Cherokee Nation loses federal employee to COVID-19
TAHLEQUAH – Cherokee Nation citizen Loretta Carter, a fiduciary trust officer with the Bureau of Trust Funds administration, died Jan. 7 from COVID-19 complications. She was 61.
As a federal employee, Carter was housed in the Tribal Complex and worked with the tribe’s administration.
“She took great pride in being a Cherokee citizen and in her role of FTO and working with the Cherokee tribe as well as other tribes,” Carolyn Allen, Carter’s friend, said. “She had great report with the Cherokee tribal administration and employees as well with the other tribes she worked with.”
Carter formerly worked for the Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation and the Arkansas Riverbed Authority. Allen said that Carter was a loyal employee and dedicated to her workforce. “Loretta was a person of great integrity. She was very dedicated to her workforce and her work family. She was a very loyal employee. She was a true friend to everyone. She had a smile that would light up the room.”
Carter was also a musician, serving on her church’s worship team.
“She was an excellent musician,” Allen said. “She was a bass player. She is a member of New Hope Assembly in Muskogee. Her passion was playing gospel music. She has played with several gospel groups over the years and traveled the country.”
Carter is from Keys but was known in Tahlequah having attended and graduated from Tahlequah High School in 1977 and Northeastern State University in 1984.
Allen said Carter was respected in her work with the federal government and was honored during a conference call by supervisors and co-workers in Washington, D.C., and Albuquerque, New Mexico.
“They honored her on a conference call across the nation and honored her with a moment of silence,” Allen said. “And her loss of life has been devastating, not only to Cherokee Nation, not only to family and friends, but also to the federal government workforce as well.”
A CN release states the tribe was “deeply saddened” by Carter’s death.
“Loretta was a woman of great faith and well respected in the Tahlequah community, where she graduated and started her career as a paralegal working for many law offices, before becoming the office manager at the Riverbed Authority and then legal division for the Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation and transitioning to the DOI regional office,” states the release.
“Loretta was a dear friend to the Cherokee Nation and Cherokee people and I’ll miss seeing her smiling face in our hallways as I did each day,” Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “For her friends and family, the Cherokee Nation offers our sincere condolences, as this is another tragic loss at the hands of COVID-19.”