Percy John Blatchford
Alaska Native Percy John Blatchford died Sunday, Jan. 12, 2003, at Central
Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. He was 82.
A viewing will be held from noon to 2 p.m.
Monday at Peninsula Memorial Chapel in Kenai. Services will be held from 2 to 3
p.m. Monday at the funeral home. Honorary pallbearers will be Charles Blatchford,
Jared Wallace, Casey R. Jones and Mick Jones.
Mr. Blatchford was born Oct. 9, 1920, in
Golovin. He was the second of 17 children born to Jenny and Charles Blatchford.
In 1940, he enlisted in the U.S. Army. He was
in the pararescue and survival units for the U.S. Army. After 30 years of
service, he worked for the highway department. He lived from Point Barrow or
Arctic Circle to Juneau, Sitka and all places in between from Golovin, Elim,
White Mountain, Unalakleet, Nome and Kotzebue.
He was a tech sergeant for the Department of
Air Force 71st Air Rescue Squadron and a paramedic in the 5040th Squadron at
Point Barrow. He received a citation to accompany his first Oak Leaf Cluster in
Panama. He also was featured in Alaska Magazine in 1990 on the front cover and
featured in Outdoor Life in February 1952.
Mr. Blatchford helped to build the National
World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. He also received the Medical Medal of
Merit from President Ronald Reagan and a rifle from President Franklin D.
Roosevelt and the Air Rescue Service. He also trained beluga whales for the
He enjoyed boxing, hunting, fishing, Eskimo
dancing, flying and traveling. He also was a guide for many senators and other
"He, as an Inupiaq, was the oldest man to be
accepted into the Navy Seals. It'd take five men to fill his mukluts. He saved
many lives," his family said.
Mr. Blatchford was preceded in death by his
siblings, Florence Sellee, Mollie Galvin, Alfred "Kinnegun" Blatchford, Pete
Blatchford, Charlie Blatchford and Andrew Blatchford.
He is survived by his children, Johnny
Blatchford, Barbara Blatchford, Joel Blatchford and Lance Blatchford; numerous
grandchildren; brothers and sisters, Bernice, Joe Blatchford, Violet "Vi" Mack,
Rose Albrightson, Alan Blatchford and Gladys Armstrom; and many other family
members too numerous to mention.
Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial
Source: Peninsula Clarion,
January 16, 2003