PADDLETY, David Leroy

Thursday, October 30, 2003

The college family mourns the loss of David Paddlety, a well-known and respected Native American pastor, artist, author and adjunct language instructor at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. As the result of a brief illness, Paddlety passed away Oct. 30, 2003 at 80 years, four months, 28 days.

A memorial service, officiated by Rev. Kenneth Sullivan and David B. Sullivan, is set at 10 a.m. Monday Nov. 3, 2003 at Red Stone Church. Interment will follow in Red Stone Cemetery under the direction of Steverson Funeral Home in Anadarko. A prayer service honoring Paddlety is scheduled for 7 p.m. Sunday at Red Stone Church, near Anadarko.

A prominent member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma, Paddlety taught Kiowa for three years at USAO. He served as an ambassador for the college through the years, and expressed pride that so many members of his family were associated with the university. Paddlety and his wife both attended, along with nearly a dozen other members of the extended Paddlety family. Following David's graduation, at least seven members of his immediate family earned degrees at USAO.

Paddlety was born June 3, 1923, in Red Stone Valley, west of Anadarko, to David (Gou-kau) Paddlety and Magdalene (Padoti) Keintaddle Paddlety. He attended Washita School through 11th grade and moved on to Bacone College in Muskogee, where he finished high school and two years of college. He also attended Oklahoma Baptist University for a year.

Paddlety served in the U.S. Army as a chaplain’s assistant, and married the former Louise Marchetta Daney on May 29, 1948, in Sasakwa. For five years, he worked at the Department of Human Services and spent another five years with the Oklahoma State Employment Service, before joining the Bureau of Indian Affairs as an employment assistance officer.

Following his retirement from BIA, David and Louise Paddlety moved to Second Mesa, Ariz., where David served as a missionary for three years at the Sunlight Mission. A great deal of his life was devoted to the church. He was a long-time member of Red Stone Church, and served as its co-pastor for the last seven years. Paddlety held nearly every possible position at Red Stone, including deacon and church clerk.


Paddlety has also served as pastor of the First Apache Indian Baptist Church in Fort Cobb, as well as the Wichita Community Church north of Anadarko. In addition, he served on several boards and committees, including American Baptist Indian Caucus, Anadarko Christian Center, Bacone College and the Murrow Indian Children’s Home in Muskogee.

Paddlety was a very active member of the Kiwanis Club. He was chaplain of Ton-Kon-Geh, the Black Leggings Warrior Society, and danced for many years at the Indian Exposition. Sports were a big part of Paddlety’s activities. In the late 1940s, he was a Golden Gloves champion and was a boxing coach and referee. In 1997, he refereed and judged boxing for the North American Indigenous Games in Victoria, British Columbia. He also coached boxing at the Anadarko Christian Center. At one time, he even coached a girls’ softball team.

In the early 1950s, Paddlety helped organize the first Indian Firefighters organization in Billings, Mont. He taught the Kiowa conversation language, and authored two books and a syllabary of the Kiowa language. Paddlety was a talented silversmith, and did many oil paintings, watercolors and pencil sketches. If he had any spare time, he liked to go fly-fishing for trout in Montana and Wyoming.

Paddlety was preceded in death by his parents, four brothers Stecker, Paul, Bobby and Victor, and three sisters, Alice Toyebo, Agatha Bates and Winifred Littleman.

Survivors include his wife, Louise, of the home in Anadarko; three daughters Brenda Sullivan and husband Kenneth, Dava Kelley and husband James L. and A.J. Miller and husband Tommy, all of Anadarko; two sons K. Patrick Paddlety and wife Juanita of Montana, and G. Michael Paddlety of Anadarko. Also surviving him are 16 grandchildren, 4 great grandchildren, as well as numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and was related to the entire Kiowa Tribe.

He was loved and respected by all his former fellow-employees at the BIA and many, many friends.