Barbara Caroline Lewis was born April 14, 1940 in Sitka to George Augustus Lewis and Allie Cooper Lewis. She died Feb. 2, 2011, at the St. Elias Specialty Hospital in Anchorage, where she was surrounded by friends and family.
Barbara belonged to the Raven moiety and was from the Taakw’aaneidi, or People From Across the Waters Clan. Her Tlingit name was Daasoox’; she was Dakl’aweidi Yadi.
During her school years, she attended Mt. Edgecumbe High School and later transferred to Sheldon Jackson High School where she graduated in 1958. Barbara later attended college at Arkansas City (Kan.) Junior College.
Barbara served as Grand President of the Alaska Native Sisterhood Grand Camp in 1975-76. Following her term in office, she became a life member of the ANS Executive Committee. She was an excellent parliamentarian and served in that role at almost all conventions. She also served as chairwoman of the Constitution and Health committees for many years. She was often called on to chair the many ad hoc committees established to plan, implement or resolve issues that impacted the ANS. Her family wrote “no matter where Barbara resided, she was an inspiration and an active member of the ANS.” She also served as president of Sitka ANS Camp 4, Haines ANS Camp 5 and Yakutat ANS Camp 13. She was a very active member of the Haines Native Sisterhood Camp 5, where she served many years as head of the Health Committee. Just before Barbara moved to Sitka to be nearer to the hospital, she was celebrated as Haines’ “Camp Auntie,” an honor bestowed upon her in recognition of her love and devotion to this Native organization. She is very much missed.
Barbara is survived by her brothers Harold (Verda) Lewis and Raymond (Sandy) Lewis of Palmer, Fred (Joni) Lewis of Anchorage, George Dale Lewis of Bellingham, Wash. and a step-brother from her birth-mother’s third marriage, Elias Hoskins Jr.
She is also survived by her sisters E. Ruth Davis and Diane (John) Hoisington of Washington state, Verna (Neil) Adams of Iowa, Georgiana (Joe) Hotch of Haines, Thelma Lewis of Palmer and Majors Florence (C. Joe) Murray of Eugene, Ore.
Culture and subsistence were big parts of Barbara’s life. She is survived by her tribal brother Bob (Carol) Duis, sister Deb (Chris) Kemp of Haines and Karlene John and Justina Starzynski of Juneau.
Barbara was preceded in death by her father George A. Lewis, mother Matilda Watson Lewis; her birth-mother Allie Cooper and her sisters Geraldine Point and Florence Joann Lewis.
Barbara will be cremated at the Evergreen Memorial Chapel in Anchorage. A Salvation Army and Alaska Native Sisterhood Memorial Service will be held at the ANB Hall in Juneau at 6 p.m. Monday.