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Obituary - Wendie Lou Schaeffer

February 9th 7:07 pm | Staff Report Print this article   Email this article  

Wendie Lou Schaeffer

May 17, 1971 to Dec. 19, 2017

Wendie Lou Langton was born to Carl and Clara Langton on May 17, 1971, their first child and later, big sister to George. Langton attended elementary school at the old Nome Elementary School. She continued her high school years, and graduated from Nome-Beltz Jr/Sr. High, proud class of 1989. She also attended Alaska Pacific University (APU) studying Organizational Development and a two-year program with Doyon Leadership Training. In Nome, Langton took on many jobs, mostly clerical jobs with construction companies for various projects in and around Nome. She always had strong work ethics and never found herself without a job. In the early 1990s, while working at the Native Programs Office at Nome Public Schools, she co-founded the Nome Native Youth Leadership Organization.

After moving to Anchorage, she worked in the administrative department of the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. She had a national impact on Alaska Native and American Indian health care services. She worked fiercely on health policy as a member of the Indian Health Service Tribal Advisory Workgroup. While still in Anchorage, she volunteered as a Girl Scout Leader, "Cookie Drive Mom" and served on the Indian Education Association Parent Committee.

In June 2008, she moved to Kotzebue and on July 17, 2009, she married Stephen Scheaffer. Employed at Northwest Arctic Borough, Langton was the director of public services, doing many things for the region while traveling to and meeting with each community leadership group. She was passionate about search and rescue. Her final position was at the Native Village of Kotzebue, running the ICWA program. She was again helping people, the children of families in the region. While working at the Kotzebue IRA, helped host the 2017 Qatnut in July. She also volunteered with the Arctic Circle Racing Association, coordinating snow machine races as well as updating and recording the rules. Langton worked to co-create the Arctic Circle Spring Festival to provide fun and free outdoor activities for the community surrounding the Kobuk 440 sled dog race and helped with the Lions Club fundraisers and bake sales, as well as medical fundraisers helping families in need. She was always willing to help with her many talents, computer work, cooking, baking, sewing/crafting, skin tanning, skin sewing and Native food preservation.

Perhaps the greatest gift for Langton was the birth of her only daughter Catherine Janelle Pomrenke. She prepared eagerly to be the best mom she could be. She even watched birthing videos and bought and read countless books on parenting. She and Shawn Pomrenke were blessed on July 24, 1993. Catherine was the sparkle in her eye. In Langton's more recent years, she was blessed with a granddaughter. Catherine Janelle had a baby girl, Tinsley Grace, on June 16, 2013. She quickly became Langton's pride and joy along with Catherine Janelle. Langton enjoyed spoiling her granddaughter and often sent for her (from Nome) to visit. She couldn't get enough of her.

Langton enjoyed living a subsistence lifestyle and she enjoyed sharing her love of the outdoors with her family. She was very proud to be an Inupiaq Eskimo and proud to say how much she learned from her grandparents Sam and Irene Kakik. Her favorite pastimes included hunting, fishing, boating and camping. She became an amazing seamstress and loved sewing. Her patience gleamed bright with beautiful kuspuks and artistry of cloth ulus and hand bags. Langton was a giving person and always shared with others things she made. Her talents were many. Langton had many friends, many since childhood, lifetime friendships that she cherished. She knew how to have a good time. Her laughter was contagious. She will be remembered by so many she touched for her giving nature and beautiful smile, and deep love for her family, especially those dear to her, including granddaughter Tins and only daughter Catherine, her husband Stephen and his daughter Darilyn, Mamma Clara, Daddy Carl and Brother George and his wife Denise, Dad Ross and Mamma Millie Schaeffer. Auntie Honey (Geri Kakik) and Uncle Jim DiLucchio. Auntie Jan Johnson and Uncle Pete, cousins, Art Johnson, wife Corrie and Debbie Johnson-James, husband Donald. Cousin Shelia (Johnson) Ellanna, husband Mischa and George Johnson. Uncle Babe and Auntie Irene Anderson, cousins, Trudy (Anderson) Sobosienski, husband Colo, Sonny and Floyd Anderson and Katie (Anderson) Timmons, husband Chuck. Sister-in-law, Aakatchaq, brother-in-law, Roswell Schaeffer, wife Sharon as well as many nieces and nephews and countless cousins.

The following is a facebook post Langton shared last summer:

"So proud that I learned how to light a true seal oil lamp during Qatnut this year!"

Wendie's light will forever live within us.


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