Veterans Center worker, Cherokee advocate Vann dies
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Raymond Vann, a Cherokee Nation Veterans Center employee and longtime advocate of the less fortunate, died on Sept. 9 in Tulsa at age 74.
Vann was born on Aug. 15, 1943, in Watts to Pete and Nanny (Gibson) Vann. He joined a family of three brothers and seven sisters.
He attended school at Oaks Mission and Collinsville High School. On Oct. 13, 1966, he enlisted into the U.S. Army, serving in B Battery as a Pershing Missile Crewman. He was honorably discharged in September 1968 at Fort Dix, New Jersey. Upon leaving the military, he attended University at Mountain View College in Texas, attaining his associate’s degree.
He then worked at General Motors and retired after 30 years of service. Vann served as chairman for the nonprofit group Warpony for 19 years, helping the less fortunate in the CN jurisdiction.
For the past five years he served as an outreach coordinator at the CN Veterans Center, and was still employed at the time of his death.
He had previously serve as a CN Election Commissioner for four years, ran for principal chief, deputy chief and Tribal Councilor.
Vann also co-owned and co-operated Vann Gallery and Gifts for several years. He was honored as the AARP Elder of the Year in 2010 and was awarded the CN Medal of Leadership in Washington, D.C., in 2013, Grounds Up from the Cherokee Heritage Center and served as curator for “Deferring To The Elders” art show.
His talents were varied and many, including clay sculpting, stone sculpting, co-authoring a Native American book and watercolor. He loved long drives in the Cherokee communities and time spent with the people.
He leaves a son, Daniel Ray Vann, of Fort Worth, Texas. His son, Larry McIntyre, preceded him in death. He also leaves three grandsons and other grandchildren, many nieces, nephews, cousins and other relatives. He leaves Pamela Dodd-Ramires, constant companion, caretaker, “partner in crime” and faithful friend. He also leaves his ex-wife, Sioux Smith-Vann.
Funeral services for Vann will be held at 2 p.m. on Sept. 15 at Souls Harbor Church in Chewey with Rev. D.J. McCarter officiating. Visitation will be held from noon to 6 p.m. on Sept. 14 at Reed-Culver Chapel in Tahlequah.
Online condolences for his family may be left at www.reedculver.com
Pallbearers are Jackson Hummingbird, Albert Ketcher, Sidney Wilder and Jerry Gallop.