Pauline Stensgar


Last updated 5/10/2023 at 1:16pm

Pauline Stensgar

Pauline Stensgar, "qwimatkw" age 96, of Keller, Washington passed away at her home surrounded by her loving family the evening of Tuesday, May 2, 2023.

She entered this world Sunday, July 25, 1926 in Buffalo Lake, Washington to the home of Robert & Madeline Moses-Covington.

A proud member of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville, Pauline was one of the last remaining persons completely fluent in the "Moses Columbia Dialect" as well as being conversational in the "Salish" and "Spokane" dialects, having learned them as a child. Pauline was passionate about passing on her knowledge of her native languages. In her position as Linguist with the Colville Tribes, Pauline had nearly completed a Dictionary of the dialects at the time of her passing.

Knowing it was vitally important to pass on the legacy and traditions of her people, Pauline loved to teach younger ones not only languages, but the old stories and how to pick and prepare roots and berries.

Pauline was a faithful member of the Catholic Church who could always be counted on to help lead in the Rosary. Never at home, Pauline was always on the move. She was an excellent markswoman, often going out on her own, shooting a deer and loading it into her little pick-up by herself along with the wood she had freshly chopped and driving back home. She enjoyed huckleberry picking, bingo nights and going to the casino and playing the slots. One of Pauline's great joys was going to "Celebrations," now called "Pow Wows," where in her earlier years Pauline loved to play stick games for hours.

In more recent years Pauline enjoyed going on Senior Trips to other reservations where she would join with elders of tribes from around the western states for a meal, conversation and memories.

Pauline is predeceased by her husband: Elmer Stensgar in 1978; daughter: Gladys James; grandson: Gilbert "Guy" Russette and great-grandson: Jesse James Tonasket Ishitani; siblings: William Covington, Johnny Covington, Eva Paul, Rosie WakWak and Edward Covington.

Pauline's proud legacy lives on through her children: Pete James, Marie James, Kathy Tillman (Paul), Bunny Stensgar (John) and Roy Stensgar and grandchildren: Sonny James, Rose Nalley, Paul Pearson, Krystal Tonasket, Vanessa Stensgar W., Justin Cawston and Roy Stensgar Jr.

A family dressing for Pauline was held Friday, May 5, 2023 at 2:00 PM at Strate Funeral Home in Grand Coulee, Washington. A community rosary & wake followed that evening at 7:00 PM at Keller Community Center, Keller, WA. Her funeral service was held Saturday, May 6, 2023 at 10:00 AM at Keller Community Center, Keller, WA. Pauline's graveside service followed at San Poil Native Cemetery, Keller, WA.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Stensgar family. Strate Funeral Home of Grand Coulee, WA is caring for Pauline's Family


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