OBITUARY

Loretta Jean Shade "LoWeSi"

March 20, 1946March 29, 2021
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Loretta Jean Hadley Shade, or “Grandma, “Gigi”, “Uncle Retta”, Aunt Loretta , or just Sister, was born on March 20th, 1946 in Tahlequah, OK, the daughter of Rufus and Marjorie (Tucker) Henson. She grew up in the Lost City Community with her four sisters and one brother, Jerry Wayne Henson, Katherine Patterson, Gina Blackfox, Verna “Bonnie” Thompson, and Martha Ann Ketcher. She attended school and in August of 1962 she married Hastings Shade in Tahlequah, OK. Together they raised a family of three sons, Larry, Thomas, and Ronald. Their greatest accomplishment was raising these three fine young men. She adored her family, and stayed where she could cook, clean and be there for all of their sporting events. As the boys grew more independent, she turned her thoughts towards the Cherokee people, their culture and their language, and the impact it had on all of their lives. In true Loretta fashion, always wanting to be a blessing to the people she loved, she attended NSU, obtaining her Masters in Education, her degree in Counseling, and her Masters in the Cherokee Language. Everything about the Cherokee People instilled pride and a passion for preserving their lives, from the food they ate to the language that held them to their ancestors. This alone should have made her head and shoulders above the rest. Not Loretta. She remained true to herself, always staying humble to the gifts given her, and sharing her wealth of knowledge with everyone that wanted to learn. The table was always ready to receive another guest, no one left her home hungry. She cooked traditional food, gathered wild onions, watercress, and made the best dumplings, frybread and biscuits and gravy. She taught at NSU for over 18 years, teaching the Cherokee Language, and assisting untold numbers of students needing to obtain a GED to better their lives and the families they loved. What little time she had that wasn’t helping others, she loved to keep Hastings company, hunting and fishing. She could play softball, basketball, shoot cornstalks and bow and arrows with the best of them. She didn’t just raise her boys, she raised a community of young people, and they were treated like special guests at their home whenever they visited. She loved accompanying her family to the creek for the day and catching their meal for the evening. She packed as much fun and adventure in a day as it would hold. Her grandchildren were her pride and joy. She was always there, in the background, letting them know she was watching. In 2018 she was given the distinction of being honored as a National Treasure of the Cherokee Nation, a honor she never took lightly. Even when Hastings had passed on before her, she remained true to leaving her family and friends better off for having known her. A Baptist by faith, she attended both Keener and Swimmer Baptist Churches. With her work completed, she passed from this life on March 29th, 2021 following her 75th birthday. She has shown a generation of people what can be if everyone teaches the next generation to come.

She is preceded in death by her grandparents, David and Maggie (Rabbit) Tucker, and Richard and Emily (Keener) Henson. She joins her husband, her parents, Rufus and Margie Henson, one nephew, Scottie Blackfox and a brother-in-law, Thurman Blackfox.

She leaves her legacy, three sons, Larry Shade and wife Shelley, Thomas Wayne Shade, and Ronald Shade, all of Lost City. She leaves her brother and sisters, Reverend Jerry Henson of Lost City, OK, Katherine Patterson of Tahlequah, Gina Blackfox, Bonnie Thompson both of Lost City, and Martha Ann “Mert” Ketcher and husband Ralph Jr. of Mount Juliet, TN. She lives on in the four grand and seven great grandchildren, Chad Shade and wife Danielle of Tahlequah, Dustin Shade and wife Samantha of Shady Grove, OK, Katie Shade of Lost City, and Heather Roach of Muskogee, OK. Her great grandchildren are Christian Botts, Jake Botts and Coby Botts all of Lost City, Thea Shade of Shady Grove, and three soon-to-be born additions to her legacy, Braylen Shade, and twins Noah and Norah Shade, as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of students whose lives she touched over the years.

