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Shirley Ann Blackbird Howell Obituary

She will lie in state at the Grayhorse Village Chapel. Funeral services will be held Friday morning at 10 a.m. Interment will follow in the Grayhorse Cemetery.

Submitted by Family

Shirley Ann Blackbird Howell, 86, passed from this life on March 7, 2022. She was born in a summer house in Grayhorse, Okla., on July 12, 1935, to the late John Dyke (Ki-he-kah-tah) and Nora Fisher Blackbird. Shirley was from the Grayhorse District. She was Eagle Clan from the Governor Joe band. Her given Osage name is Wah-ko-ki-he-kah, meaning Woman Chief, which fit her personality well. She attended Grayhorse and Fairfax Public Schools.

Shirley was united in marriage to Floyd Alec Howell, Jr., on July 3, 1951, at the Assembly of God Church in Fairfax, where her father was a Deacon for many years. Together, they built their forever home on their working cattle ranch in Skiatook, Okla. They had two children, Kelly Jan Howell and John Loren Howell.

In her younger years, Shirley enjoyed traveling, painting, playing the piano and bowling. She loved books and literature and attended Rogers State University in Claremore, Okla. She enjoyed birthdays and holidays and having a house full of laughter and grandchildren. She loved her family, and they loved her, with the utmost respect and admiration. She loved to tell stories about her life and could remember the name of nearly everyone who crossed her path.

Those who knew Shirley encountered her great love for Red Man tobacco. This was a habit she learned from her Pappie at the age of 3. As a result, all of her grandchildren quickly learned to check every cup before taking a drink. She was a very particular person. A conversation with her usually contained the five W’s: who, what, when, where and why.

On her maternal side, her grandparents were the late Henry and Dora Fisher (mammie and pappie) of Fairfax. Her paternal grandparents were John Blackbird (Wah-ses-tah-shin-kah) and Mary Blackbird Cole (Hlu-ah-to-me), both from Grayhorse.

Shirley is survived by her daughter, Kelly Jan Howell Wynn and husband Richard of the home, and Michael Brown of New York, NY. Grandchildren, Matthew Wynn (Karen) of Owasso, Okla.; Sally Ann Wynn Cryder (Chris) of Skiatook; Lacie Wynn Pahsetopah (Michael Paul) of Skiatook; Joel Wynn (Allison) of Skiatook. Great-grandchildren, Stephen Wynn (Rhylee), Jessica Cryder, Rachel Wynn (Kyle), Chelsea Aldrich (Kody), Colin Cryder, Westin Cryder, Lilly Harris, Titan Blackbird Harris, and Levi Pahsetopah. Great-great-grandchildren, Kenlee McGee, Karsyn Aldrich, and Bradley Michael Wynn, who is currently on the way.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Floyd Howell Jr.; son John Loren Howell; mother and father in law, Floyd Sr. (Tuffy) and Ruby Howell; Uncles, Girard Blackbird, Woodrow Newalla, and Walker McKinley; and Aunt Maude Blackbird.

She will lie in state at the Grayhorse Village Chapel. Funeral services will be held Friday morning at 10 a.m. Interment will follow in the Grayhorse Cemetery.


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As an independent news organization, we strive to report news and information with fairness and balance. While being the official news organization of the Osage Nation, we base our news judgements on our loyalties to our readers and Osage citizens, and we are not directly beholden to the Executive, Legislative, or Judicial branches of the Osage Nation.

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