brevig Mission, Teller and Wales.
Vincent and Molly were self employed by making horn dolls. He made the dolls out of antlers and she made the garments out of seal skin, calf skin and otter. They were well-known statewide and international. Vincent rebuilt his house at Inauruk up the coast where he raised all his grandchildren during the summer months to live a subsistence lifestyle.
In 1952, Vincent was a part of a documentary called, “The Lutheran Daughters of the Reformation” with the Evangelical Lutheran Church where they showcased his life as an Eskimo man living his spiritual way. From 1989 to 1992, Vincent did three segments of the Eskimo Pie commercials in Nome, Anchorage, Seattle, Washington and Chicago, Illinois.
Vincent was involved with local and regional organizations for a majority of his life within the Bering Strait region. He served as a council/board member for the Seward Penisula Lutheran Ministries, Shishmaref Lutheran Church Council, Shishmaref Elder Advisory Committee, Kawerak Elders Advisory Committee, Shishmaref IRA Council and City of Shishmaref. Vincent devoted most of his life as a council member for the Shishmaref Lutheran Church and recently retired after 62 years of service. He was proud to represent Shishmaref and the Bering Strait Region.
Vincent is survived by his children: daughters Florina Snell, Darlene Tocktoo Turner, Karen Tocktoo (Bill) & Sara Tocktoo (Richard); sons James Sinnok (Betty) and Vincent Tocktoo, Jr. (Bonnie), sister; Pauline Sundermeier. He is survived by his brother Bert Tocktoo, sister-in-law; Agnes Magby; nieces Grace Hamner (Robert), Minnie Sinnok (John), Helena Seetot (Floyd), Linda Divers (David), Ellen Probert (Bob), Esther Tocktoo, Frieda Southall (Terrence), & Hannah Joe (John); nephews; James, Tocktoo, Bobby Tocktoo, Bill Tocktoo, Stewart Raymond Tocktoo (Daphne), Clifford Tocktoo , Stewart Tocktoo, Gilbert Tocktoo (Selma), Fred Tocktoo (Shauna), Eddie Tocktoo (Julia), Thomas Tocktoo (Sophie) & Duane Tocktoo.
Vincent is proceeded in death by his wife Molly A. Tocktoo; daughter Hannah Tocktoo; sons Kakaruk and Benny W. Tocktoo, parents Eddie and Grace Tocktoo; siblings Arthur Tocktoo, Steven Tocktoo, Robert Tocktoo and Augustine Shifflett; grandson Elliot R. Olanna; uncles Elmer and Laura Davis, Andrew and Lucy Tocktoo, Fred and Beatrice Davis, Clifford Davis, Henry and Julia Davis, and aunt Flora Davis.
We want to thank all who participated in helping us with the loss of our loving Father, Papa, Great Grandpa, Brother, Uncle, Mentor, and Friend Vincent Tocktoo, Sr.
Thank you to Norton Sound Regional Hospital, Dr. Madahar and the nurses from the day and night shift, Pastor Mike Zabel from the Nome Covenant Church, all the visitors that came and visited our Dad; Stanley Tocktoo for making the cross, Elmer Nayokpuk and Bill Jones, Sr. for making the box, and all the gravediggers. Monetary donations from: Bering Strait Native Corporation, Sitnasuak Native Corporation, Shishmaref Native Corporation, Norton Sound Health Corporation, City of Shishmaref, Shishmaref Native Store, Bering Air, and those who fundraised for our travel expenses. Thank you to the people that came to his house and sang for him for his birthday and when he wasn’t feeling well. Also, thank you to the Shishmaref School for transporting our Dad to the morgue and to the Alaska National Guard for the Military Honors.
If we may have missed anyone, thank you all so much for your help during our time of need from the Tocktoo family.