Birch bark texture.

Ahtna Kanas Spring 2022

In Loving Memory: Ray Neeley, January 14, 1959 – January 18, 2022

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Ray Neeley, former Ahtna Board member and Ahtna Construction & Primary Products Company (ACPPC) employee. Neeley was born on January 14, 1959 to Ben and Hazel Neeley at Faith Hospital in Glennallen, AK. He was a great supporter of education and proud of those who graduated and went on to higher education, and those who kept trying to finish their education.

Neeley formerly served on several boards including Ahtna, Inc., Gulkana Village Council, Copper River Native Association and Copper River Basin Regional Housing Authority. He was a strong advocate for subsistence rights and served on the Ahtna Customary and Traditional (C&T) Committee. He was eager to pass on his knowledge of how to live off the land to anyone who would listen.

Neeley had many different jobs but was best known for his work as a Teamster with ACPPC. He enjoyed truck driving and teaching others how to drive trucks. He was very resourceful and independent, finding ways to fix vehicles and other things with whatever he had on hand.

Neeley’s family shared that he will be missed by many and remembered for his leadership, love, teachings, great sense of humor, testimony of faith, and his trail of recovery. He is survived by his daughter Raedeen, son Franklin, grandchildren Ellijah and Rayah, and sisters Lorraine (Nick), Eveline, and Roberta.