Memorials and Monuments

Memorials and Monuments

From Lisa Christiansen

Did you know the Native American Tribes do not pay for headstones, there are innumerable graves without headstones; I have been providing from my own resources. Imagine how many families will feel fulfilled by your help.

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Update #4

about 1 year ago

Here is the most recent completed headstone seated at Rocky Point Cemetery.

Thank you to each person helping raise funds to place headstones on unmarked graves of our ancestors, elders, and tribal brothers and sisters who can not afford headstones. Please consider donating as this comes from my own resources, every dollar helps bring more headstones to fill the cemeteries of the forgotten to help loved ones find their families.

Thank you Jimmy Beggs of Parsons-Canoe-Beggs Funeral Home for another beautiful headstone of master craftsmanship.

We have lots more to complete and I am abundantly grateful to have you in this mission of keeping our ancestors memories alive with a place for others to visit with loved ones.

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Imagine you or a loved one having only a plastic marker the size of a 3x5 card or none at all to be your memorial site, it is much like an unmarked grave and in some cases it is an unmarked grave. Imagine your descendants not being able to visit because they can't find you. Well, this is what inspired my passion to place headstones on the graves of family and even those who are not family because our history is being lost along with our elders. 

I went to visit my mom and couldn't find her because I remembered where she was buried only by a landmark of a tree that was not longer there, she passed when I was only 8 years young so it was a challenge to locate her since others around her didn't have a headstone. When my Daddy passed away I knew he had to have a headstone and sadness overwhelmed me enough to decide to do something about it.

Would each of you be willing to donate any amount towards being a part of a movement to help loved ones find their family members please.

~Lisa

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Lisa Christiansen posted a new update:
about 1 year ago

Update #4

Here is the most recent completed headstone seated at Rocky Point Cemetery.

Thank you to each person helping raise funds to place headstones on unmarked graves of our ancestors, elders, and tribal brothers and sisters who can not afford headstones. Please consider donating as this comes from my own resources, every dollar helps bring more headstones to fill the cemeteries of the forgotten to help loved ones find their families.

Thank you Jimmy Beggs of Parsons-Canoe-Beggs Funeral Home for another beautiful headstone of master craftsmanship.

We have lots more to complete and I am abundantly grateful to have you in this mission of keeping our ancestors memories alive with a place for others to visit with loved ones.

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Lisa Christiansen posted a new update:
over 1 year ago

Update #3

My mission is to have a headstone on all graves, every life should have a monument.

Fayeola Spears Vann Born March 7, 1936 in rural Tahlequah, Indian Territory, Oklahoma to Sallie Ann Dick (born 12/07/1912) and Percy Spears lived a life filled with uncertainty and a knowledge that if there was one fundamental absolute it was love, the unconditional love of her elders.
Fayeola Spears was a child that was no stranger to work because of her unique circumstance of being born speaking Cherokee with very limited English she would find herself attending school for a short few years to return to work with family members picking strawberries, cotton, and babysitting until she met and married Mack Vann.

Fayeola Spears Vann was preceded in death by her sister Mary Ann Groundhog Eslinger (Sosti Groundhog, 10/23/1947 - 01/26/1975) her Mother Sallie Ann Groundhog (12/07/1912 - 05/17/1980,) and her adopted father George Washington Groundhog (08/21/1913 - 02/18/1979 one of the original "Code Talkers") and is survived by her husband Mack Vann born March 06, 1951 and her niece (daughter of Mary Ann Groundhog) Dr. Lisa Christine Christiansen born September 04, 1966 whom she adopted when Lisa was only 8 years old after the passing of her sister, Lisa's mother Mary Ann Eslinger.

The services for Mrs. Fayeola Spears Vann was held at the Cedar Tree Baptist Assembly Grounds with a capacity of over 600 and the ceremony brought in over 1,000 people to include Chief John Ross, Brody Jones, Local Government figures both Tribal and State.

Fayeola Spears Vann loved being a housewife and always strived for perfection, her favorite self made quote was "Just because we are poor is no excuse for filthy" as she would sweep "dirt" floors, clean a wood bench with bleach and wash clothes in the creek as we bathed in the Illinois River.

May you rest in peace, I love you. I am listening to everything even to this day I hear you so loudly with a clarity that exceeds your actions... You are missed.

VANN, F 07 Mar 1936 Jan 1996 59 (not specified) (none specified) Oklahoma

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Lisa Christiansen posted a new update:
over 1 year ago

Update #2

My mission is to have a headstone on all graves, every life should have a monument.

