Josefa Velasquez, Unalaska's Oldest Resident, Dies at 91
Tuesday, March 26 2013
Unalaska’s oldest resident passed away on Sunday. Josefa Gozun Velasquez, 91, had lived in the community for more than 25 years, first as a seafood processor, and then as a caregiver.
Her son-in-law, Frank Kelty, says she helped raise nearly four generations of children in Unalaska -- including her own grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
“She just loved children. That was the greatest joy in her life. People would always say they would see her at 3 o’clock in the afternoon waiting for [her granddaughter] Joanne’s daughters to get out of school so she would be able to give them a sandwich or some soup -- have food ready for them when they came home from school.”
Velasquez was a seafood processor at Alyeska for ten years in the 80s and 90s. Kelty, who managed part of the plant at that time, says despite being 66 when she started, she was an extremely hard worker.
“She always tried to squeeze in extra overtime after doing a 12-hour shift, and I kept trying to tell her to refuse, but even though I was the boss, I was still her son-in-law first, so she didn’t listen to me.”
Velasquez passed away while playing cards with a group of friends. She’ll be interred in the Philippines later this month, and there will be a local memorial service for her Tuesday evening at 7:30 at St. Christopher’s by the Sea.
A remembrance from her family is posted here.