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Press Release

Release Date: September 29, 2021
by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office

As part of the Chickasaw Annual Meeting and Festival virtual gathering, the Chickasaw Nation remembered and honored 70 Chickasaw citizens and employees who passed in 2021 with a virtual service 7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 28.

The service included messages of support, shared prayer and musical performances. It is available to view at AnnualMeeting.Chickasaw.net.

As part of the service, Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby spoke of the great loss many have experienced, as well as the importance of community, friends and family.

“Today, we remember, honor and celebrate the lives of the family members, friends and colleagues we’ve lost in the last year. Every life is so precious that words fail to adequately express the sorrow we feel when a member of our community passes away,” Governor Anoatubby said. “Each, in their own way, left their mark. And so, in the manner of our ancestors, we lift up their memory and bestow upon them the reverence and respect they so well deserve.”

Governor Anoatubby pointed to the network of people who surround us as a source of comfort and fellowship.

“Although it is difficult to understand the heartbreak of loss, none of us are alone. Our hearts can find refuge in the close-knit families and communities within the Chickasaw Nation. We are here for one another,” he said.

Jae L. Stilwell performed the gospel song “In the Garden.”

Zach Garcia arranged a medley of “Amazing Grace” and “Hallelujah” which he performed on the piano. As his piece continued, the names and photographs of those who have passed were displayed in alphabetical order.

Those memorialized included:

Sean Timothy Adams, Leo Alexander Jr., Valerie Ann Banworth, Laura Juanita Catherine Boney, Peggy L. Britt, Melvin Douglas Butler, Emiel “Buck” Byars, Dorene Carpenter, Mary F. Carter, Earl Colley Jr., Franklin Coody, Cherryl Rose Crawford, Catherine Ann Douglas, James Emberson, Gloria Factor, Cecil Fillmore, Mark Frazier, Brian Andrew Fulsom, Hector Garcia, Alan Gipson, Kody Dale Gore, LaHoma Harjo, Minnie Ruth Harjo, Billie L. Hendrix, Bill Henson, Santana Beaver Holcomb Sr., Marion “Gene” Jefferson, Daniel Levi Johnson, Selena Mae Jones, Hillary Chyann Jordan, Robert Kowey, Francisca (Francis) Landeros, Jimmie Sue Marsh, Raymond Glenn Marsh, Michelle Mathis, Clara Newberry McFadden, Ronald Lloyd Moeller, Timothy Morgan, Jerry Bon Murray, Harley Curtiss Norman, Thomas Patton, Larry Joe Paul, Catherine (Cat) Pendergraft, Richard Porter, Charles Anthony Powell, James Meredith Reynolds, Lorene Marie Richison, Karen Joy Rigsby, Franklen Ernest Rivas, Toni Roby, Wendell Rochelle, Patsy Jean Surber Scroggins, Bernie Seeley, Kent Randall Shields, Denise Gail Skinner McCurtain, Krista Renee Smith, James A. Smith Sr., Robert “Jason” Thompson, Tamara Lynn Underwood, James Underwood, Charlene Rita Vasquez, Cheryl Denise Walker, Letitia Ann Welch, Timothy E. Williams, Harvey F. Wilson Jr., Jan Wolfe Sr., Larry Wolfe Sr., Norma Jean Worcester, Laura Worrell and Glenn Wyatt.

Chickasaw Nation Medical Center chaplain Randy Wade encouraged anyone who needs support to reach out to a grief counselor, pastor, a church member or family member. He spoke of remembering those who have crossed over and of asking God’s help to find peace and strength. He closed the memorial with prayer.

Beginning this year, the Chickasaw Nation will honor and recognize friends and loved ones with a memorial service annually. Submissions for inclusion in the 2022 memorial service opened Wednesday, Sept. 29. Visit Chickasaw.net/Memorial for more information or to make a submission.