OKA Mary

Posted: November 19th, 2013

(Istoitsimaan) Fish Eater Clan Last of the original Crop Eared Wolf Family January 7, 1930 – November 11, 2013 With overwhelming sadness, we announce the passing of our dearly beloved mother on Monday, November 11, 2013 at the Cardston Health Center surrounded by her children.

Although, in tremendous pain, through sheer will and determination, she made it to her special day, November 11th and made her transition shortly after the last post was played. Born on the Blood Reserve, she attended St. Mary’s Residential school, met her husband, WW11 Gunnery Mike Oka who served in the Canadian Armed Forces, and worked side by side with him to provide for their 14 children. Widowed at the age of 39, Mom continued the cattle operation and raising horses, some of which were sold as bucking horses to Reg Kesler. Out in the field every summer driving a tractor, cutting, mowing, bailing, loading and stacking hay, digging post holes, stringing barb wire, herding cattle on horse back, branding and taking cattle to market she was a role model to her Nieces and Nephews who fondly referred to her as Mrs. O and who often remarked “if Mrs. O can do it so can you”. Ever a humble woman her accomplishments included upgrading at LCC and graduating from a drapery course. She graduated from Nechi as an addictions counselor & received a certificate from an entrepreneurial course. She worked in Lethbridge for a company making drapes for a few years. She was a member of the Tribe’s TLU elders and testified on behalf of the Tribe on the Aker’s ICC and Big Claim Inquiry. She was a member of the Horn Society for 17 years and being a strong Catholic she managed to travel to Medjugori. She excelled in soft ball and friends often commented on how good she was at the game and travelled the handgame trail extensively with her daughters. She devoted her life to her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and lived to enjoy great, great, great grandchildren. She encouraged and supported her children through school, college and university and was there at every graduation, convocation, birth, christening, birthdays, anniversaries and was a pillar of strength during difficult times. With the support of the late WW11 spouses & late WW11 Vets, Mom spearheaded the pursuit of the Rememberance Day ceremony on the reserve & after years of intense lobbying was successful in having a memorial ceremony in honor of all vets every year as well as having a statute erected by the Administration building with the names of all WW1, WW2 , Korean & Vietnam Veterans. Mom leaves to mourn her passing, daughters: Mary Ann Murao (Roy), Dorothy (Dennis) Louise Marie, Veronica, Jackie, Roxanne (Henry), sons: Mike (Marlene), Jimmy (Joyce), Russell (Merldene); 43 grandchildren, 76 great grandchildren, 12 great, great grandchildren; sister niece Rosabel Yellow Wings; nephew brother Andy Crop Eared Wolf; adopted daughter Lillian McKay & adopted son Casey Scott; sister in law Theresa (Tony) Fox; by her Nieces and Nephews. Extended family includes Crop Eared Wolf, Creightons, Shades, Eagle Plume, Small Face, Standing Alone,Many Fingers and Russells. Preceded in death by 4 daughters, 1 son & 2 sons in law: Gabriel, Baby Mary, Esther & Keith Rides At The Door, Cathy, Peter & Franklin Wells; Great Grand sons: Baby Micheal Wallace Oka, Baby Sage First Rider; Parents, Aloy & Theresa Crop Eared Wolf, brothers & sisters’ in law: Joe & Louise, Reggie & Alvine, Pat and Ruth Wings, Agnus & Harry Shade, Jim & Rosie Red Crow, Flora Creighton; In Laws: Esther (Russell) & Steve, Wallace, Wilbur & Oliver Oka, Pat & Paula Weasel Head, Pat, Charlie & Irene, Margaret & Jack Many Bears, Helen & Martin McDougall. The family would like to thank the wonderful care she received from the following nurses: Paul Taylor, Van Singer, Tina Pace, Phillip, Dwayne, Happy and Dr. Cunningham. The Wake Service will be held at the Senator Gladstone Hall, Blood Reserve on Sunday, November 17th, 2013 from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. (a live-in Rosary will be held at 8pm) and continue all night at Mary Louise’s residence. The Funeral Mass will be held at the St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Blood Reserve on Monday, November 18th at 11:00 a.m. Interment in the Oka Family Cemetery. E-mail your condolences to: legacyfh@telus.net

One Condolence for “OKA Mary”

  1. Mary Ann Murao says:

    Mom, I think of you everyday. Can’t come to terms that you’re gone. I still have your cell number in my phone. I talk to you in my heart every day. I miss you more than I can say. Thank you for all the love and support you gave me all these years. I pray for you every day and will untill I see you again. You were the best mom and I know that you’re OK. Love, Mary Ann.

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