Holy Road

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Carney C. Saupitty Sr., 83, passes

APACHE, Okla. - Carney C. Saupitty Sr., 83, Comanche, died April 11 at Reynolds Army Community Hospital. One of the last people of full Comanche ancestry, he was born Sept. 4, 1924, on his mother's allotment near Mount Scott.

He was born to Elizabeth Chibitty Saupitty and William Saupitty Sr. He was a great-grandson of the Kotsoteka Principal Chief Mow-way and of Kotsoteka/Kwahada Chief Kawertzeme. He was a direct descendant of Saw-dee-you and Iron Mountain, both of whom signed the Medicine Lodge Peace Treaty of 1867.

He attended Mount Scott School, Fort Sill Indian School and Elgin Public Schools. Saupitty was a graduate of Haskell Institute of Lawrence, Kan., where he was elected as the Campus Brave of 1945 by the student body. He also graduated from Cameron Junior College - Lawton. While at Cameron, he was named Outstanding Graduating Indian Student in 1957.

In 2008, Saupitty was a recipient of Cameron University's Golden Associate Medallion.

He married Dolores Jean Codopony in Phoenix April 15, 1955. He worked for Douglass Aircraft in Oklahoma City; Hawthorn Aviation and Page Aircraft at Fort Sill; and retired from civil service in 1986 from the Department of the Air Force at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas.

Saupitty had participated as a guest speaker on Indian history with the Title IV federal Indian programs and the multicultural fair for enlisted soldiers at Fort Sill. He had served as a speaker and presenter on Comanche history and culture at various events in Texas and Oklahoma. He made presentations at the Hutchinson County Historical Museum in Borger, Texas; the Stinnett Public Schools in Stinnett, Texas; the Plains Panhandle Museum in Canyon, Texas; the Adobe Walls Historical Battle Site, Palo Duro Canyon; the 125th anniversary of the Red River Wards in Canyon, Texas; and the University of Texas - Arlington Campus' ''The Spirit of Place'' symposium.

He was a presenter at the Museum of the Great Plains in Lawton; Comanche Peak Landmark in Granbury, Texas; Rogers State University, in Tulsa; and the Comanche/Shoshone Reunions at Fort Hall, Idaho, and Elko, Nev. Saupitty was also one of six honored speakers at the Washita Battlefield Symposium, sponsored by the National Park Service and held in Cheyenne.

In 2007, he was recognized as an honored elder by the Comanche Elder Council. He shared his knowledge of Comanche history and language with Daniel J. Gelo of the University of Texas - San Antonio; Mary Jane Warde of the Oklahoma Historical Society; Joaquin Martinez of Texas State University - San Marcos; Tom Alex, chief archaeologist of Big Bend National Park in Texas; Steve Black of the National Park Service; and Alice Anderton, linguist with the International Wordpath Society. He was recognized as a Comanche language scholar by the Comanche Language Committee.

Saupitty had served as a Comanche language teacher and trainer in various language immersion and dictionary projects. He had served as a presenter for the language immersion training efforts of the Comanche Nation Language Committee, the Shawnee Nation of Shawnee and the Creek Nation of Okmulgee. He was a member of the Comanche Native American Church and the oldest active member of the church. He was also a member of the Sac & Fox Native American Church.

He is survived by a son, Carney C. Saupitty Jr.; a grandson, Charles L. ''Sonny'' Jones, Broken Arrow; two great-grandsons, Jarrett Jones and Jace Jones, both of Broken Arrow; two sisters, Vivian Goody and Marie Tonips, both of Lawton; and a brother, Stanford Saupitty, Lawton.

He was preceded in death by his parents; an infant sister; three sisters, Lauretta May Saupitty, Deloris Fay Saupitty and Clara Saupitty Kaywaykla; and four brothers, William Saupitty Jr., Tennyson Saupitty, Floyd Saupitty and Larry Saupitty.