Alabama-Coushatta Indian Tribe of Texas, Livingston, Texas
Chief Oscola passes away
LIVINGSTON, Texas, Feb. 2, 2013
LIVINGSTON, Texas, Feb. 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Chief Oscola Clayton
Sylestine, the principal chief of the Alabama-Coushatta Indian Tribe of Texas
succumbed to illness and passed away on Thursday, January 31. He will lie in
state at the Alabama-Coushatta Indian Reservation located 17 miles east of
Livingston when all arrangements have been completed. He was 80 years old.
He was elected in 1992 and installed in a colorful traditional ceremony as the
life time chief on January 1, 1993. He was a third generation descendant of
Alabama Sub-Chief Colabe. He is survived by his wife, Ethelyn, two sons and
two daughters with numerous grandchildren.
He served the Tribe in leadership for most of his adult life as an elected
member of the Tribal Council serving as its Chairman before becoming Chief.
He was also very active as an Elder in the Indian Presbyterian Church. After
a 17-year career with Champion International Paper, he retired in 1998.
His love for the culture of the Tribe was evident as he gathered river cane
from the river bottoms, splitting the cane and applying the intricate basket
weaving methods passed down for generations. He passed on his skills by
conducting basket weaving classes in his later years.
He was a great warrior on the basketball court and softball diamond. He
excelled in basketball while attending Big Sandy School. During the height of
independent fast pitch softball leagues in east Texas, he was affectionately
known as Smiley. The mention of his name as the pitcher brought uneasiness to
opponents who had a challenge with his rising fastball. He was a premier fast
pitch softball pitcher of his generation.
In speaking on behalf of the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe, Tribal Council Chairman
Kyle Williams stated, "This truly is a sad occasion and day, not only for our
Tribe but for all Tribal Nations, the citizens of both the State of Texas and
this great Nation. Chief Oscola actively represented the Tribe at numerous
cultural and social events while promoting a better understanding of the
Tribe's rich history and heritage."
SOURCE Alabama-Coushatta Indian Tribe of Texas
Contact: Kyle Williams, +1-936-563-1131
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