UIC mourns the loss of David Unguruk Leavitt, Sr. Unguruk was UIC’s oldest shareholder, Utqiaġvik’s oldest community member, the 2022 recipient of UIC’s Elder of the Year award, a father of 12 children, served in the Alaska Territorial Guard, and well-respected hunter and whaler. Born to parents May and George Tookak Leavitt, Sr., Unguruk moved to Utqiaġvik when he was 14 years old. Growing up he spent most of his time in Utqiaġvik often visiting Cape Halkett to hunt and help run the Trading Post with his family.
As a young man, he was known for his hard work and dedication. As Unguruk grew older, he was known for sharing his skills and teaching many members of our community about framing and finishing carpentry. Unguruk was true to our Iñupiat traditions taking the time to share his knowledge and whenever possible helping his family and community.
Dr. Pearl K. Brower, President/CEO of UIC says, “David was not only a great leader amongst our Barrow and North Slope community but a staunch advocate for our people—he was always willing to lend a hand no matter when, no matter where. Our community will feel this loss for a long time. On behalf of the UIC Board of Directors and the entire UIC family of companies we send our prayers and comfort to the entire Leavitt family.”
Our deepest sympathies go out to the family of David Unguruk Leavitt, Sr. They remain in our thoughts and prayers.