The body of George Attla, “the Huslia Husler,” made a stop-over in Fairbanks on his way home to Huslia for burial. A service was held at the Chief David Salmon Tribal Hall where hundreds of mourners converged to pay their last respects on Tuesday.
The Alaska legend was accompanied to Fairbanks by his friend Victor Demoski and companion Kathy Turco after his death at the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage on Sunday. Attla had been in the hospital battling B-Cell Lymphoma. He died just two short weeks after his diagnosis.
At his viewing at the Chief David Salmon Tribal Hall, Attla was dressed as many who knew the great Native musher, remembered him. At his service, Attla had on a fur-lined parka and hat and traditional fur-triimmed gloves and mukluks.
Attla’s mushing career took place over 5 decades and he would take home 10 wins in the Fur Rondy Sled dog Race and eight wins in the North American Sled Dog Championships.
After the service, which was conducted by retired Catholic Priest Father Jim Halsey, Attla’s body was closed up in his casket and transported to the Wright Air Service for his last trip home to Huslia.
Attla’s funeral, burial and potlatch will be held on Thursday.