Cherokee artist and World War II veteran Charles McKaig Walkingstick, 94, of Yukon, passed away peacefully at home October 5, 2016. He was born January 26, 1922 in Muskogee, OK to Simon Ralph and Margaret ('Emma' ) McKaig Walkingstick.
Charles was a commercial and fine artist who was very involved with Yukon's art community. He won numerous art awards during his career, including a Judges' award for an oil painting at the Red Earth Fine Art Competition in 2007 and a first place award for a mixed media triptych at the 2005 National Veterans Creative Arts Festival.
As a Marine in World War II, Walkingstick's first battle star came on the islands of Roi-Namur in the Kwajalein Atoll, part of the Marshall Islands. After being part of the 15th defense battalion he was transferred into the 2nd Marine Division and sent to Saipan. After that he was sent to help 'take' the island of Okinawa. That's where Corporal Walkingstick, a machine gunner, picked up his second battle star. All he would say about the assault on Okinawa was that "it was the bloodiest battle in the Pacific."
As the Marines readied to invade Japan, the United States dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The war was over a few weeks later. Walkingstick is referred to as an 'atomic veteran' because the 2nd Marine Division was sent to Nagasaki to clean up and occupy that city.
He was always very proud of his service to the United States. In 2006 the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma presented the Medal of Patriotism and the Warrior Award to him in appreciation of military service. He also served as commandant of the Sooner Detachment of the Marine Corps League in 2004. He won several distinguished service awards from the League, including one for service to their "Historian and Artist" department.
Charles was preceded in death by his mother and father, brother Syvertsen ('Sy') and sister Elizabeth ('Betty') Theobald. Charles was also preceded in death by Doris Absher Walkingstick, the mother of his children Janis, David and Kim.
Charles is survived by his sisters Joy Couch of Villas, NJ and Kay Walkingstick and her husband Dirk Bach of Easton , PA; his wife Quembe Mary Lou (Lane) Walkingstick,of the home; his children Janis Walkingstick of Guthrie, David and Lysa Walkingstick of Shawnee and Kim and Chris Bird of Cashion. Charles is also survived by grandchildren Sara Abel and her husband Kenny, Clint Walkingstick and his wife Kacey and Evan Bird. Charles leaves behind great grandchildren Oran and Mack Abel and Isaac and Luke Walkingstick.
He is also survived by his step-children and step-grandchildren, They are Robert Lane and his wife Lynn of Carrollton, TX and their children Raeven, Ryan Lamjid and her husband Moe, and Robert Lane II; Ray Lane of Oklahoma City and sons Chance and Bobby; Donna Lane Nolan and her husband Dan of Norman and their daughter Summer; and Rex Lane of Oklahoma City and his sons Taylor and
Viewings are scheduled 1pm to 8pm Sunday October 9 and from 9am to noon Monday October 10 at Yanda & Son Funeral Home, 1500 W. Vandament in Yukon. Services will be at 2pm Monday, October 10 at First Christian Church, 601 E. Maple, Yukon, followed by burial at the Yukon Cemetery.
Published on October 7, 2016