|Marion Brown Hagerstrand|
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|Death: ||Jan. 18, 2011|
Cherokee Nation flags are flying at half-staff in honor of Cherokee "patriot" Marion Hagerstrand who passed away Jan. 18 after a battle with cancer. She was 89.
Principal Chief Chad Smith said he ordered the flags to be flown at half-staff "to honor her life, contribution and memory."
"Throughout her life Marion Hagerstrand has continued a family tradition of service to the Cherokee people. Her quiet dignity and unwavering support of the Cherokee Nation have caused many younger people to refer to her as ‘Queen of the Cherokees,'" said former Deputy Chief and Tribal Council Member John Ketcher.
Hagerstrand volunteered to serve her country during World War II with the newly formed Women's Auxiliary Army Corps in the Southwest Pacific. As a lieutenant she was in charge setting up mess halls or eating areas for troops in Dutch New Guinea and Manila in the Philippines.
While serving overseas she met her future husband Col. Martin Hagerstrand. They were married 53 years and had two children. Along with Principal Chief William Keeler, the Hagerstrands were instrumental in the founding of the Cherokee Historical Society in 1963, which led to the building of the Cherokee Heritage Center. Martin died in 1999.
"Throughout her life, she remained actively involved in the Cherokee Nation and its government, never wavering in her support and dedication. She was strong; she was gentle; she was determined; she was compassionate," said Principal Chief Chad Smith. "Above all, Marion was a patriot of the Cherokee Nation and the United States because of her pride in her ancestry made her give her all for her government. She was a lady and a beloved woman. She was the model for every mother, wife, daughter, aunt and grandmother of the Cherokee Nation."
Hagerstrand was a graduate of the University of Arkansas and was the daughter of Jack and Nola Brown. Her interest in education came from her father a long-time educator who taught at the Cherokee Male Seminary and served as the Superintendent of the Sequoyah Orphan Training School for 32 years.
She grew up on the grounds of the orphanage school and lived in a home that is now a historic site for the CN. Hagerstrand recalled it was a "wonderful" place to live and she had many friends to play with throughout her childhood. She also remembered the older children cared for the younger children.
Perhaps this is where she learned to care for others, especially Indian people. She cared for Cherokee people and all Indian people, said her longtime friend Ellen Johnson.
"Today is a sad day in the Cherokee Nation. Marion was an incredible lady who I feel blessed to have known. I will miss her," said Tribal Council Member Cara Cowan Watts.
Martin Hagerstrand (1911 - 1999)
Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.
Created by: Terrill White
Record added: Mar 05, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 86292020
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