Burgess Lee Tapedo

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.

15 Condolences

  1. Erica Bread on July 22, 2020 at 4:51 pm

    I am so sorry to hear the news. Sending you my heartfelt condolences, thoughts and prayers. He was a wonderful grandfather. Go with Jesus grandpa ❤

  2. Bill and D. Hussli on July 22, 2020 at 7:52 pm

    Burgess left us with many wonderful stories of his military travels and of meeting Millie and getting married. Family was very important to him and he honored us with stories of them at family gatherings and Pow Wows. Peace to the family until all meet again.

  3. Yolanda reyna on July 23, 2020 at 11:16 am

    My prayers and thoughts are with the family. May the Lord keep the family safe as you travel to the final goodbyes. LOVE

  4. Pat Conner on July 23, 2020 at 11:29 am

    Prayers for all of the family.

  5. Rev. Caroline Dean on July 23, 2020 at 11:41 am

    Sending prayers this day from the wider Lawrence community.

  6. Sharon Condon on July 23, 2020 at 1:44 pm

    Mr. Tapedo was a very caring and loving colleague at Haskell. He always shared so much of his wisdom, not only with me but with the Haskell students who always held a piece of his heart. May his family and close friends find comfort in knowing his influence went far and wide and he was loved by many. Blessings to all of you.

  7. Dave Whisenhunt on July 23, 2020 at 1:46 pm

    So sorry to hear of Burgess passing. He and Millie were always a joy to visit with when they would come into the store at Dirty Shame Station. I considered him my friend. Prayers for the family.

  8. Norlan Scrudder on July 23, 2020 at 2:10 pm

    Prayers for Burgess family and close friends. We were both young students at Cedar Dale grade school. We sometimes walked home across the pasture. Blessings to Burgess’s family. Reverend Norlan Scrudder

  9. Carole Tomlinson on July 23, 2020 at 8:19 pm

    Truly a good and compassionate man. We were privileged to have known him, and fortunate that he shared so much of himself with us all.

  10. William M Welton on July 24, 2020 at 2:23 pm

    Bill & Becky Welton: What a special person who always had time for others

  11. Jenn Miller on July 24, 2020 at 3:57 pm

    I’m very sorry to the family. What an admirable life he lived. God Bless his family and may you find comfort in your memories.

  12. Anna Lowery on July 25, 2020 at 11:37 pm

    My prayers for brother in law,Burgess. I’m so sorry Freda,Rex and the rest of the kids. My heart is heavy.He was truly a wonderful, caring, kind man. He and sister Millie are together always.

  13. Ruby Brumley on July 26, 2020 at 4:26 pm

    Sorry for your loss. Our passed love ones always remain alive in our hearts.

  14. Isaiah & Melissa Stewart on July 27, 2020 at 8:08 am

    Our deepest sympathy goes out to your family as you struggle through the grief and sadness. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.

  15. Colette Winkelbauer on July 28, 2020 at 5:21 pm

    Freda, My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Wink.

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