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John-Umtuch, Marilyn J.: Walking On

Toppenish, Washington

Funeral services were held for MARILYN J. JOHN-UMTUCH, 68, on September 21 at the Celilo Longhouse, in Oregon. Interment followed at the Upper Celilo Cemetery. Marilyn was born September 6, 1943, in Harrah, Washington. She passed away September 17, 2011, in Toppenish.
   
Marilyn was a full-blooded Yakama Nation member. As a child, she grew up in the mountains. Marilyn and her family were part of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Relocation Program for acculturation of Native Americans in mainstream America. This relocation took her to the San Jose, California, area thirty years ago. She graduated from Glenwood High School in 1961. At San Jose, she continued her education at the Heald Institute of Technology and at Evergreen Valley College. She worked in electronics and later became a full time homemaker. After her children were grown, she applied to the Job Training Partnership Act Program at the American Indian Center of Santa Clara Valley, Inc., in California. As a result, she was placed in the Community Services Block Grant Program as a community liaison planner. She was in that position since 1993. Marilyn was instrumental in setting up an Indian children’s group called the Animal Spirit Dancers, which performed at different functions in Santa Clara County. She contributed endless hours of community service with the Indian Summer Festival, functions of the American Indian Center, as well as with our local elders groups. In her younger years, Marilyn participated in high school cheerleading, volleyball, basketball, and softball. She was a slot machine operator, a beadworker, fry bread maker, and was a part of the Relay on the Rez Cancer Awareness and Prevention effort, the tobacco prevention and alcohol bans. After retirement, she enjoyed softball games and going to casinos. (Yakama Nation Review, September 23, 2011)
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