John Mohawk, beloved man of wisdom, passes on
BUFFALO, N.Y. - Indian country lost a major luminary with the recent passing of Sotsisowah, the Seneca author and traditionalist known in the broader society as John Mohawk, Ph.D.
Mohawk, 61, was pronounced dead at his home in Buffalo on Dec. 12. He is mourned by large numbers of people, expressing the most heartfelt condolences to the family and close relatives of this beloved man of wisdom.
A longtime professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo, the highly talented and engaging scholar was a motivating force in the Indian traditionalist movement and the national and international indigenous initiative of self-sufficiency and self-assertion of the contemporary era. Mohawk's essays and speeches from the early 1970s, through his genial direction of the national Indian newspaper, Akwesasne Notes, from 1976 to 1984, were pivotal contributions to the development of intellectual capacity in the Indian movement. From his academic perch, Mohawk developed enlightening university courses while sustaining a wide-ranging program of writing and community educational and oratorical forays. In recent years, he had been an opinion columnist for Indian Country Today.
Intensely steeped in the spiritual ceremonial traditions of the Haudenosaunee people through his foundational longhouse culture at the Cattaraugus Reservation in western New York, Mohawk was one of those rare American Indian individuals who comfortably stepped out into the Western academic and journalistic arenas. He was an enthusiastic participant in his own traditional ways, a legendary singer and knowledgeable elder of the most profound ceremonial cycles of the Haudenosaunee. As a scholar, he represented the Native traditional school of thought in a way that was as authentic as it was brilliantly modern and universal.
Mohawk wrote several important books and articles, among which is the classic Basic Call to Consciousness, a seminal work that catalyzed Native thinking and understanding of global history in a way that was superbly useful. Later, along with Onondaga elder Oren Lyons, Mohawk edited the important book Exiled in the Land of the Free, which gathered the significant thinking around foundational American Indian rights. His research and writing on Basic Call to Consciousness was typical of his style as an activist scholar. It was largely written during the winter and spring of 1977 in the deep woods of upstate New York, where the author was often prodded by the visits of Haudenosaunee chiefs, clan mothers and other elders, to whom he would read his developing prose and who would comment deeply on the manuscript.
Many will credit John Mohawk as the major intellectual and strategic force behind the surge of Haudenosaunee activism of the past 30 years. Many more know and respect him for his many expressions on important national and international issues. While he published and lectured widely, Mohawk generously gave much of his intellectual prowess directly to community issues. At moments when traditionalist life was threatened, he worked diligently to establish strategic directions for the longhouse and other traditionalist governments. One remembers many instances in which Mohawk made a huge difference in dangerous moments of interethnic and political conflict. Many are the times when he forsook professional glory or advancement to join the battle lines, where he employed his powerful intellect to save life while always pressing the demand for Native peoples' unique sovereign rights.
A strong defender of national and international human rights, Mohawk was a mentor to hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Indian and non-Indian college students and young professionals, many of whom have gone on to fulfill important posts. He was a great and loyal friend, one who could tease you to tears while marveling your life with incredible sweetness, consistency and human value.
John Mohawk was self-effacing to a fault. Easily admired and even revered, he shunned and suspected any such feelings. This came out of his natural deep integrity. He was wont to tell enraptured audiences, ''Remember one thing, if you remember nothing else I've told you: I am not a star!''
He was wrong on that one. John Mohawk was - is - a star.
Ryan Douglas White
BOUNTIFUL, Utah — Ryan Douglas White, age 25, passed away in the high mountains of Montana, January 1, 2007, due to an avalanche.
Ryan was never happier. He was always surrounded by his loving family and great friends. Ryan was an Eagle Scout, and graduated with high honors from Woods Cross High School in 1999 and served an honorable and faithful mission for the LDS Church in the England Leeds Mission 2001-2002. He graduated from Utah State University in 2005 in Business Management. Ryan had it all. His promise was great. We so loved and respected him. Ryan's unassuming quietness, humor and compassion captured us all.
Ryan is survived by his mom and dad, Carolyn J. and Douglas White; his brothers, Richard (Rick) White, and Kelly White, who is currently serving his mission in the Domincan Republic; and his loving sisters, Victoria White and Alexandria White.
