Published: December 4, 2006
'Cannonball' passes on...
HERBIE NAYOKPUK: Iditarod legend leaves legacy that is known around the world.
Herbie Nayokpuk never strayed far from his lifelong home on a remote Island at the edge of the Bering Strait north of Nome, but his fame spread around the globe.
A dog musher from youth on, he was known to Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race fans all over the world as "The Shishmaref Cannonball,'' a nickname blending his home village of Shishmaref with his straight-ahead style in both dog mushing and life: always smiling, always happy, charging into the new day with the enthusiasm of a puppy.
Nayokpuk, 77, died Saturday afternoon at the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage, surrounded by family members. He suffered a massive stroke at his home in mid-November then lapsed into a coma.
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A Memorial Service for Herbie is planned for 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Anchorage Baptist Temple. Another service is scheduled Thursday in Nome, at the end of the Iditarod Trail. A funeral is scheduled for 2 p.m., weather permitting, Friday in Shishmaref.
Well-wishers can send messages to the family at firstname.lastname@example.org
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