Charles Joyce Chibitty, 83 of Tulsa, ,Oklahoma, departed us on July 20,
2005. He passed on after battling
a long illness. He was the last of the Comanche Code Talkers from World War II. He was also a retired glass worker. He was
very proud to
be a World War II veteran and
Native American. Charles enjoyed speaking about
both, especially to younger generations. He traveled across the U.S. to speak about what he had done in the war. He was preceded
in death by his wife, Elaine; son, Sonny and a daughter, Pam. He will be remembered by many as a true hero, great dad and
very dear friend. He is survived by his
granddaughter, Lacey, which he has been raising as his own daughter for the
past 13 years; two grandsons. Charlie was presented with the Knowlton Award in recognition of his
to military intelligence efforts. Along with16 other Comanche Indians, Charlie was part of the Army's 4th Signal Company,
also known as the Code Talkers. The unit was instrumental during the Normandy invasion. After attending Haskell Indian School
at Lawrence, Kan., he enlisted in the U.S. Army in January 1941. Cpl. Chibitty earned the World War II Victory Medal, the
European Theater of Operations (5th Bronze Star) Victory Medal, the Europe African Middle East Campaign Medal, and the
Good Conduct Medal. He was also a champion boxer in the Army. In 1989, the French
Government honored the Comanche Code
by presenting them the "Chevalier of
the National Order of Merit." In 1992, former
Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney
Charlie a certificate of appreciation for his
service to the country. Chibitty has also
received a special
proclamation from the
Governor of Oklahoma who honored him for
his contribution both to Oklahoma and the
He was also nationally known
for his Indian championship dancing.
Eulogy for a Veteran ; Do not stand at my grave and weep. I am not there, I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow, I am the diamond glints on snow. I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain. When you awaken in the mornings hush, I am the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds in circled
flight. I.. am the soft stars that shine at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry, I am not there, I did not die. .
My Impression of Charles Chibitty
- By Geoffrey Armstrong Wright - My impression of him is fragmented. But I think that I found the when...." The center of his character is transformation. In this one man, this
single Indian, there is vintage Comanche blood, and a modern American standard of
living. There is the sediment of age and a volcanic youth embodied in his adopted daughter. Dominating
the horizon, there is a burial mound. But by its side and next to his heart, there is a stone - and it is rolled away. Charlie
Chibitty, like the wind, is just passing through...and might just circle around again.
the core of his character. It seems as though, sitting down to a symphony, I heard only the finale. What fascinates me is
that Charlie's life has no foreshadowing of ending. As long as wind -'blows, his life and legacy will continue to twist
and turn along courses only wild horses know. He is the result of love, tears, tradition, change, freedom, exile and most
of all, pain. The loss of one's wife is the loss of one's whole present self. The loss of one's children is the loss
that was never meant to be. Charlie has survived both. I cannot, imagine how he escapee! depression. He still smiles. Smiles
more than. I do, and I am only twenty-one; have all life and roads before rne, and -:. no one I love has died.
The spirit of the wind truly abides with him. He spends his days like the wind spends itself: wild and with flair. He is,
for all intents and purposes, though no offense is intended, a showoff. It seems he needs to be. Everything an average man
would share with his wife and boast to his son, he flashes to neighbors and acquaintances in snips of newspapers and snatches
of "that was
Left This Life
July 20, 2005 ' /Tulsa, Oklahoma
Funeral Service 10:OOA.M. ~ Tuesday ~ July 26, 2005
- Floral Haven Funeral Home Chapel
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Funeral Services for Charles "Charlie" Chibitty
As representatives of the YL-37 Group, Gerald and I joined the many hundreds to the entry of the Chapel as flute music
played to sign the guest book outside. We made our way inside with standing room only for the Memorial services for a good
father, brother, patriot and the last Comanche Code Talker (Saw you woo kee) Charlie Chibitty.
Standing next to Lisa Pahsetopah the ministers wife we reminisced a few moments on Charlie and his good sense of humor
who was always ready for a joke. I told her of his blessing of YL-37 and meeting the Marines of Squadron HMM-362 the Ugly
Angels and she told me of him being a mentor for her husband and there time in the TV series Walker Texas Ranger and the many
powwows' they were together.
The room fell silent as Mike Pahsetopah began by thanking all who came to show their respect for such a hero. Many in Native
American regalia from fancy beadwork to the Comanche princess hi full regalia they came.
Comanche members of the congregation sang two tribal hymns followed by two Kiowa
An announcement was made that if there were any other tribes present they were
welcome to sing also.
A creek song was sung.
A drum was brought in and an old friend who had known Charlie since 1940 led the drum group as they sang songs that Charlie
had asked to be sung many times. Everyone stood as a True Memorial Song began followed by a Chief Song and I'll See You Again.
Two tribal members brought a Sovo drum and gourd rattle forward and two songs were sung.
Two medicine men in war bonnets made their way up the isle with cedar smoke to purify and cleanse the coffin and the immediate
family starting with his adopted granddaughter Lacey and grandsons.
A song written for Comanche Code talkers was sung by Kricket Rhoads at Lacey's request as this song was sung many times
by the two girls for Charlie.
Mike gave the eulogy stating the Charlie was born N. of Lawton and had 3 brothers and 2 sisters. He went to Chilocco Indian
School and enjoyed Boxing and continued to box after enlisting in the Army in 1941.
Around the drum another song was sung entitled Dressed and looking our Best
Fancy dancers were asked to join in. About ten dancers answered his call and came forward to dance. What a great site to
see, as they were some of the best. Charlie was also a fancy dancer who preformed many times in this category at powwows.
A message by Mike continued as he once again told of Charlie being his mentor who taught him many things one being the
correct protocol in entering the powwow arena. He quoted many scripture verses starting with John 11 Verse 24. John 14 Verse
1-6 He said that Charlie belonged to the Native American Church. A prayer was said and Mike encouraged the congregation to
pray for the family and practice 2nd Timothy 4-7.
Paula Chibitty came forward and talked about her grandfathers all being in the service, as was she from 1996-2000. She
said that she knew he was in a better place and was at peace. She was happy to carry such a well-respected name.
Wallace Coffee, Chairman of the Comanche tribe introduced all the Chibitty family which were many in number and told about
them coming from the line of Ten Bears. He stated that of the 17 Comanche code talkers 3 were discharged and never served.
He talked about a Monument in Lawton erected to honor the Comanche Code talkers. A frequent saying of Charlie's was" He wished
all who served as Comanche Code Talkers could be with him" as honors were later bestowed upon him. Wallace thanked all non
Indian Veterans who were in attendance.
Jesse Burns -Scottish rite did the honors, as Charlie was a member of the Masonic Lodge in Tulsa.
The Comanche singers sang many songs as the congregation viewed the body. Tune passed and the Chapel remained full as many
came from outside. As we made our way single file up the isle the voices of the singers filled our hearts with sadness as
the native songs could be heard with an occasional baby cry that seemed to echo our creators plan for us, WE go on.
Many, many braved the near 100 degree weather to follow the hearse while others walked to the Veteran Field of Honor as
he was laid to rest with a Comanche color guard, 21 gun salute, taps and War Mothers song along with Code Talker songs on
the drum accompanied by singers.
4 Hours passed quickly as we made our way to go as far as we could and say goodbye with the last handshake. (A fistful
of dirt taken from the grave to sprinkle on his casket.)
Wado (Thank You) Charlie, We will never forget you and you will be forever in our memories a reminder of the day you made
your way to Inola to bless YL-37 the old girl who has a soul and meet other brave men the Marines of HMM-362 the Ugly Angels.
Oh (Lillian Hail)