A funeral service will be held Saturday, January 6, 2007 at 12:00 noon at the LDS Stake Center, 965 Oakwood Drive, Bountiful, Utah. Family and friends may call Friday evening from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. at Russon Brothers Bountiful Mortuary, 295 North Main and Saturday morning 10:30 -11:30 a.m. at the church prior to services. Interment will be at the Lakeview Cemetery.
A special thanks to the Fremont County Rescue Team in Idaho and all his friends at Snowest.
Josh J. Scepaniak
AVON, MN — The Mass of Christian Burial, celebrating the life of Josh Scepaniak, age 19 of Avon, was Wednesday, January 3 at St. Hedwig's Catholic Church in Holdingford. Burial will be in the Immaculate Conception Catholic Cemetery
in St. Anna.
Josh died Thursday, December 28, 2006 from injuries he received from an avalanche while he was snowmobiling in West Yellowstone, Montana.
Josh was born April 5, 1987 in Albany, MN. to Joe and Brenda (Stueve) Scepaniak. He grew up in the St. Anna area and graduated from Holdingford High School in 2006. While in High School, Josh played football and he was active in FFA and Honor Choir. He was currently attending the St. Cloud Vocational Technical College. He also worked part time for Wm. D. Scepaniak Inc. in Holdingford where he operated equipment and helped with whatever needed to be done. Josh is a member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in St. Anna.
Josh is survived by his parents, Joe and Brenda Scepaniak, St. Anna; his sister, Katie and brothers, John and Bryan Scepaniak, all at home in St. Anna; his grandmother, Rosemary Scepaniak, Holdingford and many aunts, uncles and cousins.
He is preceded in death by his Grandma and Grandpa Stueve and his Grandpa Scepaniak.
A scholarship fund is being established in Joshua Scepaniak’s name for Land Surveying and Civil Engineering Students at the St. Cloud Vocational Technical College. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to this scholarship.
Scott Lorin Edwards, 29, died Saturday, December 30, 2006 in Island Park, Idaho from injuries sustained in a snowmobile accident.
He was born October 31, 1977 in Ogden, a son of Don and Sandra Whitney Edwards. Scott married Keri Brandt in 2005. He was raised and educated in West Point, Utah and attended the Davis County, Utah schools. Scott was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was a carpenter, a very hard worker, and loved his job building log furniture. Scott enjoyed fishing, hunting, camping and bowling. His family was his number one priority and he loved spending time with his children.
Surviving are his wife Keri of Idaho Falls, ID; three sons and two daughters, Jerrick Edwards, Toquerville, UT; Matthew Edwards and Ashton Edwards, both of Idaho Falls, ID; Kaytee Edwards, Toquerville, UT; and Taylar Edwards, Idaho Falls, ID.
Also surviving are his parents, Don and Sandra Edwards; two brothers and two sisters, John (Dawn) Edwards, Etna, WY; Robert (Andrea) Edwards, Syracuse; Michelle Apadaca, Clearfield; Jill Edwards, West Point.
Preceding Scott in death were his grandparents.
Funeral services will be held Friday at 11 a.m. at the West Point Stake Center, 550 North 2300 West. Friends may call at Lindquist’s Roy Mortuary, 3333 West 5600 South on Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. and Friday at the Stake Center from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. Interment, West Point Cemetery.
The family extends a special thanks to all those who helped at Island Park and the Freemont County Sheriff.
Virginia May Sielinsky
EDGAR, MT. - Virginia May Sielinsky died peacefully at her home surrounded by family in Edgar, Feb. 9, 2007, at age 89.
She was born in Malta, Mont., on May 1, 1917, to Amelia May Gallinger Sanford and James Burleigh Sanford. She was the eldest of three children, reared on a cattle ranch in the Missouri Breaks. She was educated in Leedy and Malta. The family raised registered Hereford cattle and quarter horses. They ran more than 400 head of cattle until the government forced them off their land to develop the Fort Peck reservoir. In 1936, the family moved 200 head of cattle to the Blue Water Ranch southeast of Fromberg.
On June 4, 1938, she married Walter Sielinsky in Red Lodge. They had four children, Shirley (Layne) Beals, James W. "Joe" (Diane) of Island Park, ID, William Lee (Elaine) and Deborah Sue (Randy) Elton. They lived on the Blue Water Ranch until 1945. They moved west of Pryor and ranched and farmed there until 1960 at which time they moved to Edgar.
