On February 28th Clarence Atwell, Jr. has begun his journey with grandfather. His life on earth is behind him and he is now with his ancestors. Clarence was born near the Santa Rosa Rancheria on November 30, 1945. As a boy Clarence and other boys would go out and hunt for food to help feed the elders. He was the Tribal Chairman of Santa Rosa Rancheria for 42 years. During that time he helped with tribal housing, the tribal clinic, and the elder centers. He went to Washington D.C. to help with all Indian tribes across the country implementing Tribal Gaming. While in D.C. he had the honor to meet President Bill Clinton. He spent over 50 years involved in the American Indian Band: Redbloods. He spoke out for not only his own people of the Santa Rosa Rancheria, but for all Native Americans to become self-sufficient. Clarence was a Spiritual Leader and Medicine Man. He was the California Bear Clan Leader, which included Bear Dances as well as baptisms, weddings, naming ceremonies and funerals.
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Clarence is survived by his wife Jeanette Atwell, his children: Kimberly Brown of Visalia, Cheryl Atwell of Porterville, Curtis McCormack of Lemoore, Aubrey Atwell of Lemoore, Rufus Atwell of Lemoore; nieces and nephews: Trease Barrios Phillias of Lemoore, Willie Barrios, Hector Barrios, Pete Barrios Jr., Mark Barrios and Trini all of Lemoore; his brother: Less James of Mariposa, and sister Mary Johnson of Mariposa, as well as numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
A visitation for Clarence will be held on Monday, March 4, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at St. Peter's Catholic Church in Lemoore. Rosary Service will be held at 6:00 p.m. at St. Peter's Catholic Church. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday, March 5, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Peter's Catholic Church. Friends who wish can make donations in Clarence's memory to:
, 2222 W. Shaw Ave., #201, Fresno, CA 93711. Arrangements are under the care of Phipps-Dale Funeral Chapel in Lemoore.
Published in The Hanford Sentinel on Mar. 3, 2013