Virtual Memorial Service honors citizens, employees lost in last year

This article appeared in the November 2022 edition of the Chickasaw Times

The Chickasaw Nation recently hosted the second Virtual Memorial Service honoring the lives of Chickasaw citizens and Chickasaw Nation employees lost last year. Their lives were remembered during a special Sept. 27 service during the Chickasaw Annual Meeting and Festival.

Governor Bill Anoatubby spoke of the loss many have experienced, as well as the importance of community, friends and family. Gov. Anoatubby acknowledged the importance of those who surround us as a source of comfort and fellowship.

“As a Chickasaw community we have always come together in times of mourning to offer comfort and fellowship,” he said. “We share the grief of our extended Chickasaw family, as none of us are alone in this time.”

The Chickasaw Nation commemorated more than 100 friends and loved ones who passed in 2022. The service included messages of support, shared prayer and musical performances. The service is available to view online at

During the memorial, Jae L. Stilwell performed the gospel song “In the Garden.”

Zach Garcia arranged a medley of “Amazing Grace” and “Hallelujah” performed on the piano.

During his renditions, many names and photographs of those who have passed were displayed in alphabetical order.

Chickasaw Nation Medical Center Chaplain Randy Wade encouraged anyone who needed support to reach out to a grief counselor, pastor, or a church or family member. He spoke of remembering those who have crossed over and of asking God’s help to find peace and strength. He closed the memorial with prayer.

“Unfortunately we all lose someone we love at some point in our lives,” Chaplain Wade said. “That loss can hit us harder than expected. For those dealing with grief there is always someone to contact and look to for support.”

For more information on resources and counseling services, visit