Laura Ardyth Major passed due to health complications Tuesday, May 16, 2017. Her birth date was Aug. 10, 1951, to Melvin Frederick Major and Lillian Oatman. Her grandparents were James and Jane Allen Oatman, and his parents from the Round Valley Indian Reservation in California. Her father was of the Pomo, Wailaki, Kon Kau and Uki tribes. She is a direct descendant of Old Chief Looking Glass, or Ah Pus Wa Heyet.
Her sisters were Marian Johnson Bohanan, Melvina “Hazel” Kills Crow, Raymond “Fred” Major and Melva A. Major. She was preceded in death by her sister Marian, nephew Melvin James McConville and her parents. There are many nieces, nephews and grandnieces and grandnephews.
She graduated from Riverside Indian School in Anadarko, Okla., in 1969 and then attended Haskell, earning a degree in cooking in 1972. She worked as a cook at the Wa A Yas Cafe, Commodity Foods, Talmaks, Pizza Cafe and was a community cook for funerals, memorials, Looking Glass Pow Wow, churches and many other gatherings, cooking where needed for tribal groups. She also was a member of the Nez Perce Tribal Resolutions Committee.
She was a strong and powerful advocate for Nez Perce people and very outspoken speaker for the people at the General Council meetings.
She was known as very friendly, outgoing, fun-loving, and she joked and laughed with all her relatives and friends. She shared her joy and happiness for life with all who knew her personally during her lifetime. All who knew her would have a great and wonderful time, as she enjoyed all who were with her.
The dressing ceremony was at 2 p.m. Thursday, May 18, 2017 at Trenary Funeral Home in Kooskia. Her remains was taken to the Wa A Yas Community Center for Christian services beginning at 7 p.m., Thuyrsday, May 18, 2017 followed by Walasat services. After morning services Friday,May 19, 2017 she was interred at Nez Perce Tribal Cemetery on No Kid Lane.
Trenary Funeral Home of Kooskia, Idaho assisted the family.