It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Ahtna shareholder Leonard Fred John. John was born to Ruth Hicks and Jake Butler Sr. on February 1, 1954, in Mentasta Lake, Alaska. He went to be with his Lord and Savior on November 23, 2021.
John was the first grandson of Fred and Katie John. He served the Ahtna people for many years on various Ahtna boards, the Mentasta Successor Village Organization (SVO) and as past president of Mentasta, Incorporated. He was passionate about education and shareholder training and employment.
In his younger years, John loved hunting, berry picking, and snaring rabbits. He took care of his younger brothers, Terry and Danny, and taught them how to trap and come home with rabbits. His mother raised him in traditional ways and from that he organized and planned the memorial tea party for her.
John graduated from Tok High School at the top of his class and spent a year in Japan as an exchange student. From there he went on to Alaska Business College and earned a computerized accounting degree. He worked various positions, including bank manager for Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, office manager for Price Ahtna, and accounting technician III at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC).
John was extremely outgoing and loved to express his devotion to his family. In his later years John spent his time picking berries in the summer. “We want to remember our brother/uncle with fond memories of who he was. He was handsome and generous,” said his family. They would like to express their gratitude for all the well wishes and memories shared about him.