Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program

Project Jukebox Survey

Help us redesign the Project Jukebox website by taking a very short survey!

Lorraine Honea

Lorraine Honea 1995

Lorraine Honea was born in 1920 to Matilda Paul and Freddie Olin, Sr. at camp on the Yukon River, twenty miles above Ruby, Alaska. She was raised at 20 Mile camp, Big Eddy Fish camp and Kokrines by her maternal grandparents, Bill and Eva Roberts (until she was twelve), and by her parents, Fred Olin Sr. and Matilda Paul Olin, who passed away when Lorraine was only nineteen years old. In 1936, at age sixteen, Lorraine married John Honea. From 1937 until 1962, John and Lorraine spent each fall, winter, and spring trapping on the Nowitna River, near the mouths of the Sulukna and Sulatna Rivers. They each ran their own trapline by dogteam or on foot. Summers were spent on the Yukon River, where they fished to put up a winter's supply of salmon. They made dried king salmon strips for themselves and stored bales of split chum salmon for their dogs. In 1962, John and Lorraine moved to Ruby, so they could provide schooling for their three children. They still spent summers at their fish camp, named "The Big Eddy," about 20 miles upstream from Ruby. After the children were grown, they spent more and more time at camp, and less in Ruby. In the 1970s, Lorraine worked as a cook at construction camps for the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline, and later at the school in Ruby for many years. She was an expert seamstress, sewing anything from jackets to mittens to hats, and did the most beautiful beadwork onto moose hide that she and Johnny tanned and smoked. Lorraine was known for being a hard worker, having a loving heart, and being a welcoming and gracious host to anyone who stopped to visit her home. She was an eager storyteller who generoulsy shared her traditional knowledge, skills, and food. John and Lorraine Honea's life together is further described in the book entitled John Honea - Ruby: A Biography by Curt Madison and Yvonne Yarber (1981: Hancock House Publishers, Blaine, WA). Lorraine Honea passed away in 2016 at age 96.

Date of Birth:
Mar 4, 1920
Date of Death:
Jun 14, 2016
Lorraine Honea appears in the following new Jukebox projects: