BOX OF TREASURES – Haida artist Holly Churchill, of Ketchikan, shows Sitka High School senior Myles Magie a weaving technique on a cedar bark basket Wednesday in the Sitka High art room. Churchill finished a three-week residency today sponsored by the Sitka School District and Sealaska Heritage Institute's Sharing Our Box of Treasures" program. Her residency included work in the high school's new dual-credit program with UAS, the Northwest Coast Arts class, and sessions with Blatchley Middle School and the Sitka Native Education Program Culture Class. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Alton Isaac “Ike” Cropley

Former Sitka resident Alton Isaac “Ike” Cropley, 92, of Juneau, died May 18, 2014, at Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage after a brief illness.
Ike was born in Juneau to Marjorie Blake and Jake Cropley Sr. (Raven Dog Salmon). His Tlingit name was Kich, and he was Eagle, a Kaagwaantaan of the Box House in Sitka. 
Ike attended Sheldon Jackson High School in Sitka, graduating in 1942. He then served in the U.S. Army, during World War II.
Early in life, Ike worked construction with his father, building bridges, docks and the historic Cropley home in Juneau on Willoughby Avenue, now known as the Tlingit and Haida Tribal Court House.
Ike was a pile driver and a fish buyer, and retired from the Alaska Department of Transportation, Alaska Marine Highway.  During his fish buying years, he owned both the Phoenix II and the Point Sophia.  Ike had many fond memories of his days as a fish buyer and spoke of them often.  
During his several years in Sitka, he was elected to the Sitka City Council by a wide margin, in 1963, and served on the City Advisory Harbor Committee.
He was deeply interested in Native rights at all levels, tribal, city and state.   Ike was of the generation which had a vision and fought hard for the Alaska Natives and their rights.  It was recently said that he was always challenging Native organizations to do better and that he had a determined spirit.
He was a Juneau delegate to Central Council Tribal Assembly for many years, and was a shareholder in Goldbelt Inc. and Sealaska Corporation. 
Ike enjoyed traveling, especially around his favorite state, Alaska. He liked to socialize, work, hunt, fish and process traditional foods. He was well known for his smoked salmon and dry fish.
He loved life and his family, enjoyed laughter, art, listening to and playing music, and liked to sing.  He played bass guitar, told amazing stories, and he had a deep and abiding faith in God.
Ike and Frances enjoyed having prayer and gospel meetings at their home in Juneau.  He would want everyone to rejoice and be happy for him; for he is without pain, with God and his beloved wife, Frances.  
Ike was preceded in death by his parents; his siblings, Gerald “Jerry” Cropley, Jake Cropley Jr., Elizabeth “Liz” Paddock and Virginia “Gin” Moy; his stepbrothers William “Bud” Morrison and John F. Morrison; stepsister June M. Morrison; sons from his first marriage, Alton Isaac Cropley and Walter “Wally” Cropley; his stepson Leslie “Les” Phillips; and his wife, Frances Betts Cropley. 
Ike is survived by his children from his first marriage, to Mabel Moy of Sitka, Alton “Sonny” Cropley of Sitka, Delores “Laurie” Cropley and Michael “Mike” Cropley of Mt. Juliet, Tenn.,  Alice “Abby” Cropley of Sitka and Patti Crossen of Denver, Colo.
Also surviving are his stepchildren from his marriage to Frances, Sally Phillips of Juneau, Bill Phillips of Petersburg, Vera Moeller of Portland, Ore., Kathy Honea of Juneau and Jesy Phillips of Portland; and numerous nieces, nephews, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held 6:30 p.m. Monday, June 9, in Juneau at Glacier Valley Church of God on Thunder Mountain Road. A potluck dinner reception will follow, downstairs.  Ike will be laid to rest the following day at the Alaskan Memorial Park in Juneau, near Frances, his wife of 37 years. 
“We would like to thank the caregivers and agencies who gave Ike their support and care, especially during the years since 2006 when his wife Frances passed away,” his family said.
His caregivers were granddaughter Frances Dowd (2006 to 2011); and niece Jacqueline “Jacqui” Cropley (2011-2014). The family also expressed special thanks to The Bridge Adult Day Program, as Ike really enjoyed being there; and to the families of Frances and Jacqui.
Pallbearers are Patrick Cropley Hill, Clyde Pasterski, David Cooper, Gary Dowd and William Andrews Jr.
Honorary pallbearers are Ron Cropley Jr., Tom Paddock, Bill Paddock, Joe Paddock, Gary Walter Moy Sr., Jerry Bennett, Alvin Rezek and Art Honea.
Those who wish to make memorial donations or send remembrances may send cards or letters to:  Sally Phillips, 4104 Birch Lane, Juneau, AK 99801, or Alice (Abby) Cropley of 2010 Kainulainen Drive, Sitka, AK  99835.  The two also can be contacted in person.
“Please join our family to celebrate the life of Ike Cropley,” they said.

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