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Wanda Juanita Mathis Chilton
September 28, 1927 ~ January 1, 2024 (age 96) 96 Years Old
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On 9/28/1927 Wanda Juanita Mathis Chilton was born in Pittsburg, KS as a member of the Cherokee tribe. When she was Two years old The Great Depression hit and shortly after The Dust Bowl happened. She became an "Okie,” which is a term for the very poor migrants from Oklahoma, also being a woman, and Native American life seemed to promise nothing but struggle. She experienced and lived through times most of us only heard about from our history books such as: WWII, The Cold War, the end of Segregation (Civil Rights), the coronation of Queen Elizabeth. Television/color television, Voting Rights Act which gave Native Americans the right to vote in 1965 (she would have been 38 years old at this time) and so much more. Through her 96 years on Earth she remained a kind and loving person. She was always in a positive mood and valued family MOST. All she ever wanted was for her family to be together. She could often be heard saying "As long as you have a roof over your head, some food, and gas in your car to go somewhere you got it made." She did not care about, or focus on fancy things. She held tight to her Native heritage and traditions. Native American beadwork was a passion of hers. She had 3 children, 8 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren. To everyone she met, she became “grandma.” She made everyone feel welcome at her home, and you couldn't leave without eating something. In the early moments of the new year, she decided that 96 years had been long enough and it was time to go home.