George Irvin

Former writer, advisor, senior fellow and vice president of Alaska Federation of Natives, George Hoff Irvin, 73, died June 26, 2013 in Anchorage of colon cancer.

A viewing will take place on Wednesday, July 3rd, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. at Kehl's Legacy Funeral Home, 11621 Old Seward Highway, Anchorage. A memorial celebration of life will be on Wednesday, July 10th from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. at the Millennium Hotel, Lake Spenard Room, 4800 Spenard Road, Anchorage.

George was born on Jan. 15, 1940 in East Cleveland, Ohio. After graduating from University High School, Shaker Heights, Ohio and Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, George spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Huamanga, Ayacucho, Peru, and did graduate studies at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

When the federal government declared a war on poverty, young George Irvin enlisted. In 1968 he was appointed federal field representative for the Office of Economic Opportunity in Alaska. He proceeded to work for the next 45 years for the Alaska Native community, for the Rural Alaska Community Action Program and the Alaska Federation of Natives. Many who spoke, testified, or signed written testimony knew the message was theirs but the words were George Irvin's.

He is survived in life by his beloved wife, Ursula Susan Paniyak Irvin and by his sons, Michael Sean Irvin and Christopher Tecumseh Fredenberg, stepson Robert Paniyak, his daughter Janice Michaelene Paniyak Tamang, his granddaughter Jaderiane Paniyak, and his beloved puppy Peaches.

The Irvin family wishes to pay special tribute to three remarkable medical practitioners who at various times saved George's life: Dr. Mohamed Sawar, Dr. Leslie A. Bryant and Beth Hill Bryant, FNP. May God and Allah keep them forever.

At the end, George said, "The Alaska Native people accepted me. They took me in."

In lieu of flowers, donations to the George Irvin Memorial Fund would be gratefully accepted. They may be made in care of Tecumseh Fredenberg, Alaska USA Credit Union Account 1774476.