Remembering Walter Soboleff

The Rev. Dr. Walter Soboleff

The Rev. Dr. Walter Soboleff has died. He was 102 years old. He passed away Sunday morning at his home in Juneau with his family around him.

The Tlingit Presbyterian has always described his more than 70 years as a pastor and teacher as a “happy ministry.”

He was the first Alaska Native pastor in Juneau during segregation — but his church was open to all.

While Walter Soboleff has often been called the spiritual and cultural standard bearer of the Tlingit people, his influence went well beyond.

“He spoke to the whole world,” said his youngest son, Ross Soboleff. “He happened to be Tlingit, but he really always spoke to the whole world, as selflessly as you can do that.”

Dr. Soboleff is survived by four children and several grandchildren. Services are pending.

He reflected on his life on his 101st and 102nd birthdays.

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