Myles Robert Stephenson Sr

Myles Robert Stephenson Sr. was born at the Old Indian Hospital in Lawton, OK on Jan. 14, 1929 to Nuss and Ella Lee Stephenson. Myles, 92, entered into his rest peacefully at home surrounded by his beloved family on Friday, Dec 3, 2021 in Anadarko, OK.
 His maternal grandparents were Whit Lee and Missenah. His paternal grandparents were Chief Stephenson and Adayuck. Chief Stephenson was the last hereditary Chief of the Wichita Tribe.
 Myles grew up on his grandmother’s allotment just south of the old water tower in Gracemont. He began school at Riverside Indian School in 1936 where he worked at the dairy until his graduation in 1948. He had $1,000 in the bank, two cows, a calf, three hogs, one sow, and a litter of pigs; this was what he had earned by the time he graduated.
 Myles was one of the best all-around athletes in the late 1940s. He played 15 years of sandlot baseball with the Cache Indian Baseball Team, the Comanche Boys. He played in a church league with Central Baptist Church on Tuesdays. He also played in the Softball Commercial League for Bianca of Lawton. His teammates were Bill Koomsa Jr., Joe Wetselline, Lee Tsatoke, Dale Osborn, Junior Wolfe, Junior Tsoodle and Pinken Tsatoke.
 Myles served in the United States Navy for three years during the Korean War. After his honorable discharge, he attended Murray State Junior College on an athletic scholarship, where he earned letters for football and basketball.
 He went to work at the Fort Sill Post. He was then hired at Fort Sill Indian School and worked there for five years. He transferred to Riverside Indian School in 1969 where he worked for 19 years. He was in charge of dormitory operations for boys. He retired after 34 years of federal service.
 Myles spent much of his life working for the Wichita Tribe in one capacity or another. He served as the President of the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes for eight years and as Vice-President for four. He also served as a committee member for eight years. During his time, he chose the present site of the Wichita Tribal Headquarters, including the original Dance Building which is now called the Community Building. He chose the present location and submitted it to the Tribe for approval. He was also instrumental in getting the first per-capita payments for the Wichita people. Myles, along with Frank Miller, went to visit Omer Lewelyn and the Tribe signed a contract with him. They in turn won the claim for $14 million in a land claim settlement for the Tribe.
 He worked 27 years with the American Indian Exposition, eight of those as Expo President. Myles was instrumental in procuring many well-known Outstanding Celebrities, including Crystal Gale, Claude Akins, Willie Nelson, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans.  
 To remember him and carry on the family legacy, Myles leaves behind a large loving family including his son, Myles Punkin Stephenson Jr. of Anadarko and 2 grandsons, Jacob Stephenson and Keigan Stephenson, and his dog, Bentley. Myles was happy to know that Keigan and his companion, Alemendra Tartsah, are expecting his great-grandson. Myles also leaves behind his daughters, Victoria Eaglenest of El Reno and Dana (David Sprowls) of Pocasset, 9 grandchildren, sister Mary Lou Tselee of Anadarko, special brother and sisters, Jim and Elfrida Atkins of Stillwater, Marthar Koomsa-Perez and Wilda Koomsa, both of Carnegie. Myles had many nieces and nephews whom he loved dearly. Myles also leaves numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren to mourn him.
 Myles was preceded in death by his parents, siblings: Smiley Stephenson, Helen Stephenson, Winifred Stephenson Reedy, Dudley Stephenson, Vernon Cheesy Stephenson, Barbara Stephenson Cook, Alma Stephenson Arredondo, Wanda Stephenson Altis, Sharon Stephenson Wetselline, and Bill Thuke Koomsa Jr., brother-in-law, Nathan Jumbo Tselee, son-in-law, Donald Eaglenest Sr., and several nieces and nephews.
 A prayer service was held on Wednesday, Dec. 8 at the Community Building at the Wichita Tribal Complex. Funeral services were held on Thursday, Dec. 9 at the First Baptist Church in Anadarko under the direction of Smith Funeral Home with burial following at Rock Spring Cemetery, north of Anadarko.