On Thursday, May 2nd Katie Vann Adair of Sallisaw departed this life to be reunited in Heaven with her husband, children and grandchildren who passed on before her. Born on June 27th, 1924 in Bunch, Oklahoma to James and Susie Vann, Katie was the last surviving of 9 children born to James and Susie. Katie was also one of last monolingual Cherokee speakers still with us. On January 3, 1943 Katie was married to John Adair to whom she remained married until his passing on December 9, 2002. During their time together, Katie and John brought 6 children into the world: Johnny Adair, Mary Duvall, Jimmy Adair, Louella Frazier, Donald Adair, and Michelle Adair. Throughout her life, Katie passed down the wisdom she gained from hard times and from growing up in a close-knit community where family, friends and neighbors took care of each other. She was a treasure chest of information on ancestry and on family trees that went back generations. Anyone who approached Katie as a stranger walked away from her as a friend. As a member of New Beginnings Church in Sallisaw Katie built lifelong friendships as she grew in her faith and as she grew in the hearts of the many people whose lives she touched. She used her love of crocheting and quilting by creating hand-made gifts as a member of the Busy Bees in Sallisaw. Katie kept her mind sharp by working word search puzzles and kept her spirit young by dancing to "I Saw The Light" and other songs that she loved.

Katie is survived by her children, Johnny and Alivada Adair, Donald and Joanne Adair, Michelle Adair and George Cheater Jr.; grandchildren, Joey Duvall, Heather Anderson, Ryan Adair, Chad Adair, Stone Girty, Charlotte and Kara Lowery; great-grandchildren, Jessika and Jamey Duvall, Seth and Sayde Anderson, Hope, Darian and Kristen Adair, River and Eagle Cheater, Trinity, King and Steeler Adair, Kaelyn Little Thunder, Destin and Angel Adair, Ethan, Elijah, Elliot, Eden, Ean and Em Girty, a host of family members and many friends.

Katie was preceded in death by her husband, John Adair; daughter, Mary Duvall; son, Jimmy Adair; daughter, Louella Frazier; and grandsons, Zachary and Kerry Adair.

Visitation will be held Monday, May 06, 2019 from 6-8pm in the Sequoyah Memorial Chapel at Forever Memories Funeral Services, 463505 Hwy 101, Sallisaw, OK. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, May 07, 2019 at New Beginnings Church in Sallisaw at 11am with Joey Duvall officiating. Katie will be laid to rest next to her husband John at Rocky Point Cemetery in Sequoyah County with her grandsons acting as pallbearers. Honorary casket bearers will her all her loving nephews, and the flower girls will be all her loving nieces.

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Lisa Christiansen posted a new update:
over 1 year ago

Update #1

My mission is to have a headstone on all graves, every life should have a monument.

Mack Vann, son of James and Susie (Ellis) Vann, was born March 6, 1931 in Bunch, Oklahoma. He departed this life, to be with his Lord and Savior, on April 22, 2019 in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, at the age of 88 years, 1 month and 15 days.
He was preceded in death by: his parents; wife, Fayeola Vann; sisters, Eliza Augurhole, Lydia Vann; brothers, George, William, Jack, Allen, Dirthrower Vann; nephews, Roger Vann, Mack Buzzard; nieces, Mary DuVall and Louella Adair.

Mack was the last monolingual Cherokee speaker and was cherished by many. Mack Vann was one of an estimated 50 Cherokee monolingual speakers in eastern Oklahoma in 2014, one of whom was his sister Katie Vann Adair. Mack Vann was a descendant of Andrew Ross, the brother of Cherokee Chief John Ross, who led thousands of Cherokees to Indian Country during their forced removal from the southeastern United States.

Mack had a sense of humor that was out of this world. He was soft spoken and could make anyone roll out of their seat in laughter. Mack was a traditional bow maker and healer. He spent his spare time helping other Cherokee speakers understand the language. He helped so much that he earned the nickname, “Walking Cherokee Dictionary”. He loved visiting the Holy City of the Wichitas where he is a citizen, stopping by to see his friends and to help as much as possible at the Cherokee Master Program. He also tried to attend as many hog fry’s as he could and loved taking pictures with the buffaloes. His additional hobbies included, hunting, fishing, playing pool and of course, the casino.
Mack is survived by a very loving family that includes: daughter, Lisa Christine Vann-Christiansen; grandchildren, Ciarre and Cherise; great-grandchildren, Bobbie and Izabella; sister, Katie Adair; special friends, John Bunch, Leon and Sue Buckhorn. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins, a host of other relatives and many friends.

A visitation will be held Thursday, April 25, 2019, 5:00 p.m. at the New Baptist Church, Bunch, Oklahoma. Funeral services will be Friday, April 26, 2019, 1:00 p.m. at the Cedar Tree Baptist Church, Briggs, Oklahoma. Brother Charlie Shell will officiate. Interment to follow in the Rocky Point Cemetery, Sequoyah County.

Funeral arrangements entrusted to the Parsons-Canoe-Beggs Funeral Home, Collinsville, Oklahoma.

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