Graveside Services for Burgess Tapedo, 88, Lawrence, will be held at 10:00 a.m., Monday, July 27, 2020 at Tanedoah Family Cemetery in Carnegie, OK. Burgess passed away Wednesday, July 22, 2020 at LMH Health. His children are requesting for the safety of all due to COVID-19, that immediate family only attend the graveside services. A memorial service for extended family and friends will be hosted in the coming year.
Burgess Lee Tapedo, Kiowa was born June 17, 1932 and raised in Carnegie, Oklahoma. He is the son of the late John Jerome Tapedo and the late Minnie (Topaum) Tapedo; his maternal grandparents were John Topaum and Asequatteh. He comes from the Tanedoah family. He received his Kiowa name Eagleheart (Kutho’he En’tain) from his grandfather Henry Tanedoah when he was twelve years old. Tapedo attended Chilocco Indian School and began his military career shortly after finishing high school.
Tapedo enlisted with the United States Air Force and served from 1952 to 1956. His rank was A/3C, training in Big Wing, Texas. During his time in the Air Force he served in Omasaw, Japan. Tapedo received the National Defense Service Medal and Character of Service (Honorable).
Tapedo joined the United States Army after working in Dallas for several years. Tapedo served in the Army from 1961 until 1964. His rank was PVT E2 and he was a member of the 82nd AIRBORNE Division, 504 Regiment (“Devils in Baggy Pants”) from Fort Bragg in North Carolina and he was also part of the 173rd Airborne Brigade while serving in Camp Kue, Okinawa. Tapedo received Advanced Individual Training at Ft. Still as a Field Artillery Radar Operator. Tapedo also earned a Parachutist Badge and a badge for Expert Rifle M-1 and M-14, as well as Character of Service (Honorable).
Burgess recalls his most memorable military experience being the time he served in the United States Marine Corps. Tapedo began his career with the Marines in 1967 and served through 1970. He was stationed at Camp Pendleton in California and while in Vietnam served with the Fleet Marine Force. Tapedo received Advanced Individual Training for the following: MCB Campen Field Artillery Battalion, 1967 and MCI 105 MM Howitzer Cannoneer, 1969. The badges and medals he received during this time included National Defense Service Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Vietnam Service Medal, W/2*, and the Vietnam Campaign Medal. Tapedo also received the Character of Service (Honorable).
Throughout his service time in all branches, he traveled to many places including Taiwan, the Philippines, Italy, Crete, Malta and Vatican City.
After the Marine Corps, Tapedo received his bachelor’s degree in psychology (1974) and a master’s degree in education (1976) from Southwestern Oklahoma State University. He worked at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma as a counselor and also worked for the Kiowa Tribe for several years as the Self-Determination specialist. During his tenure with the Kiowa Tribe his program was responsible for the planning and establishment of the Kiowa Cultural Museum.
Tapedo’s next professional endeavor was serving students as a guidance counselor at Haskell Indian Junior College from September of 1989 to 2015, over 30 years of Federal service. He enjoyed his time at Haskell and developed many meaningful friendships. He was an avid sports fan and you would always see him at the basketball games cheering on the student-athletes.
He married Millicent Maynahonah on October 13, 1969 in Jacksonville, North Carolina. They celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary in 2017. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife and son Lance Cully, his parents, and sisters Julia Tapedo, Susie Tapedo and Elva Mae Tapedo.
He is survived by his daughters Freda (Tapedo) Gipp and Darryl (Tapedo) Monteau, sons Rex Cully, Drake Cully, Brady Tapedo and Dean Tapedo all of Lawrence, Kansas and Mike Lewis of Anchorage, Alaska, He has 17 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren. His adopted children are Sidney Toppah, Alicia Josh Foreman, Jeremy and Robin Shield and adopted grandson Alex Pelkey.
Pallbearers are Fred Gipp, Chybon Cully, Maurice Monteau, Albert Gipp, Sidney Toppah, Jeremy Shield. Honorary Pallbearers are Rex Cully, Drake Cully, Brady Tapedo, Dean Tapedo, Martin Tsatoke, Monroe Tsatoke, Gene Tsatoke, Dale Tsatoke, Louis Maynahonah, Jr., Alex Pelkey, Mike Lewis, Kuthohe Tapedo, Dream Tapedo, Kert Cully, Joe Bointy.
The family suggests memorials in his name to the Burgess & Millicent Tapedo Memorial Scholarship Fund (Make checks out to Darryl Monteau) and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.