Lillian W. Nelson, “Wahsecewan” (sparkling water), age 78 of Gillett, passed away Saturday, July 21, 2007 at a local nursing home. Lillian was born on July 18, 1929 in Keshena, the daughter of the late John and Elizabeth (Waupochick) Amob. On July 18, 1949, she was united in marriage to Loren K. Nelson in Chicago. Lillian was one of the last full blood Menominee. Her formative education was at the St. Josephs Indian Boarding School, Keshena. Wahsecewan grew up as a native speaker of the Menominee language and the pride of her heritage led her to instill that pride to her children and the community. This brought her to be the lead language educator for the Menominee Historic Preservation Department with the department’s Menominee Language Training Program, working intensively with Menominee Language Trainees garnering their language certification in the final steps to become certified Menominee Language Teachers. She was a Menominee Language and Culture Commission member and also taught the Menominee Language at the Milwaukee Indian Community School as well as the Menominee Indian School District for 20 years. While at the Menominee Indian School District, Wahsecewan taught at Keshena Primary, Neopit Intermediate and at the Menominee Indian High School. She was adopted as a traditional grandmother by many of her students and community members. The Menominee Nation had given Wahsecewan the honor of providing the Menominee names of all the streets at Middle Village on the Menominee Reservation. Lillian translated the prayers into Menominee Language for the first Menominee Repatriation Ceremony. She also was a leader in the protection of the traditional, cultural and spiritual preservation of burial grounds. Prior to teaching, she worked as a nurse’s aide at a nursing home in Chicago and at the hospital in Clintonville. She was an excellent artist and enjoyed fishing and hunting. Lillian will always be remembered for her dynamic storytelling. She was one of the first honorees at the Annual Menominee Sturgeon Feast and Celebration. A special honoring ceremony was held by the Menominee Tribal Legislature where she received an Official Menominee Proclamation for her dedication in preserving the Menominee language. Wahsecewan was the last member of the Menominee Grand Medicine Lodge and was an Imminent Elder of Menominee Language and Culture.
Lillian is survived by: her husband, Loren; and her 4 children; daughter, Kaylyn (Eugene) Wendt of Mountain and their children; Michael and Jody Wendt and Wendy Schulhardt and grandchildren; Rylie Wendt, Anthony and Collin Schuchardt, all of Mountain, daughter, Elizabeth (Ed Koutsky) Burgess of Peshtigo, her children; Sonny Cronk of Longview, Wash., Fern (Keith) Wilson of Illinois, Perfecto El Shatshat of New Iberia, LA and her grandson, Hunter Wilson, son, Anthony Amob of Washington, DC, and daughter, Audrey (Gordon-Mike) Long of Gillett, their children; Sherry, Candy, Holly and Lance Long, and grandchildren; Marlon, Mona, Miles and Marcel Levi, James Long, Aaron Jr., Andrew Jacobs, Deserie LaBelle, Andrew Smith, Audrey Smith, Vincent Clark, Jr., Ray Lance Long Jr., Steven Dahl, Damarco and Lillian’s great great-granddaughters; Nativa Feather Jacobs and Saphire Levi. She is further survived by traditional adopted sons; Apesanhkwat, David “Nahwahquaw” Grignon , Wendell Waukau, Ron Corn, Jr. and Gary Besaw, numerous friends, family and community members. She was also preceded in death by her parents, a son, Roland Amob, a grandson, Lonna Levi, 2 brothers, Clarence Amob and Francis Waupoose, and a sister Frances Oshkenaniew.
Final rites will begin at noon on Tuesday, July 24, 2007 at the Menominee Logging Camp Museum, conducted by David “Nahwahquaw” Grignon, Burial rites will be held at 2:00 pm at the Konaha/O’Kimosh Traditional Burial Grounds. Family and friends may call at the Logging Camp Museum after 3:00 pm on Monday, July 23, 2007 until the time of the services.
July 21st, 2007 - Swedberg Funeral Home