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Andrew C. Joseph Sr.

 

Andrew (Andy) Charles Joseph Sr., whose Indian name is En Ca's Boosman, died at age 81 on Thursday, September 7, 2017. Andy had been a patient in the Coulee Medical Center for the past year, fighting complications stemming from cancers and related stroke conditions.

Andy was orphaned early in life and was raised by elders in Chesaw, Washington. He attended Chemawa Indian School. Andy enlisted in the U.S. Army and expected to serve in the Korean conflict. However, in preparing for the overseas deployment, he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and, like several Natives, landed in Cushman Hospital on the Puyallup Indian Reservation. There, he became friends with Ronald Friedlander, meeting and marrying his sister, Geraldine Friedlander (Gabriel).

Andy was part of the Bureau of Indian Affairs relocation program in Portland, Oregon. Subsequently, he became a civil servant working on the USS Kittyhawk and on submarines.

In 1968, Aunt Lucy Covington urged him to return home to join her in the fight against termination as a Nespelem Council Representative. Fortunately, they were successful and Andy began the first of 10 two-year terms representing the Nespelem District. Andy served as Vice-Chairman of the Business Council and chaired the Planning Committee, setting the course for many exciting enterprise developments.

Andy was an eloquent statesman, speaking the Okanagon language and eventually writing his own story, published as "The Country of Sen-om-tuse (sn?amtus): Growing Up the Traditional Colville-Okanogan Way." He also managed the Colville Tribal Museum, the Tribes Area Office on Aging, and the Community Action Program. Statewide, he is credited with advocating for the enactment of a law making grave robbery a felony offense. Andy served on the Paschal Sherman School Board and the Intermountain BIA Indian School Board. Regionally, he served on the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board and was the Northwest representative for the National Indian Council on Aging.

On a global basis, Andy traveled to Japan on a tribal delegation with Northwest tribes and made pilgrimages to Medjugorge, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Rome, Italy; Jerusalem, Israel; and Mexico City, Mexico; as well as other well-known sacred sites in the United States to pray for world peace with the Catholic Church. In the past 41 years, Andy's constant companion was his wife, Gloria Friedlander Joseph.

Andy Joseph Sr. is survived by three sons: Andy Jr. (Lori), Monte (Debbie) and Michael; three daughters: Yvette, Jennifer and Monica; 20 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren. He loved his stepchildren as well, including: Steve, Scott, Ernie, Stephanie, Sally, and Shawnee Haugen.

There are many friends and family that Andy leaves behind. He remained steadfast friends with his fellow Tribal Council, loved his Cursillo family at both the Keller and Sacred Heart Church in Nespelem, and enjoyed his allies at the local senior citizen centers.

The Joseph family would like to express their gratitude to the outstanding nursing home staff at Coulee Medical Center, Brewster's Harmony House and St. Luke's Hospital. Memorial donations can be made in Andy's behalf to the St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, P.O. Box 70, Keller, Washington 99140.

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