Joe Lomack passes on at 87

by Angela Denning-Barnes on January 31, 2012

Joe Lomack of Akiachak. Photo courtesy of AVCP

Joe Lomack passed away in Bethel Saturday, Jan. 28, at the age of 87.

The Akiachak elder was well known throughout the region for his support of the Yup’ik people and their health.

George Peter with the Akiachak IRA council said he was a good man, “For the majority of his life, he did a lot of volunteering work,” he said. “Mostly to make the health better for the Yup’ik people.”

Lomack is recognized as one of the founding fathers of the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation. Peter said he did a lot of work when YKHC was seeking to construct a new hospital in Bethel.

Toksook Bay elder, Paul John, remembers working with Lomack. Through a Yup’ik translator, he said he was grateful for the work that Lomack did when YKHC was starting up. He said that Lomack would motivate the Board of Directors. He likened him to being the person behind the sled, pushing it along. John said that Lomack knew the Yup’ik way of life and knew the Yup’ik people of the Y-K Delta region and what they needed.

Lomack’s funeral is scheduled for this Thursday, Feb. 2, at 2 p.m. in Akiachak at the high school gymnasium.

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