Funeral services for Charles D. Locust, assistant chief of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma, will be held on Wednesday, March 26, at 1 p.m. at the Cherokee Baptist Association Tabernacle in Briggs, with Reverend Gil Hooper and Reverend Dale Wilson officiating. Personal remarks will be delivered by George Tiger, chief of the Muscogee Creek Nation, and Wahlesah Rose. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, March 25, at Reed-Culver Chapel from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m., with a wake service from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Interment will be held at Tyler Springs Cemetery in Stilwell. Online condolences for the family may be left at www.reedculver.com.
Pallbearers for Charles include Charley Barr, Terry Kingfisher, Herman Jimerson, Bryan Shade, J.D. Teehee, and J.C. Wilson. Honorary pallbearers include Bo Brancheau, Matt Brancheau, Jason Hill, Bryce Ketcher, Kevin Ketcher, Ralph Ketcher, John Smith and Brett Terrapin. Flowergirls will be Macy Goodwin, Tara Comingdeer, Cori Butcher, and Nekesha Dirteater.
Charles Dewayne Locust was born on Sept. 30, 1956 in Tahlequah, the son of Nan Locust. He obtained his Bachelors in Social Sciences from Northeastern State University. He married the love of his life and his best friend, Brenda Lee Hooper, on March 20, 1992 in Fayetteville, Ark. This union was blessed with 22 years and one adored daughter, Rozlyn.
Charles devoted his entire life to the betterment and preservation of the tribal people of Oklahoma. He served as assistant chief since 2005 and devoted 20 years in three tribal governments. He served as tribal executive director, tribal administrator, executive director of Housing Authority, director of Social Services, financial analyst, budget analyst, president of the Gaming Division, general manager of the Gaming Division, and executive director of the Gaming Commission. He served multiple terms on the Oklahoma Indian Affairs Commission, serving as liaison between the Oklahoma Tribal Population and governments and the Oklahoma State Government. He served two terms as vice president alternate for the Eastern Region of Oklahoma and the National Congress of American Indians. He was a proud member of the Keetoowah Nighthawk Society and Ceremonial Grounds.
Charles believed a man was only as good as his word. He never held a grudge and believed everyone deserved a chance to prove themselves. He was a gifted public speaker and eloquently spoke about a wide variety of topics affecting the people whom he served so proudly. He had a vision of helping the people to stand strong and wanted the tribal ways to be preserved for generations to come. He had a gentle nature that enabled him to take each day and handle the situations with understanding, with a wonderful sense of humor, and a way of diffusing discord before it became a problem. Charles never saw himself as a politician, but a man of the people, just wanting to do his job right.
With what little spare time he had, Charles loved his wife, daughter, family, and especially his grandson, Bronson. He enjoyed going fishing or watching the Thunder or OU sports. He worked tirelessly on genealogy and was very knowledgeable. His family was the most important part of life for Charles. He adored them. He found great comfort and pride in the many traditional ceremonies and grounds functions he attended. Charles had a strong heart and a will to serve.
Charles passed from this life on Saturday, March 22, in Stilwell, with his loving family close to his side. Charles was 57 years old.
He is preceded in death by his mother, Nan Locust; and his grandparents, Abraham and Mary Locust.
Those left to cherish his memory include his loving wife, Brenda of the home in Stilwell; his adored daughter, Rozlyn Locust and companion Braxton Redeagle of Stilwell; his brother and sisters, Wayne Terrapin of Muskogee, Jennie Tillery and husband Bill of Grove, and Marie Brancheau of Claremore; a grandson to carry on his legacy, Bronson Redeagle of Stilwell; as well as many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousin and a host of friends, loved ones and many people whose lives have been forever changed by this man of the people.
Reed-Culver Funeral Home, 117 W. Delaware, (918) 456-2551.