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Last Wichita speaker passes away

Doris Lamar (Source Travis Heying) Doris Lamar (Source Travis Heying)

ANADARKO, OK (KSWO) – Doris Jean Lamar-McLemore, the last remaining Wichita speaker, passed away on August 30, 2016.

“I ask you to stop for a moment and say a prayer for the Wichita people. A tribe having their language keeps the flame burning just that much brighter, this morning the Wichita people's flame flickered when the last fluent speaker journeyed on. I know her journey will be swift and direct into the waiting arms of Grandpa Walter, Grandma Husheah and Dad, they will all be excitedly speaking Wichita and the skies will fill with their joy. Just a few short weeks ago she told me stories when the four of them lived together on the hill. Together they will greet all of our relatives who have gone on before and the stories will go on and on,” said Doris’ nephew, Walter Lamar, on Facebook.

Doris Jean Lamar McLemore was born April 16, 1927 in Lawton, Oklahoma to Mae Lamar of Gracemont. Doris was raised by her grandparents Walter and Hushseah Lamar. She graduated from Riverside Indian School in 1947.

She was a proud member of the Wichita Tribe. After 30 years of service, she retired from Riverside Indian School. She also worked at Concho Indian School and the Wichita Tribe of Oklahoma. Doris held numerous positions with the Wichita Service Club, serving meals and honoring our tribal veterans. She was also an honorary grandparent to the Wichita Little Sisters.

Doris and Dr. David Rood from the University of Colorado began a preserving the Wichita language in the mid-1960s. It was a project Doris was passionate about that spanned more than forty years. The video interviews were provided by Travis Heying and Walter Lamar. Heying interviewed Doris seven years ago and Walter Lamar shared his interview for the first time nearly two years ago.

Prayer service will be held at 7:00 pm on September 1 at the Wichita Tribe Community Building.


Copyright 2016 KSWO. All rights reserved.

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