Chief Paul O’Dell Spicer
”1947 - 2023”

    Chief Paul O’Dell Spicer

    As the word is starting to spread, I would like to let family and friends know that my father, Paul Spicer passed away at 3:16 this morning. He had been sick for a very long time with kidney disease, but passed away from a severe stroke and brain bleeds. After retiring from the Air Force (22 years) he served as Chief of our tribe, the Seneca-Cayuga Nation.
    After “the machines” were turned off at 6pm, we played some of his favorite pow wow music, from the northern drums. For those who are unfamiliar, that is the very high pitched beautiful Native American music, his/our favorite. It brought back memories of better days. Here’s the thing, it isn’t like the movies, they don’t pass immediately.…we eventually turned the music off and waited. We laughed, we cried and laughed some more. It’s all a very strange process.
      Melanie Spicer Burrow

      Chief Paul O’Dell Spicer, former Chief of the Seneca-Cayuga tribe of Miami, OK, passed from this life at 3:16 a.m. on Wednesday, June 14th, 2023, at Mercy Hospital of Joplin, MO. Paul was born on August 1st, 1947 to Christopher Spicer and Joan (Nichols) Spicer Gamble at Miami Oklahoma Baptist Hospital. He resided in the Commerce and Miami area for most of his life.
      Paul was a graduate of the Commerce High School class of '65! He was united in marriage with Mary (Couch) Spicer in Cardin, OK, on August 29th, 1966. Paul was a member of Harmony Heights Baptist Church, Joplin, Mo.
      As a strong patriot, Paul wanted to serve his country, and in 1966 he joined the United States Air Force, making that a career for 23 years. He was stationed at several stateside bases and also served in Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Spain, and Germany.
      Through his dedication and hard work, Paul achieved the rank of Senior Master Sergeant. He received numerous metals, including the Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Air Force Good Conduct Medal with five oak leaf clusters, Air Force Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, NCO Professional Military Education Ribbon, Air Force Longevity Service Ribbon with four leaf clusters, National Defense Service Medal, AF Overseas Service Long Tour Ribbon with one leaf cluster, Vietnam Service Medal with three bronze service stars, Air Force Organizational Excellence Award, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with one oak cluster, the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, Republic of Vietnam Medal.
      Paul is currently a member of the D.A.V. Chapter #50, Miami, OK., and a member of the Oath Keepers.
      After retirement from the Air Force, Paul worked for Lockheed Saudi Arabia, drove for MNX Trucking, and owned several businesses in Oklahoma and Texas during the next 30 years.Senior master Sergeant, 22 years of service and participated in the Golden Gloves boxing program.
      He was extremely proud of his Native American heritage. Growing up, Paul camped many years at Green Corn and the Quapaw Pow-Wow! The Gourd Dance for Veterans and the Stomp Dance were his favorites. Paul served as Second Chief with Jerry Dilliner and then as Chief of the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe! During his term, Paul initiated the first tribal tags for the Seneca tribe and helped some of the other tribes set their tags up, built the first Fire Station on Tribal land, started new businesses, and was adamant about providing a better education for the youth of the Tribe. He also was chosen to speak to a Congressional Committee in Washington D.C. on behalf of American Indian Tribal Gaming.
      Paul enjoyed tending to and sharing his garden with others (especially that hot jelly and special garlic, lol), visiting with family and friends, cheering on the Sooners, and listening to music that reminded him of the good old days. He was easygoing and always willing to lend a helping hand and a listening ear. A storyteller and good friend, Paul loved laughing almost as much as he loved to make others laugh. He will be greatly missed.
      He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Reo and Opal Spicer; parents, Chris Spicer and Joan Gamble; brother M’Lee, Cha-Tay, Bernie Gamble; sister Jeannie “SueBear” (Spicer) Gerring; and niece Cathy Jo Hayworth. A celebration of life will be held at the Peoria Indian Community Building, Miami, OK, at 6:00 p.m. Thursday, June 22nd, 2023. In lieu of flowers, Paul requested donations be given to the “Lottie Moon Foreign Mission Fund” in care of Harmony Heights Baptist Church, Joplin, MO.
      Resource: Joplin News

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