Kim Erbey. Photo courtesy of Rachel Galambush

May 16, 1960 – June 12, 2023

By Rachel Galambush

On June 12, Kim Erbey passed away after a brave six-month battle with cancer. She leaves behind her husband of 38 years, three daughters and four grandchildren.  

Kim was born on May 16, 1960 in Cordova, AK to Merle George Wickett and Flora Ramsey Wickett, making her the youngest of eight daughters. She spent her school years in Blaine, Washington, returning with her family to Cordova each summer for the fishing season. In time Kim would go on to work for Alaska Packers Association, of which her dad was the superintendent. She worked the cannery’s egg house, main office, and also seined with her brother-in-law.  

As a young adult earning money for college Kim found herself once again in Cordova, but this time working as a dispatcher for a small air taxi, Chitna Air. Here, she would meet her husband Dave, a pilot and mechanic. The two were married in 1985 and shortly thereafter purchased their own air taxi — a five-year plan that would last 37 years. Kim was in charge of the office activities of Cordova Air Service, including the book keeping and dispatching. The quieter winter months enabled her to mostly be a stay-at-home mom during the bustle of the school year.  

Kim’s primary love was her family and friends, making them feel loved all year long. Gift giving was a particular talent of Kim’s. She especially enjoyed sharing gifts she sewed or crocheted herself. Kim practiced her creativity at the sewing machine, spreading beauty to others. Kim also fostered artistry through the careful cultivation of her garden, tending her plants all season long and enjoying watching things grow. When she wasn’t sewing or gardening, she used her cooking talents to nourish those around her — whether it was hosting meals or sending care packages, love could be tasted. Though it is often a forgotten art form, Kim’s practice of homemaking was a notable one and a true expression of the things she held most dear. 


Kim enjoyed traveling and visiting new and familiar places. But more than traveling, Kim enjoyed being a part of the community of Cordova and was very proud of her Cordova heritage. She enjoyed getting together with friends for lunch, catching up with others at the post office, taking drives out the road and partaking in so many other small-town charms. Kim particularly enjoyed sharing a little piece of Cordova with clients who were experiencing Alaska for the first time. Kim was a long-time member of the Little Chapel, where she served on the worship team for several years, partook in Bible studies and helped in various fundraisers.  

Though Kim experienced several health problems over the majority of her life, her disposition was that of commendable positivity, in which her faith played a key role. She seldom complained nor was willing to let chronic illness stop her from making the most of life. A gentle yet notable toughness and determination walked with her throughout her years.  

Kim is preceded in death by her nieces Charmaine Allen, Terri Allen, Erika Meuter and nephew Brandy Johnson, sisters Phyllis Lape and Betty Wickett and infant grandson Peter Galambush. She is survived by her husband Dave, daughters Rachel (Tenor), Kayleen and Chandelle, and many other relatives including her four grandchildren Jack, Walter, Charlotte and Andrew Galambush. While an obvious void is left in Kim’s absence, we take comfort in knowing she is at peace in the arms of Jesus.