CARLSBAD, Calif. – Osages and their families honored the late Galen Clavier Jr. during the April 29 United Osages of Southern California spring gathering held at the city’s Senior Center.
The UOSC organization spans approximately 70 years and serves as a network and fellowship opportunity for generations of Osages living in California, as well as neighboring states, to meet in-person and share a day of fellowship, food and meeting agendas focused on the Osage Nation and culture. For 20 years, Galen Auguste Clavier Jr., served in the UOSC chairman role to organize the meeting events, which are now planned by his sons and their family members.
The 2023 UOSC Spring Gathering took place at its usual meeting venue for the past several years but took on a sentimental theme as it was dedicated to Galen Clavier Jr., who passed away at age 93 in January at home in Carlsbad. The event was also dedicated to Galen Clavier Jr.’s daughter Francesca A. Clavier-Smith who also recently passed.
“Dad died on Jan. 25 very unexpectedly, he went out on his own way, he literally laid down in bed and turned the lights off and you couldn’t ask for a better ending to an incredible life,” said Greg Clavier, one of Galen Clavier Jr.’s sons, who is now UOSC chairman. “His celebration of life will be held June 3, you’re all welcome to attend, it’s going to be at Magee Park here in Carlsbad … Unfortunately, my sister passed 10 days after my dad… they will be missed they also enjoyed this organization immensely. My dad, and my sister, were extremely proud of their Osage heritage and instilled it in myself and my brother, my daughters, and nieces and nephews as well.”
Nearby Magee Park served as a former venue for past UOSC gatherings before the increased attendee counts prompted recent gatherings at larger meeting places.
According to his obituary, Galen Clavier Jr., served in the Army, earned his teaching degree and credentials and was a longtime schoolteacher for California districts in Torrance, Carlsbad/ Oceanside and Mira Costa Junior College.
During the 2023 Hun-Kah Session, ON Congressman Otto Hamilton proposed a written citation honoring Galen Clavier Jr., which received unanimous support from his fellow legislative colleagues on April 19.
Hamilton asked for a vote on the citation, which he read the following:
“Whereas Galen Clavier Jr., was an Osage citizen proud of his heritage and his ties to the Osage Nation; and whereas (Clavier) faithfully served his country in the U.S. Army for five years after WWII; and whereas (Clavier) served California local schools and colleges as an educator throughout his career for 30 years; and whereas (Clavier) was known as a loving husband, father, grandfather and friend, and whereas (Clavier) was elected Chairman of the United Osages of Southern California in 1987 and served in that capacity for 20 years; and whereas (Clavier) earned the admiration and respect of his colleagues and the members of the Osage Nation Congress, past and present, for his leadership, dedication and years of service to the Osage people.”
That day, Hamilton’s motion to issue the citation passed with a Congressional unanimous vote. Hamilton could not attend the UOSC gathering that day, which was attended by other Congress members including Second Speaker Pam Shaw, who read and presented the citation to Clavier’s children and grandchildren in attendance.
Congressman John Maker attended and said he too wanted to honor Galen Clavier Jr., as well as others including Joe Tillman, who recalled his father (the late Principal Chief Charles Tillman) and Galen Clavier Jr., enjoyed visiting whenever he visited prior UOSC gatherings.
Congressman Eli Potts also recalled many conversations he had with Galen Clavier Jr., during past visits where he was told “thank you for being here because you are next, you’re that next generation, that’s what he cared about and everyone in this room has one of those stories. You had someone who came before you and said, ‘you’re next,’ it’s your responsibility to carry on these stories, it’s your responsibility to bring your family to these meetings, so job well done to each of you all.”
Congresswoman Whitney Red Corn met Galen Clavier Jr., during her campaign for an elected seat last year ahead of the 2022 General Election and recalled she did not know what to expect during her first UOSC visit at the time. To the attendees, Red Corn said: “I’m proud of this family … for continuing this on, this is deeply connected through the people. And what this feels like to me – I finally nailed it – You know in June, I grew up my whole life in the Pawhuska Indian Village having family camp in the summer (during the Inlonshka dances) … We have cousins and uncles who invite people to come, Chief comes sometimes, then our people come sometimes who are important in your life and to your family. You invited them to sit at your table, to share food with you, to spend time with you in a season that’s really important … That’s what this is, you all have a tremendous family and the idea that you invited us to come and sit at your tables is honoring … Continue this on for generations because you all have a thing that’s beautiful.”
Greg Clavier said about 77 attendees were at the event, which included about 50 from the region aside from ON government officials who also attended. The day included other government guest speakers who also shared well wishes to the Clavier family and a street taco buffet lunch provided by a local restaurant’s catering crew.
After Shaw presented the citation to the Clavier family, Greg Clavier said “dad lived an interesting life, my father had grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren and he got to meet them all, he loved whenever they were around, and he would be honored to receive this.”
The Celebration of Life for Galen Clavier Jr., is scheduled Saturday, June 3, 2023, at Magee Park, Carlsbad, Calif., from 1-4 p.m. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org