Chief William Hauser DePoe, Sr.
1912 - 1997
William Hauser DePoe, Sr. died on January 11, 1997. He was born in Siletz, Oregon on
December 14, 1912 to Robert Charles (Siletz Indian) and Mary Houser DePoe (Cheyenne
Indian), the 4th of 5 children: Reggie, Chuck, Peter and Roberta. Both his parents were
school teachers who later moved to Neah Bay, Washington to teach school. He was named
after his great grandfather Chief William Charles DePoe, of DePoe Bay, Oregon. He
inherited and carried on the tradition and title of "Chief". He also was a
direct descendent of Chief White Antelope of the Sand Creek Cheyenne Band.
William met Marie LaFrance
(Chippewa Indian) at Chemawa Boarding School in Salem, Oregon and married her, and had
In his sports career, he won
the Decathlon in high school, is in the Hall of Fame at Port Angeles, Washington and was
on the National Indian Basketball All Star Team that played against the Harlem Globe
Trotters. In later years, he often appeared at the University of Washington Huskies
football events in his full regalia cheering them on.
In his career as a musician he
played with many bands such as: Lawrence Welk, Lionel Hampton, Bob Crosby and the Bobcats
and Tommy Dorsey.
A veteran of World War II
serving in the Navy, he was one of 36 survivors out of 400 seamen serving on the USS
Fifteen years ago he returned
to DePoe Bay, devoting his time to instill pride in his Native American culture by
presenting programs at schools and participating in Powwows with his second wife, Vivian,
who predeceased him.
Chief DePoe is survived by his
sister, Roberta Mike of Seattle, Wa.; children, Charlotte DePoe Herz of Neah Bay, WA.,
William H. DePoe, Jr. of Seattle, Wa., Ronald E. DePoe, Peter O. DePoe, Ilene DePoe Somes
all of Neah Bay, WA.; 20 grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren, as well as many nieces and
Chief William Hauser DePoe,
Sr. had provided that his son, William Hauser DePoe, Jr. will succeed him.