Kodiak Daily Mirror - Obituary Moses Malutin
Obituary: Moses Malutin
Jan 20, 2012 | 297 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Moses Malutin
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Moses Malutin, who died Dec. 8, 2011, was well known for his winsome personality, devotion to family and church and love of fishing.

Funeral services for Mr. Malutin, 94, were held Dec. 13, 2011, at Holy Resurrection Orthodox Cathedral, Father Innocent Dresdow officiating.

Moses was born July 13, 1917, in Afognak to Pelegaya (Laktonen) Malutin and Senafont Malutin, who were also from that village. He was named after his grandfather, who was married to Moses’ grandmother, Anna (Panamarioff) Malutin.

Moses’ early schooling took place in the Russian language school in Afognak. For the Malutins, Russian was their main language. They also spoke Alutiiq and English.

In 1923, when Moses was 6 years old, his parents moved the family to Kodiak, where his father became a church reader, caretaker and choir director at Holy Resurrection.

Moses, along with his mother, his brother Fred, and sisters Annie, Valen and Faya, were part of Senafont’s choir, which sang in Slavonic.

The Metropolitan (head of the Orthodox Church) from New York gave the Malutins permission to reside in the church house as long as the parents lived. The family stayed there from 1923 to 1958.

Moses stayed in school long enough to learn there was more to life than Bureau of Indian Affairs schools, said his brother, Iver Malutin.

At a young age, Moses helped provide for his family. He kept the wood box full, carried water, fed and cared for the chickens and made sure that the kerosene and gas lamps were always filled with oil. He also carried water for the homes and banyas of others.

Learning the importance of putting food on the table, Moses often went subsistence hunting and fishing. He provided for the Malutin family with help from his older brother and sister.

“The older he got, the more dependent the family became on him and his older sister, Annie,” said Iver Malutin. “My father could never have been able to serve the church if Moses and Annie, and later, Valen, Faya and Johnnie, weren’t working and helping my dad.

“He said his favorite fishing spot was near Fuller’s boatyard or the buoy where he got a lot of sculpins in a few minutes, and also Uski Island (across from Horizon Lines) and St. Herman’s harbor where dad took him to pick sea gull eggs and hunt for duck and eider. Moses always supplied the family with fish and was the first to catch red salmon at the Buskin River.”

When Moses was 14, he worked for W. J. Erskine’s grocery store, delivering groceries with a bicycle, wheelbarrow, wagon and, at times, a rowboat.

Moses started commercial fishing when boats were moved by oars instead of engines. His first gas engine seiner was the 38-foot wooden Sea Boy, which he built with Al and Bobby King in 1938. However, since it had no power block, the seine was pulled in by hand.

He later graduated into a more modern UF-2, which he used until it was destroyed by the 1964 tidal wave.

During World War II, Moses took time off from fishing to help build the army base, which is now the Coast Guard Support Center. He was a truck driver and laborer.

Once Moses joined the Army, he operated the harbor craft, which was used to supply lookout posts on Long island, Marmot Island and 12 prominent capes around Kodiak Island. He served as first mate on the FS 25 and after that he was sent to Seattle to navigation school.

By the time Moses returned to Kodiak, thousands upon thousands of troops and civilian workers lived in what was once a quiet fishing community.

“Everywhere you looked, land was taken by the army,” said Iver. “What is now the Ocean Beauty dock and the surrounding area was taken over for a main supply station that loaded boats to supply all outposts.”

Now that Moses was a trained navigator, he was constantly running a power scow, making one trip a month (weather permitting) to each of the outposts that was manned by many soldiers.

He skippered many boats, mainly power barges from Kodiak, to Adak, from Adak to Teller and beyond. “It wasn’t long before Moses was earning rank,” said his brother. “Finally he was a sergeant first class.”

After Moses was honorably discharged from the Army, he returned to salmon seining, which he loved dearly. However, losing the UF-2 took the wind out of his sails.

In the early 1980s, Moses moved to Ouzinkie to become a villager. “That was probably one of his better moves,” said his brother. Living in Ouzinkie provided him “with a lot of exercise, which everyone needs for longevity. The people were so good to him as he was to them. What a relationship he had with them. He loved those people a lot.”

Moses was appreciated for his friendly demeanor and sense of humor. “He was such a jolly person,” his brother said. “He enjoyed helping people and making them laugh.

“Moses was always the life of the ball with his tricks and crazy costumes for the Russian New Year’s Masquerade ball. He always had tricks up his sleeve.” He loved music, too. He enjoyed jam sessions with his musical friends who met as often as they could. “He was very talented musically,” said Iver Malutin. “He played a mean guitar, an accordion and spoons.”

Moses was in good physical shape for most of his life, due to his strong work ethic and vigorous exercising.

However, after he moved back to Kodiak from Ouzinkie, his exercising was hampered when he got his first driver’s license at 80 years old, said his brother. “Then he bought a car. Need I say more?

“He beat all odds when he finally fell asleep Dec. 8, 2011, at 1:37 p.m. at the age of 95.”

Like his parents, Moses devoted most of his life to the Orthodox Church by donating time, money and labor. For his dedication, he was granted the St. Herman medallion award.

Moses was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers Fred, Johnnie and Julian; sisters Annie, Valen, Faya and Marie; and many cousins, aunts and uncles, including the Sheratines, Panamarioffs, Lucy (Boskofsky) Gregorioff and Jacob Laktonen.

He is survived by his brother Iver Malutin of Kodiak and many nieces and nephews, including Annie’s children, Bobby Norton, Roger Malutin, Olivia Brisbane, Dennis Huey and Ginger Sothern; Faya’s children, Fred Chonnard, Joan, Thomas, Larry, Robert, Mary, Barbara, Theresa and Annie; Valen’s children, John, Mike, Greg and Dennis; and Johnnie’s children, Daryl, Linda and Peter; and many grand- and great-grand-nieces and nephews.
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