Virginia was a homemaker and a wonderful mother to her children. Her children were the top priority in her life. They have wonderful memories of her sacrifices and devotion to them. She loved spending the summer out of doors in her vegetable and flower gardens and swing. In her later years, she spent many hours sewing fabric blocks together to make lap robes and small quilts for local nursing homes. It was a joy to her to be able to share this with the folks that needed a comfort. She also enjoyed a weekly Bible study group that she hosted in her home and spending Sundays at the United Methodist Church in Fromberg.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband and one granddaughter.
She is survived by her children; her brother, Nelson (Buck) Sanford, and her sister Mary Dick. She also is survived by 11 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren with one on the way.
The family would like to thank all of the wonderful people that gave their time, expertise and love to help our mom pass on comfortably.
Services were. Tuesday, Feb. 13, at the Fromberg United Methodist Church. Burial was at the Rockvale Cemetery, with a reception following at the Edgar School Gym.
The family suggests memorials to the Fromberg United Methodist Church, the Edgar Volunteer Fire Dept. or to a charity of your choice.
Nicholas 'Nic' Steinmann
Nicholas Gust Steinmann, 26, of Ogden, Utah, formerly of Ashton, died Saturday, February 17, 2007, from injuries received in a snowmobile accident. He was born September 21, 1980, in Rexburg to Michael Gust and Kim Lee Orme Steinmann. He spent his early years in Ashton and Logan, Utah. He graduated from North Fremont High School, in Ashton, in 1999.
He was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served a mission for the church in the Long Beach California mission. He married Cortney Crapo on November 30, 2002, in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple. They have two children, Mason Gust, age 2, and Avery Vida, age 1.
He graduated with an associate's degree in Welding Engineering from BYU-Idaho, and then from the Ocean Corporation Diving School in Houston, Texas, with an underwater welding degree. He was attending Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, finishing up his bachelor's degree in Welding Engineering.
Nic enjoyed welding, learning, snowmachining, woodworking, farming, paintballing, and especially time spent with his family.
The light of his life was his family, Cortney, Mason and Avery. He was a loving son, grandson, brother, husband, father, cousin, nephew and friend to many. His kind, generous heart is an example to us all. We love him and will miss him greatly.
He is survived by his wife, Cortney; children, Mason Gust and Avery Vida; his parents, Michael and Kim Steinmann of Ashton; siblings, Gabriele (Bo) Nedrow of Churchill, Mont., Daniele (Trenton) Stevens of Rexburg, Robbie Steinmann and Mikiele Steinmann, both of Ashton; grandparents, Larry and Deanna Orme of Squirrel, and Herbert and Donna Steinmann of Ashton; and a great-grandfather, Nicholas Josiah Sommer of Ramona, California. He was preceded in death by a brother, Christopher.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21, at the Ashton LDS Stake Center, 516 North 2nd, with Bishop Hal Harrigfeld officiating. The family will visit with friends from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday and from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Wednesday before services, both at the church. Burial will be in the Ashton Pineview Cemetery
under the direction of Baxter Funeral Home of Ashton.
ST. ANTHONY -- Brad Wardle Garrett, 58, of St. Anthony, died Feb. 16, 2007, at his home of lung cancer.
He was born Sept. 21, 1948, in St. Anthony to Grover Garrett and Rayola Wardle Garrett. He grew up and attended schools in St. Anthony.
He married Tony Johnson; they divorced. He married Carla McAfee; they divorced. He and Carla lived in Kemmerer, Wyo., where he worked in the coal mines. He worked as a logger for Remingtons Logging and as a concrete mason for his father at Grover Garrett Ready Mix for many years.
Survivors include his children, Narni Mannon and Shondee Hess, both of Cheyenne, Wyo., and Kellee Garcia and Lesley Garrett, both of Arizona; his father, Grover Garrett of St. Anthony; a brother, Steven E. (Teresa) Garrett of Rexburg; and seven grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his mother.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20, in the Wilford LDS Church, with Bishop Dale Swensen officiating. The family will visit with friends from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday at Bidwell Funeral Home, 555 N. Yellowstone Highway in St. Anthony, and for one hour Tuesday before services at the church. Burial will be in Parker Cemetery.