Marcus John Oatman Sr., 85
Marcus, Tok-Lik-See-May, meaning No Hunter in NiMiiPuu, was born March 26, 1926, in Kamiah, to James and Jane Allen Oatman. He entered into rest in Cottonwood with family by his side March 24, 2012. He was a Nez Perce tribal member.
He is a direct descendant of Old Chief Looking Glass through his father, James Oatman, and a direct descendant of Chief Timothy through his mother, Jane Allen Oatman.
Marcus served in the U.S. Army during World War II from 1944 to 1946. He completed his basic training at Camp Wolters, Texas, north of Fort Worth. He shipped out from San Francisco to the Philippines, where he was assigned to the 32nd Red Arrow Division in the Southwest Pacific. He spent three months straight on the front lines and fought on the Villa Verda Trail. He was on the Highway 11 and fought north of Bageo, and then was pulled off the lines to go to Japan, ending up in Okinawa, Japan. He lost most of his unit during his tour, including his best friend. Marcus served a total of 18 months overseas. He received the Philippine Liberation Medal with one Bronze Service Star, Asiatic Pacific Theater Service Medal, Victory Medal Army of Occupation Medal (Japan), and the Good Conduct Medal. He was honorably discharged.
He married his wife, Jeanette Jackson, Oct. 25, 1948, in Kamiah. They lived in Orofino from 1949 to 1958 and then returned to Kamiah. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary Oct. 25, 1998, and they renewed their vows at this time.
He went to school until the eighth grade. He received an honorary high school diploma from Kamiah High School on Veterans Day.
Mr. Oatman worked at mills in Weippe, Orofino, PFI in Kamiah, Potlatch of Lewiston and Grangeville. After he retired from the Grangeville mill, he went to work for the Nez Perce Tribe in the Fisheries Department. He worked there for four years. He also worked at It Se' Ye Ye Casino in Kamiah.
He enjoyed traveling, hunting, camping, root digging, huckleberry picking, trapping, going to the mountains, and fishing. He fished the Clearwater River, Rapid River, Selway River, and the South Fork of the Salmon River. He enjoyed watching his kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids play sports. He also liked to travel to the Nez Perce battlefields at Stites, White Bird, Big Hole, Bear Paw and Oklahoma. He loved to read and play cards. He also enjoyed spending time with his family and friends.
Marcus was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Jeanette; six sisters; four brothers; a daughter, Roberta Teo; and grandchildren Matthew and Violet Oatman. He is survived by his brother; two daughters; and four sons. He has 28 grandchildren and 51 great-grandchildren.
A memorial was at 7 p.m. Monday at the Wa-A-'Yas, and the funeral is at 10 a.m. today at the Wa-A-'Yas with burial to follow at Kamiah Indian Cemetery, dinner will follow burial at the Wa-A-'Yas. Trenary Funeral Home of Kooskia is in charge of the arrangements.
Lewiston Tribune, March 27, 2012, p. 5C
Transcribed by Jill Leonard Nock
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