Obituaries Voices


Photo Credit: Staff report | The Southern Ute Drum

TAYLOR – Kathleen Headman-Taylor born Nov. 17, 1946 in Pawnee Oklahoma to Isaac Headman and Patricia Collins Headman.

She was a proud member of the Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma and was from the Thixida clan, her Ponca name was Nee ah ge wah the, which means “one that carries water.”

She attended White Eagle School and graduated from Chilocco Indian Boarding School in 1965. After graduating she moved to Los Angeles to attend nursing school. There she met the love of her life, Johnson B. Taylor and they married July 2, 1966. (July 2, 2016 would have made their 50th wedding anniversary). They moved to Oklahoma in 1970, where she worked for Indian Health Services in White Eagle, OK.

In 1982 she moved her family to Ignacio, Colorado, where Johnson was a member of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe. The same year she received her Registered Nursing License and began working at Mercy Medical Center in Durango, CO, and then at Shiprock Northern Navajo Medical Center in Shiprock, NM. She loved working in the health field, especially with the Navajo people, learning their culture and language. Mrs. Taylor retired from Shiprock Northern Navajo Medical Center in the late 90’s.

Kathy enjoyed singing her Ponca songs, dancing and teaching anyone that wanted to learn about her Native ways. She loved being surrounded by her family and especially her grandchildren and welcomed all into her home.

Later in retirement she and her husband enjoyed traveling across the United States. They would go to Native American Powwows, where she was well respected and asked to say prayers and speak to the people.

One of her famous antics would be when she would start by saying, “Turn to your left smile, shake their hand and introduce yourself and then turn to your right and whoever is there…SLUG’EM!”

Mrs. Taylor is survived by her children: Patricia E. Taylor, Johnson K. Taylor, both of Ponca City, OK; Johnita E. Taylor, Isaac G. Headman both of Ignacio, CO; Corliss Taylor, Katrina Joe, of Durango, CO; her grandchildren: Cardinal Weston, Marcy Herrera Ekiko, Rhett Herrera, Lamont EchoHawk, Kenneth Taylor, Lindsey Taylor, Patricia Lakota Rose Leroy, Helaina B. Taylor, Brittany E. Taylor, Jazmynn Howell, Kathleen H. Taylor and Maynard H. Taylor; her great grandchild: Mataya Rock; her great great grandchildren: Adrienne Cuch and Avery Johnson Herrera; as well as numerous nieces, nephews and more grandchildren; her brothers: Kennis Headman, Moses Headman, Arthur Cerre, Timothy Headman all of Oklahoma; her sister: Virginia Sue Clements of Oklahoma; as well as more numerous sisters and brothers.

She is preceded in death by her “snag” Johnson B. Taylor (Southern Ute), her parents: Isaac Headman and Patricia Collins Thicknail; sisters: Helen, Tina Joy and Marcena; her brother, Joey; her grandparents Kenneth and Catherine Headman and William and Metha Collins.

A wake was held for Kathy in White Eagle, OK on Friday, July 8, 2016 at Ponca Indian United Methodist Church at 7 pm. Traditional feast was the following day, Sat. July 9, 2016, also at the Ponca Indian United Methodist Church, followed by services and burial at Ponca Tribal Cemetery.

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