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Marilyn John, Oneida Nation Bear Clan Mother, passes

ONEIDA, N.Y. - Marilyn John, an Oneida Indian Nation of New York Bear Clan Mother, died at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, N.Y., on Jan. 23. She was 61 years of age.

John was born on April 4, 1945, in Silver Creek, N.Y., the daughter of Homer ''Spider'' and Gladys White Patterson. She married Ronald John on June 24, 1963, in Silver Creek, N.Y. She earned her bachelor's degree in business administration and was doing her continuing education in environmental studies. She was a past leader for the Oneidas.

Nation officials said John was involved with Oneida-owned businesses and had served as a governmental leader for the tribe since the late 1980s. She was credited with helping the nation become more self-sufficient: ''Over the past 15 years, she was present and involved in every significant legal and political challenge the Nation faced, as well as its moments of great pride and success.'' She had a passion for care. She had been a resident of Oneida, N.Y., for the past 25 years.

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Surviving besides her husband, Ronald John, at home are one son; Gerald ''Pete'' John, of Brant, N.Y.; two daughters, Rene Jimerson of the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation in western N.Y. and Mandy E. Ceraulo of Oneida, N.Y.; two brothers, Charles Patterson of Canastota, N.Y., and the late John Patterson; four sisters, Gay Bailey of Glendale, Ariz., Kathleen Patterson of Canastota, Karen Patterson and Marcia Patterson; 11 grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

Burial was made in the Oneida Nation National Cemetery.