Katherine “Katie” Fox Vinberg Kashevarof was born in 1906 and raised in Unga and Unalaska, the eldest of five siblings. She survived the 1920 influenza pandemic which wiped out entire villages in Alaska, the 1942 bombing of Unalaska by the Japanese which destroyed her family home, and the resettlement of the Aluutiq peoples during and following the war, going on to become the mother of ten by birth and double that number by marriage. Her family estimates that “At last count, the descendants including grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren totaled more than seventy-four.”
During 1948 through 1950, Katie owned and operated a restaurant and bakery at Unalaska called “Kate’s Kozy Kitchen.” She had some great recipes for bakery goods. Her granddaughter Crystal writes, “I put her doughnut recipe in the Chamberʼs Seldovia cookbook – try it sometime. It makes ninety doughnuts, and is delicious.”
Katie moved to Seldovia in 1951, where the children grew up and attended school. She worked for many years for Mr. Morris and then Dick Inglima in Morris General Store. She worked also for the Sutterlin & Wendt shrimp plant, the salmon cannery, and Wakefield Seafoods crab processor in Seldovia. She enjoyed cooking, knitting and crocheting, and caring for family and grandchildren.
In 1975, local fishermen Jack Parks and Bob Ringstad named a 108-foot crab vessel for Katie, the Katie K, and Katie went to Seattle to christen it. The boatʼs owners said they hoped the “boat will be as prolific in producing crab as its namesake has been in producing children and grandchildren.”
Her family writes, “Family was very important to her, and she loved to visit and be visited by family and grandchildren. Her mind ever sharp, she could remember events from the past with ease, and loved to pass on the tales of days gone by. She is remembered with love, and will be missed.”
The sponsors of the Katie Cabin are Katherine Gottlieb, Southcentral Foundation, Carl Marrs, and the Old Harbor Native Corporation.