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Yvonne Sharon Lamore Choate

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Yvonne Sharon Lamore Choate Obituary
In our small community where scrutiny of one another is often personal and harsh, Yvonne came from the San Francisco environment where the Native people were close knit, trying to identify with their roots and often gathered together for intertribal ceremonies. This is where her genuine traits of teaching unknowingly became her best asset and makes her a perfect role model for others. Yvonne stood up for her beliefs in an eloquent manner, so not to offend others, organized and coordinated actions fearlessly and gave those involved with these actions a vision or at least a foundation for a vision for success. She has even inspired youth to stay involved in their education and made connections for their parents to give their children worldly experiences off the reservation. Born on the Ft. Yuma Indian Reservation, Yvonne loved to swim in the ditches with her cousin and learn traditional ways from her Grandmother. Moving between Los Angeles, CA and Denver, CO with her parents Yvonne was a shy girl. It wasn't until she participated in the BlA Relocation Program where Yvonne moved to San Francisco, CA to learn the secretarial trade. When in the San Francisco Bay Area, Yvonne became a very outgoing and caring adult where she started as a secretary for the Native American Studies Department at the University of California Berkeley and Inter-Tribal Friendship House in Oakland, CA.

She was a secretary for the Clorox Company and then Cornell University Office in Oakland, CA where she raised her family. While living in the Bay Area she loved to do bead work and go to Pow Wow's, especially Stanford Pow Wow and Cal Expo with her best friend Susie. She continued to work as a secretary with Oakland Public Schools, Arizona Western College, secretary to the Chancellor of University of California Berkeley and eventually retired from Capital Projects Department and University of California at Berkeley where her supervisor recently said, "She remains an inspiring presence." "The old adage is that the body gets old, but the mind stays young." Her stories and experiences are being shared through colleges and universities in Native American Studies course curriculum through individual stories she has written in books such as, Reinventing the Enemy's Language, Urban Voices: The Bay Area American Community and quoted in Reimaging Indian Country: Native American Migration & Identity in Twentieth-Century Los Angleles.She has an unbelievable inner strength and dedication to help in the community. After returning to the Ft. Yuma Indian Reservation she worked at Yuma High School and then served as Chairwoman of the Quechan Tribal Gaming Commission, Quechan Housing Board Member,helped start Preservation of Kwatsan Ways Group, and participated in the Sunrise Point Park Elder Village Focus Group. These were her official roles and titles, but often seen serving others through personal counsel, advisement, sharing of a meal (Especially her Indian "Lazy Bread", which co-workers fought over, it was that good!), and providing rides to those in need. Although Yvonne has two sons, she also served others as surrogate mother to many grown men, women, and the young through sharing of her positive influential stories that they too can beat the odds they are up against. The stories of her life have been interwoven with many people, not one more important than the other. She has invested her time with her community, not trying to do something spectacular but something significant for all her people. Learn, Love, and be Humble...Thank You Yvonne! Yvonne survived by her husband Melvin Choate, Son; Lance Choate, Chase Choate, cousin; Shirley Hart Yvonne was preceded in death by her mother; Genevieve Durand Kempton , and Father; Frank LamorePallbearers: Andrew Denard, Stacy Amador, Neil Hill Jr, Ted Clairmont, Dustin Jackson, Bruce Montague, David Rope Jr, Mattrew Juan, Brandon Durand Honorary Pallbearers: Melvin Choate, Lance Choate, Chase Choate, stacy Durand, Donald Escalanti, Danny Lewis, Gilford Amador, Robrick Hart,Vernon Gilmore Jr, Lamuel Porter Yvonne services will be held at Yuma Mortuary Wednesday July 8, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Traditional burial rights will be held at the Quechan Big House on the Ft. Yuma Indian Reservation just before sunrise
Published in The Yuma Sun on July 6, 2015
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