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Wilbur "Buquila" Claplanhoo Jr. passed away at his Neah Bay home from natural causes at the age of 68 on June 16, 2014.
Buquila was born in Port Angeles on May 29, 1946, to Wilbur Wright and Minerva "Muzzie" (Wheeler) Claplanhoo.
After graduating from Neah Bay High School, he was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he served with the 101st Airborne in Vietnam from 1965 through 1966.
He was then stationed at Fort Sheridan in Illinois from 1967 to April 16, 1968. He was honorably discharged and had earned the Bronze Star and Distinguished Silver Cross in addition to numerous other honors.
He worked as a log scaler for Crown Zellerbach in the 1970s. Buquila was a commercial-treaty fisherman for most of his life.
He was married to Linda K. Drappeau from the Yankton Sioux tribe on October 5, 1968. They separated in the early 1980s and divorced in 1998.
He then married Gwen Swan on September 17, 2000. He and Gwen divorced on May 10, 2002.
He was a lifetime member of the Makah tribe and Hereditary Chief. He coached youth basketball when his children were young.
He also was a skipper for the Makah Canoe Club and traveled to and participated in many traditional canoe races in Washington and Canada.
He was a doting grandfather who was extremely proud to watch his grandchildren play sports, including state championship football teams and state contenders for basketball.
Like his grandfather before him, Wilbur taught his grandchildren the family's traditional songs and dances; he enjoyed participating in traditional potlatches as well. He completed The New York Times crossword puzzles daily.
He was a member of the Makah Canoe Club and the American Legion.
He leaves behind his son, Stanley W. (Alana) Claplanhoo; daughter, Carol J. (Thomas) Reamer; sister, Mary Ann (Joseph) Martin; grandchildren, Jongi Wright and Captain James Claplanhoo, John Lavern and Matthew Skylar Reamer, Leilani Rose and Faith Allyn-Marie Tyler; great-granddaughter, Amiyah Stanli-Tai Angulo; and numerous nephews, nieces and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his son, Jonathan Henry Morris Claplanhoo; father, Wilbur Claplanhoo Sr.; mother, Minerva "Muzzie" Claplanhoo; sisters, Jean Johnson, Vivian Lawrence, Laura Perry and Linda Moss; and nephew, Scott Moss; as well as his uncles, Stan and Bill Wheeler; and aunt, Myrtle (Wheeler) Phillips.
A military funeral will take place today, Monday, June 23, 2014, at 1 p.m. at the Neah Bay Assembly of God Church, 220 Third Street, Neah Bay, WA 98357.
He will be laid to rest at Neah Bay Cemetery.
A community dinner will follow services at Makah Community Hall.
Published in The Peninsula Daily News on June 22, 2014