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Promoted to Glory

Promoted to Glory

Matilda Watson Lewis

Surrounded by five generations of her family, Salvationist Matilda Watson Lewis, 81, was promoted to Glory August 26 from Bartlett Memorial Hospital in Juneau, Alaska.

Born December 19, 1923 in Klawock, Alaska, Matilda Watson was of the Raven moiety, Taagwaaneidi of the Woodworm Clan of Klawock. Her Tlingit name was Kayit xaa kw. Matilda was also adopted by Lillian Hammond of Haines and given the name Kanosh Tlaa of the Coho Clan.

In 1945, Matilda married George A. Lewis of Sitka. After working as a U.S. Postal Service clerk in Klawock, she retired in 1952 to be a homemaker. A Haines resident for 40 years, she was active in Haines Corps, where she was Home League secretary for more than 30 years. She was also part of the Crusaders for Christ/Songsters group and the League of Mercy, and she was a Silver Star mother.

Matilda was also a past president and delegate, giving many years of service, in other offices for the Alaska Native Sisterhood, Camp 5. She served as an officer and delegate for the Haines Tlingit and Haida Community Council as well as various positions for the local tribe, Chilkoot Indian Association.

Matilda was well known for her traditional beading style. Two of her handmade dance robes are on a Native art display in Phoenix, Arizona and in the Peabody Museum in Massachusetts.

She was preceded in death by her husband, George, and a daughter, Florence Joann.

Surviving Matilda are children Evangeline R. Davis, Verna (Charles Sr.) Jimmie, Georgiana (Joe) Hotch, Thelma (Harry) Fields, Major Florence (Joe) Murray, Diane (John) Hoisington and Raymond Sr. (Sandra) Lewis. Her stepchildren are Harold Sr. (Verda) Lewis, Fredrick (Joni) Lewis, Barbara Lewis, George Dale Lewis and Geraldine Point (deceased). Her adopted children are Doug Seuss (White Fang), Justina Starzynski and Deb Kemp. She was grandmother of 22 and great-grandmother of 32.

A memorial service was held at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall in Haines, and she was buried at the Haines Cemetery.

Cards/correspondence may be sent to Major Florence Murray, 2226 Burlington Drive, Eugene, OR 97405-1148.


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