Tracey was born in Tacoma, on August 30, 1969, to Theresa A. Vallee (Elisoff) and Harley Buffalohead. Sadly, after a time of battling health issues, she passed away in Tacoma on November 30, 2011, at the age of 42.
Tracey spent her life on and off the Colville reservation. The friendships she created running around Nespelem and summer pow-wows; remained intact until the day she departed. The cousins and friends always remained close to her heart and memories.
Tracey’s Indian name was “Kwelta’ hi’ nute”, the wife of Jim LaMonte; given to her by her grandmother, Matilda Bearcub. Tracey was a member of the Moses-Columbia band; great-grand daughter of Kist Socula, daughter of Chief Joe Moses, brother of Chief Moses. Her maternal grandfather was Pete Vallee Sr (CD’A) of Worley, Idaho. Paternal grandparents were Melvin and Esther Buffalohead of Ponca City, Okla. In the days following her passing, her aunt Nettie Buffalohead William and father Harley Buffalohead flew up from Oklahoma to pay their respect and lay Tracey to rest.
Tracey was loved and raised by parents, Jeff and Theresa Elisoff; Loren P. Swan Jr. (deceased); and Harley Buffalohead Sr. She was preceded in death by her younger brother, Terry Allan Swan (11/07/77 – 12/02/00); stepbrother, Ryan Elisoff; and, to list a few cousins who had gone before: Rachael “PK” Pakootas; Ron Thomas Jr. “Sonny”; Virgil Bearcub.
Tracey was the eldest sibling to Harley Swan (Spokane, son, Skyler Swan); Velvet Solomon (Portland, Ore. Dion Solomon [brother in-law]; daughters: Lauren Swan-Solomon; Syihan Solomon; Nailani Solomon); Lorena Swan (Spokane, James Pierce [significant other]) sons: Joseph Pierce; Jayden Pierce; and, Cash Pierce); Richard Elisoff; and Terry Swan (deceased).
While Tracey was a beloved daughter, granddaughter, niece, aunt, cousin, sister, and friend; her greatest love and role in life was a mother. She leaves behind her ten year-old daughter, Mia Mi-Wa-Sa Neveah Stegman. Mia was born to Myson Stegman (Tacoma) and Tracey on October 5, 2001, at Tacoma General Hospital.
Mia has endured a significant loss in her young life; her mother was her best-friend. Mia has shown exceptional courage and strength; please continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers.
Tracey loved splurging and spending time with her daughter, nieces and nephews. She was eager to volunteer to take them where ever she went; even if it meant taking two trips to fit them all.You could find Tracey singing and dancing in the kitchen while cooking; never one to shy away from acting silly to arouse a good laugh (at her expense). Tracey lived and traveled many places, she finally settled and called Tacoma home. One of her favorite places was Pike Street Market; she sampled her way through the food and vegetable stalls. Her favorite color was (anything) animal print.