Norma Osage Byrd
Norma Osage Byrd, 80, Pawhuska OK, Osage Nation Historic Preservation Traditional Cultural Advisor, died February 6, 2013, at Clarehouse Hospice, Tulsa OK, from an unexpected illness.
Norma was born in Ralston OK on July 18, 1932 to Joseph Osage, Osage Original Allottee 37 and Mabel Kihega Osage, of the Iowa Tribe of OK and she resided at times in Fairfax OK and Columbus GA.
Norma was steadfast to her Native identity and was from the Osage Big Chief Band with grandparents Osage Original Allottees: Monkahsoppy, 35, and Heahtome, 36 and she was the granddaughter of Julia White Cloud Kihega and Chief Charles Kihega and the greatgranddaughter of Chief Jefferson White Cloud and Susan White Cloud of the Iowa Tribe of OK.
After attending public and parochial schools on the Osage Reservation and in Kansas, Norma Osage graduated from Fairfax High School and then attended Oklahoma AM College, Stillwater.
Norma Byrd worked in Pawhuska, OK, Los Angeles, CA, Phoenix, AZ, Washington, DC, Anchorage, AK, Tulsa, OK, and Columbus, GA for different employers during her life, but she was most honored to have a career at the Bureau of Indian Affairs starting at the Osage Agency, later under the future Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Robert L. Bennett, and ending with Eugene F. Suarez, Sr., Chief, Division of Law Enforcement Services, BIA. Norma worked for WRBLTV for George Gingell, a popular Columbus GA journalist.
Kindness, love, and prayer were Normas greatest gifts in life, and she had a happy and valiant temperament.
Norma was born into the Eagle Clan or clan of her Father the Golden Eagle.
Proud of her heritage, Norma Osage Byrd valued her tribal culture, the Gray Horse community, and Native affairs as she worked to better the Osage preservation efforts and made an unsuccessful bid for tribal chairman in 1995. She was a member of the NCAI, PahSueLee Club, Osage Language participant, and sat on different boards during her life. Always supporting her children and familys legacy of providing quality and successful management, principles, and values, Norma believed in a strong and contemporary tribal government for the betterment of all Native people. Her birthright was from the traditional hereditary chieftain of her forefathers. Norma made some unpublished oral histories on her tribes and family. Her voice will be missed in the halls of Native government.
Norma was a member of the Catholic Church and she made many contributions: physical, educational, and monetary to her parishes. She made the trip to Rome to meet Pope John Paul II at the beatification of Native Catherine Tekakwitha in June 1980, aka: Saint Kateri Tekakwitha. Norma went to St. Louis School on the Osage Reservation under the future Saint Mary Katharine Drexel.
Survivors include: many relatives from both the Osage and Iowa Tribes sons: James Roman Dailey, Jr., Stillwater, William H. Byrd, III, Pawhuska, Norman Joseph Byrd, Buena Vista, GA and Patrick Amos Byrd, Columbus, GA daughter, Kimberly Anne Bear, Sand Springs 13 grandchildren six greatgrandchildren and one sister, Corena Leland, Pawhuska. Norma was preceded in death by her parents, grandparents, brothers: Joseph L. Osage and Carl E. Osage, sisters: Helen Burnett, Vivian Big Eagle, Mary L. Cox, and numerous nephews and nieces.
Norma Osage Byrd will lie in state at the Gray Horse Chapel east of Fairfax OK until the funeral. A rosary service will be held at 7:00 p.m. February 8, 2013 at the Gray Horse Chapel. A Native service will be held at Saturday, February 9th at 8 a.m. at the Gray Horse Chapel with Osage Roadman Andrew Gray Jr. officiating. A funeral mass will be held at 930 a.m., February 9, 2013 at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Fairfax Oklahoma with Father Bruce Brosnahan officiating. Burial will be in the City of Hominy Cemetery and an Osage Feast will be given in Normas honor at noon in the Hominy Community Building, Hominy Indian Village. Arrangements are under the direction of the HunsakerWooten Funeral Home in Fairfax, OK.
Casket bearers will be Phillip Byrd, Stewart Byrd, Elijah Bear, Darren McGhee, John Leland, Joe Pratt, and Logan Horn.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Clarehouse in the name of Norma Osage Byrd, 7617 S. Mingo Road, Tulsa, OK 74133.