Lifelong Alaskan, 107, dies in Fairbanks

Posted: Thursday, November 01, 2001

FAIRBANKS -- Lucy Adams, who lived in Alaska for all 107 years of her life, died Sunday in Fairbanks.

Born July 6, 1894, in Kechumstuk, a village that once stood near the Taylor Highway in Interior Alaska, Adams lived a subsistence way of life. She was married to Alfred Adams, originally from Moosehide, Yukon Territory.

Lucy Adams made her mark in life through her love for others and her big family, said her grandson, Danny Adams, chief of the village of Tetlin. She had lived in Fairbanks since the early 1980s when her husband died. She had 12 children, six grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and 10 great-great-grandchildren. She outlived all but one of her children, Cora David of Tetlin.

"She taught us compassion and love," Danny Adams said. "This family was blessed to have her. She was our teacher, mentor and mother. She put a lot of faith in giving us spiritual beliefs. We will carry the torch for her."

Growing up in Alaska in the late 1800s and early 1900s was not easy and Lucy Adams made sure her family remembered that, Danny Adams said. It was likely her traditional diet and way of life that contributed to her long life, he said.

A granddaughter, Alice Silas of Fairbanks, said she believed Adams may have been several years older than 107. "The BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs) assigned her a birthday. We think she might be older," Silas said.

Services are planned for Saturday at 2 p.m. in Tetlin, where a funeral, burial and traditional Native potlatch will be held.

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