Richard Teesatuskie – obituary

by Mar 6, 2012OBITUARIES0 comments

     Richard Teesatuskie, 67, of Cherokee passed away on March 2, 2012 at his home following a period of declining health.  He was a member of the Yellowhill community. He was an active member of the Yellowhill Baptist Church and was the piano player until his death.  He played piano at the church the Sunday before he passed away.

     Richard had retired from Indian Health Service where he had worked as a Registered Nurse and had served as Assistant Director of Nurses before his retirement. He had served in many positions, both on the inpatient ward, outpatient clinic, and ER, including EEO Officer, Infection Control Officer, and also served on the planning committee for the present hospital. He was known by the patients and staff for his kindness and compassionate spirit. He had worked at many Indian Health Service Facilities throughout the country until he returned home in the early 1970’s to be of service to his people.  While at Santa Fe, NM he continued to pursue his interest in jewelry making and became an expert silversmith. He was known for his handcrafted silver and turquoise jewelry. He had taught jewelry making at SCC during the 1980’s and many of the staff members of Cherokee Hospital were the proud recipients of his unique silver and turquoise name tags. After retiring, he operated FBI Traders with his brothers and sold handcrafted jewelry and native crafts.

     Richard was the son of Jonah Teesatuskie and Stella Arch Teesatuskie who had both passed away several years ago.  He also was preceded in death by a brother, David Arch of Kingsport, TN.

     He is survived by his daughters, Renee Smart of Cherokee, Kim Peone of Cherokee and Tina Teesatuskie, of Spokane, WA, and son, Gary Teesatuskie of Cherokee. He is also survived by his brothers, Roy Teesatuskie, Reuben Teesatuskie, and Raymond Teesatuskie of Cherokee; sisters, Rosalee Teesatuskie, Ramona Standingdeer, and Rowena Teesatuskie, all of Cherokee;  ten grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

     The family will receive friends at the Christ Fellowship Church on Wednesday March 7, 2012 beginning at 5 PM.  The body will remain at the church until the service hour of 1 PM on Thursday March 8, 2012. Burial will follow at the Drama Cemetery.

     The Rev. Ritchie Sneed, the Rev. Foreman Bradley, and the Rev. James “Bo” Parris will officiate.  Family members and friends will serve as Pall Bearers. 

     Long House Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.  An on-line memorial register is available at