Funeral services for Phil Homeratha, 68, Lawrence will be held 1:30 p.m., Saturday, December 31, 2011 at Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence. Burial will be at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, January 2, 2011 at Otoe-Missouria Cemetery in Red Rock, OK. He died December 29, 2011 at Brandon Woods at Alvamar in Lawrence.
Phil was born on March 22, 1943 in Red Rock, OK the son of Curtis and Luella (Black) Homeratha. He was a member of the Otoe-Missouri Tribe and was raised by his grandparents, Dugan and Katie Black, who were his first mentors.
He graduated from Haskell Institute in 1961 and received his Bachelor’s in Education from Tarkio College in Tarkio, MO. He then went on to receive his Master’s degree in Education from Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, MO.
He taught first at Redfield Iowa High School, for two years. He then began his college teaching and coaching career at Huron College in South Dakota, where he was for one year. From 1971 he taught at Haskell Indian Nations University and coached football, wrestling, track and field, cross country and men’s basketball. Since 1995 he has been the head women’s basketball coach and was Athletic Director for five years until he officially resigned in February 2011; however, he continued at Haskell in a teaching capacity. He devoted 40 years of his life to coaching, teaching & mentoring native youth.
He was awarded the Outstanding Haskell Alumnus in the spring of 2011. He was a member of the National Indian Education Association, the National Education Association, National Junior College Athletic Association, Coach’s Association for Intercollegiate Athletics, Haskell Alumni Association, and Tarkio Alumni Association where he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990.
Survivors include two sisters, Reba Homeratha, Pasadena, TX and Freda Homeratha, Oklahoma City, OK; and numerous nieces and nephews, as well as his Haskell family of friends and students. He was preceded in death by a sister, Lily Homeratha Rice; and a brother, John Homeratha.
Friends will gather from 7:30 – 9 p.m. on Friday, December 30, 2011 at Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence.
Memorial contributions may be made in his name to the Haskell Foundation – Women’s Basketball Scholarship and may be sent in care of the mortuary.