Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program

Luke Demientieff

Luke Demientieff 2002

lademientiefft_0.gifLuke Demientieff is an Athabascan elder who was born in 1926 to Frances and Eluska Demientieff in Holy Cross, Alaska. He was raised in Holy Cross and attended school at the Holy Cross Mission, where he learned to read, write, garden, cut wood, and build things. Luke had a long career both in Holy Cross and in Bethel in construction and as a skilled carpenter, but his primary focus was subsistence fishing, trapping, and hunting. In 1950, he married Alice Withrow who came to the Mission in 1941 from Dillingham when she was nine years old. Together they raised a large family, and spent a lot of time traveling and living off the land. They also owned and operated the Holy Cross Lodge for many years. They have a cabin at Reindeer Lake, where they prefer to spend much of their time. For more about Luke and Alice Demientieff see their 2017 interview for the Legacy of our Elders video series produced by Tanana Chiefs Conference. Luke passed away in March 2023 at the age of 97. For more about Luke Demientieff, see his obituary in the Anchorage Daily News newspaper.

Date of Birth: 
Sunday, March 7, 1926
Date of Death: 
Wednesday, March 22, 2023