Funeral services for Loretta Jean Hadley-Shade will be held on Thursday, April 1st, 2021 at 2:00 PM at Reed-Culver Funeral Home with Pastor Sam Keener, Pastor Jim Carey, Former Principal Chief Bill John Baker, Former Principal Chief Joe Byrd, and Jerry Henson officiating. Loretta’s pallbearers include Kyle Ketcher, Aidan Carey, Johnny D. Meigs, Thane Patterson, Ethan Thompson, and Dustin Shade. Her honorary pallbearers include Former Principal Chief Bill John Baker, Former Principal Chief Joe Byrd, Chris Teuton, former lifetime running mate Reverend Jimmy Carey, Dr. Neil Morton and all of the students she taught to preserve the Cherokee Language. Her family will have a visitation on Wednesday, March 31st, 2021 beginning at 1:00 PM until 4:00 PM and then a Wake Service from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM at Reed-Culver. She will be laid to rest at Keener Cemetery next to her husband, Former Deputy Chief Hastings Shade. Online condolences for Loretta may be left at www.reedculver.com.

  • PALLBEARERS

  • Kyle Ketcher
  • Aidan Carey
  • Johnny D. Meigs
  • Thane Patterson
  • Ethan Thompson
  • Dustin Shade
  • Former Chief Bill John Baker, Honorary
  • Former Chief Joe Byrd, Honorary
  • Chris Teuton, Honorary
  • Jimmy Carey, Honorary
  • Her Cherokee Language Students, Honorary

Services

  • Visitation

    Wednesday, March 31, 2021

  • Wake Service

    Wednesday, March 31, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Thursday, April 1, 2021

Memories

Loretta Jean Shade "LoWeSi"

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Sandra Whitecrow

April 12, 2021

I had the pleasure of working with, Mrs. Shade at UKB in 2015. She is an amazing lady. Later on we met up again at Cherokee Nation. I would see her at the speaker's bureau meetings. It was so good to see her again. She is truly a Cherokee National Treasure. She will always be in my heart.

Lisa Moss

April 12, 2021

Loretta was truly a wonderful woman. She was always there to help, regardless of the task. She had such a positive attitude, and her smile would brighten even the darkest day.

The entire Lost City community will miss her.

Susan Stacy

April 1, 2021

I am so sorry to hear about sweet Loretta. I worked with Loretta at the UKB Indian Child Welfare department in 2015. She was such a sweet and beautiful woman. I admire her love for her people and culture. Loretta, welcomed me to get family reunion and she made you feel like family. I’d go visit her on those spring afternoon and she’d tell me stories about her family catching Crawfish in the nearby creek and helping me learn Cherokee. Fly high Mrs. Loretta may up sit by the Lord. Much love and respect, Susan Alexander Stacy

Cynthia Blackfox

April 1, 2021

I am so heartbroken by this loss. I loved Loretta. She was such a sweetheart and would always greet me with a hug and a smile. We go back many years, all the way to the early 70s. I will always cherish my memories of her. She will be missed.

Regina Harris

April 1, 2021

I was truly blessed to know Loretta. We had known one another a long time and then I took her Cherokee classes at NSU. She was a phenomenal teacher. I loved taking these classes as much as she enjoyed teaching them. It wasn't just about language. She included much about our culture, foods, history and more. She, along with Verna and the family enjoyed my Sweet Potato Pie. She always spoke when we would run into one another. Hastings, her children, grandchildren and family were the lights of her life, sparkle in her eyes and smile on her face. I'm a better person from knowing Loretta. She will be missed but I know she's with Hastings walking the streets of gold in her knew body in Heaven. Until we meet again my friend. With much love, Regina Harris

Carolyn Allen

March 31, 2021

To all the family,

Loretta was so special. I visited with her by phone not long ago.
We had a great conversation. Our hearts are sad and grieve with you, yet we rejoice that she has made it home.

Love to all,
Carolyn Allen
The Allen girls

Sylvia Rankin

March 31, 2021

Godspeed, dear Loretta. I know you will be happy to be at Hastings' side again. I will never forget the hog fry and gospel singing when I met you.

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