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Josephine Myers Wapp

Josephine Myers Wapp, 102, of Lawton, went to her heavenly home on Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014, in Lawton.

Funeral will be at noon Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014, at Holy Family Catholic Church with Father Phillip Seeton officiating.

Burial will follow at Fairview Cemetery in Apache under direction of Comanche Nation Funeral Home.

Prayer service will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014, at funeral home.

Josephine was born Feb. 10, 1912, on her grandparent's allotment, south of Apache, to James and Heva Lena Fischer Myers. She attended St. Patrick's Mission in Anadarko, then continued her high school education at Haskell in Lawrence, Kan. The turning point in her life came when the Bureau of Indian Affairs established an art education program at the Santa Fe Indian School, Santa Fe, N.M. in the late 1930s. Under the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act, the curriculum was designed to educate Indians as art teachers and to eventually place them as art teachers in American Indian Boarding Schools. She chose fiber and traditional arts as her major area of study. After completing her art education, she taught American Indian arts and crafts at Chilocco Indian School. In 1963, she was invited to join the faculty at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. Josephine retired in the mid 1970s, and eventually moved back to Oklahoma.

During her time as a teacher and professional traditional artist, she influenced and inspired a large number of American Indian Artists. Besides teaching, she also promoted American Indian Culture, especially music and dance. For her students, she was that link from traditional life ways to the present. As an artist, she specialized in finger weaving, an art form among many Woodland tribes. Josephine Myers Wapp received many awards and served on a number of committees and boards. As selected examples, she was a member of the committee that help to formulate the Museum of the American Indian in New York City, and was a founding member of the committee that established the Comanche National Museum, serving on its board for several years. She was the featured artist for the opening exhibit of the Comanche National Museum, exhibiting her collection of blankets and finger weavings. She was also a featured artist at the Red Earth Festival and at the Oklahoma State Capital. As well, her artistic work has been exhibited in the U.S., Canada, Europe, the Middle East, and South America. In 2013, she was the recipient of the Santa Fe Indian Art Market's Povi'ka Award, which is only awarded to outstanding individuals who have influenced, contributed to and promoted American Indian Art. At age 102, she lived in Lawton, and has been recognized as the oldest living Comanche, an outstanding accomplishment in itself.

She is survived by: a son, Ed Wapp Jr. of Lawton; grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and other family members and friends.

She was preceded in death by: husband, Ed Wapp Sr., a son, Edward Joseph Wapp; a daughter and son-in-law, Barbara (Wapp) and Joseph Lambert; parents: James and Heva Lena (Fischer) Myers; sisters: Nima Hailman and Kathryn Waddle; brothers: Randlette, Ike, Vincent, Walker and Jack Myers; and granddaughter, Richelle Lambert.

Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home.

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