Richard Neal White
”1944 - 2003”

    Richard Neal White

      Richard Neal White
      GROVE, Okla. - Richard Neal White, 59, died Wednesday, December 17, 2003, at his home in Grove. Richard White was born on June 5, 1944 in Miami, Okla., to Robert B. White, Sr. and Ada (Bent) White. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army and he worked as a brick mason during his lifetime. Mr. White was the Seneca Cayuga Tribe Ceremonial Chief and a member of the Wyandotte Color Guard. He was a member of the Intertribal Gourd Society and the Painted Horse War Dance Society. He was a teacher of the Seneca Cayuga Language and Cultural Society. He was also an elder at the Shawnee Ceremonial Grounds. Survivors include his children Tonya Blackfox and her husband Damian of Picher, Okla., and Rowena Kihega; six brothers, Reuben White of Joplin, Mo., Ronnie White of Quawpaw, Okla., Raymond "Louie" White of Catoosa, Okla., Ralph White of Grove, Roger White of El Reno, Okla. and Randy White of Grove; three sisters, Roberta Smith of N. Miami, Okla., Rosemary Fox of Miami, and Ruby Sequichie of Miami; long time friend and companion Mary "Dolly" Haney; and eight grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers and one son. Graveside services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, December 20, at Basset Grove Stomp Ground with Paul Barton and Ron White officiating. Visitation will be at Seneca Cayuga A.O.A. Services are under the direction of Worley-Luginbuel Funeral Home, Grove.
      Resource: Published on: 8/15/2000 ... Interview with Richard White ... When responsibility called Richard White accepted the position of Ceremonial Chief for the Seneca-Cayuga tribe and changed his life forever. White said he's held the position for about 10 years, but was Pot Hanger for about 20 years before that. Once seated as a Ceremonial Chief, it's a lifetime commitment. "I wasn't sure how I was going to learn the language," said White who learned some of the language used for prayers from his elders. He said one day his Aunt Ruby Diebold told him he was the chosen one, and when she was ready (to pass on the responsibility of Ceremonial Chief) she'd let him know. ... White said that was when he really became filled with the spirit. He added that before he was Ceremonial Chief, he drank too much.Consequently, along with his new ability to learn the language and no-fear attitude he stopped drinking. "I've never regretted a minute of being Ceremonial Chief." White did not acquire his position by chance.The position of Ceremonial Chief has been in his family for generations. ... White explained that in the winter he goes to the long house and lays down tracks. "I do this so our ancestors will still know we're here and won't forget us."According to White he does many things the members of the tribe that aren't immediately apparent. ... White said it's a mistake that happens all of the time. Although White comes from a long history of Ceremonial Chiefs, there were many things he had to learn on his own about the position.
      Richard White Passed 2003
      Richard is a member of the Seneca-Cayuga and Cheyenne Nations. ... When Bob died, the position passed to Richard to be Ceremonial Chief of the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma.This position made him head pot hanger or Faithkeeper as well as Speaker for the the traditional Clan Mothers headed by Kaye. Richard also teaches the Seneca-Cayuga language for the Language-Cultural Society, and also teaches the Seneca language one day a week at Turkey Ford Elementary School.He has served in the past on the Business Committee for the Seneca-Cayuga Nation.Richard is a U S. Army veteran and participates in Gourd Dancing. He is Second Chief of the Painted Horse War Dance Society.

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