George Miyasato


Posted: Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Juneau resident and lifelong Alaska Native Brotherhood leader George Worthington Miyasato Sr. died Dec. 31, 2006, in Juneau after a short illness. He was 80.

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Born April 7, 1926, in Wrangell to George K. Miyasato and Mary Worthington-Miyasato Jackson, he was of the Raven moiety, Dog Salmon and Leenda and House of the Big Dipper.

His grandfathers, Chester Worthington and James Johnson, were two founding fathers of the Alaska Native Brotherhood, formed in 1912. He was a lifelong member of ANB Camp 3. He was instrumental in getting the Anti-discrimination Act passed in 1945. He also was actively involved organizing Camp 2 bingo, and worked to have Feb. 6 declared Elizabeth Peratovich Day, a proclamation signed by Gov. Steve Cowper on April 21, 1988.

He was the first student body president of Mt. Edgecumbe School in 1947, when he graduated with the school's first class. He attended Humbolt College. He worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs for many years as an employment assistance specialist and was a fisherman from his early years. He supported education and stressed this to his children and grandchildren.

During World War II, he was interned in a Japanese concentration camp with his father. He was a Korean War veteran.

He married Katherine "Kitty" Stevens in 1956. He was president of the Douglas ANB Camp 3 for many years until his health started to fail him. His son, James, followed him as president. He was active in the Church of God.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Benjamin and Chester Miyasato; sister, Edith Stevens; and grandson, William Petaja.

He is survived by his sisters, Alice Miyasato and her husband, Sam; Harriet Miyasato and her husband, Beleal; seven children: George III, Daniel and his wife, Bessie, Frank, James and Dorianne Miyasato, and Sherry Hon and Fran Sheakley; grandchildren, Terry Lyn Nierstheimer, Kevin Miyasato, Mary Rose Johnston, Dan Miyasato Jr., Leslie Miyasato and Adele Miyasato-Petaja; niece, Rhonda Lynn Smith-Black; and several great-grandchildren.

Pallbearers will be Mike Miyasato, Derek Nierstheimer, David Admire, Kevin Slats, Bert Bennett and Andrew Green. Honorary pallbearers will be Percy Hope, Rob Williams, Gerry Bennett, Al McKinley Sr., Rey Skan Sr., Paul Moreno and Tommy Jimmy Sr.

There will be an ANB memorial service at 4 p.m. today at the ANB Hall. Church services will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday at the Church of God. For more information, contact Frank Miyasato at 586-2947.

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