Laura Ellen Picard Grabner, 93, passed away peacefully on Monday, October 4, 2021 at her home in Klamath Falls with family by her side. Laura was born on January 16, 1928 in Chiloquin, Oregon to Amos Lewis Picard and Gertrude Lillian Pitt Bagley. Although Laura was born in Chiloquin, she was enrolled as a member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and has rich tribal ancestry which includes Wasco, Shasta, Pit River, and Kalapuya Tribes. As a Wasco Tribal Elder, she was proud of her heritage and enjoyed sharing with everyone that she came from the “Big River”, more commonly known as the Columbia River.
Laura married into the Klamath Tribes and most of her children were raised in the Chiloquin area. She loved the people of the Klamath Tribes, who treated her with love and respect as if she was their own.
In the 1940’s she attended boarding school on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation and at Stewart Indian School in Nevada. Though she learned practical domestic skills through her boarding school experience she suffered significant trauma that took a lifetime to overcome.
After leaving the Klamath Indian Reservation in the 60’s, she moved to The Dallas prior to returning to the Warms Springs Indian Reservation where she built a home and dedicated herself to her family and culture. In doing so, she taught herself to sew and bead regalia, make jewelry, and participated in many tribal gatherings, events, and pow-wow celebrations to watch her family dance which brought her immense pride and joy.
In her spare time, joined a league bowling team, and enjoyed playing the guitar or the piano while singing her favorite country gospel songs.
In the early 70’s, Laura was appointed by Oregon Governor Tom McCall to serve on an advisory board to advocate for support of Native American drug and alcohol recovery programs. This work and sharing her personal testimony were instrumental in establishing funding for tribes to provide these necessary services. She was extremely proud of her service on this board as it was instrumental in her own recovery to advocate for sobriety.
After the death of her mother, Laura and her husband Raymond moved to Redmond, Oregon where they lived for approximately 30-years. Laura returned to the Klamath Basin in 2018 to be cared by for by her daughter Mary and family.
Laura was a strong woman of faith and relied heavily on her relationship and belief in God and the power of the written and spoken word of the Bible. She would pray daily for her family, friends, and anyone that requested it. She wore out the pages of several bibles throughout her lifetime and almost every page has hand-written names of her loved ones next to scriptures she believed were relevant for them. Later in her life she was very active in ministry to Native Americans and participated in many Native conferences throughout the west.
As our guide, Laura shared family and tribal history and was a wealth of knowledge and wisdom to us all. She enjoyed visiting friends and family while sharing her faith, stories, insight, and the importance of practicing tribal tradition. She did this all through her loving, caring, sometimes serious, strong personality, but was riddled with her silly jokes and wonderful and uplifting sense of humor. She made all of us feel like her number one, and every single one of her children, grandchildren family and friends held a special place in her heart.
She was the matriarch of our family and we have been truly blessed and deeply affected by her faith, hope, love, prayers, encouragement, admonishment, correction, and stories. She was an overcomer, a respected elder, and a wonderful example to us all.
Laura was preceded in death by: Grandmother Daisy Mary Hayes Wright, father Amos Lewis Picard, mother Gertrude Lillian Pitt Bagley, loving dad William “Bill” Bagley, brothers, Lewis Picard, Wally Picard, Donald Picard, William Bagley, Louis Bagley, sisters, Evelyn Miller, Mildred Alene Picard, and Billy Jo Bagley, son Calvin “Buttons” Shadley, and daughter Lorilee Picard.
Laura is survived by: Brothers Al Bagley, and Jerry Bagley, children Ronald “Cobby” Shadley Sr., Roylene Harrington, Mary and Don Gentry and Albert “Abby” Summers Jr. and Ruth Castriotta.
Grandchildren: Lorriane Stockton, Dena Stockton, Robert Stockton, Brenda Shadley, Laura Shadley, Leanna Shadley, Tony Waits, Trina Randall, Tonya Shadley, Cara Shadley, Darrell “Kobby” Shadley, Ronald “Cobby” Shadley Jr., Savanah Arnett, Calvin Shadley, Raefield “Pockets” Benson, Mildred Unive, Aaron Gentry, Alicia Boston, Adria Paschal, Angeline Summers, and Destiny Summers and numerous great-grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
Viewing 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 5, at O’Hair-Wards Funeral Home, Klamath Falls, Oregon. Wednesday, October 6, 6:00 a.m. the final procession will depart from O’Hair-Wards Funeral Chapel Klamath Falls, Oregon to Warm Springs, Oregon for services at the Warm Springs Community Center Pavilion at 11:00 a.m. Internment at Dry Creek Cemetery, Warm Springs, Oregon. Officiated by Carlos Calica of Warm Springs, Oregon.
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