|Birth: ||Aug. 6, 1926|
|Death: ||May 1, 2008|
When Marie Kizer passed away at her home in Dresslerville, May 1, 2008, the Washoe Tribe lost a wealth of knowledge and history. Marie was born in Tahoma, Calif., on the southern shores of Lake Tahoe, in 1926. She, along with her brothers and sisters, walked along those shores when she was young to sell fish to the tourists or went into the meadows to harvest native plants for food and medicine. Every time she took a ride around the Lake, she would always point out where a little cabin used to stand where she was born. She'd talk about the time at the Lake as fun and daring, and how she used to climb the rocks above the Lake with her sisters. She pointed out the "floating" rock, and pointed out the place where she picked little black rocks she used to keep score when playing four cards.
Mrs. Kizer was a respected Washoe Tribal member who resided on the Dresslerville Indian Community for most of her life. Mrs. Kizer learned the art of basketmaking from her mother and became well-known for those skills. She was especially skilled at making baby baskets, or cradle boards. She made baskets to carry her own children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Soon other people began to ask her to make baskets for their children or grandchildren. Her baskets can be found not only with her close family and friends, but as far away as Great Britain, Russia and France, and in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. In her early years, she also beaded baskets, salt and pepper shakers, as well as decorative jars. She shared her knowledge of basketry and making traditional Washoe foods such as acorn biscuits and pinenut soup with her family and friends. Her patient instruction will ensure that these traditions will be carried on.
She was one of the founding members of the Dresslerville Baptist Church, and served as the treasurer of the Senior Site Council at the senior center located in Dresslerville for many years. When her sons attended the Stewart Indian School, she served on the Stewart Parent Advisory Committee representing the Indian community of Dresslerville.
During the cultural dinners at the Dresslerville Senior Center, Mrs. Kizer helped to make acorn biscuits. She, along with other tribal elders, would shell and clean the acorn, then grind it into a flour. It was a long and arduous process, and in the earlier days, the Pau-Wa-Lu Washoes (people of the valley) would make acorn along the Carson River. The steady flow of the river would provide the natural leaching of the acorn. In later years, Mrs. Kizer devised her own method of creating this leaching process which didn't require her to go down to the river banks. She had her sons build her a screening platform where she placed the flour. A garden hose hanging from her locust tree was used to create a constant and slow stream to leach out the natural acidity of the acorn, creating a paste which would later be mixed with water and boiled.
She also made pinenut soup. Again, shelling, cleaning and cooking the nuts, then grinding the nuts into flour, which when added to water made a rich, thick consistency which the Washoe people drank. The acorn and pinenut soup are traditional foods of the Washoe and were made for special occasions. The Kizers always had one or both of these foods for holiday dinners and family picnics.
With 13 children, Mrs. Kizer's major role came as a mom. She could be spotted on many Friday and Saturday nights sitting in bleachers proudly watching her children and grandchildren play sports. Football, basketball and softball were her favorites, and she had many family members who played those sports in high school and in the athletic leagues in the Carson Valley area. She could also be seen under an umbrella or shade tree watching her children play in softball tournaments in California.
Mrs. Kizer was born to Nancy Pitts and Louis Simpson on Aug. 6, 1926. She raised 13 children of whom 11 are surviving: sons Clifford Simpson, Walter Kizer, Leroy Kizer, Mark Kizer, Delaney Kizer Jr., Clayton Kizer, Darrell Kizer and Craig Kizer; daughters Lenora Kizer, Amelia Kizer and Minerva Kizer. She is also survived by sister Shirley Frank. She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers Delbert Simpson, Leighton Palmer and Clyde Wade; sisters Lorraine Luna and Belda Eagle; and daughters Lynn Kizer Schurz and Virginia Kizer.
A funeral service was held in Dresslerville on May 5, 2008, and was attended by more than 300 family members and friends. Mrs. Kizer was eulogized by former Tribal Chairman A. Brian Wallace for her contributions as a respected Washoe Tribal elder whose traditional and cultural values will live on forever in her teachings, and the baskets she left behind. She was laid to rest in the Woodfords Indian Cemetery in Woodfords, Calif.
The family wishes to thank the following for their help and support: Willard, Dwight, Phillip and Barbara Bennett, Suzanne Frank, Brian Wallace, Julie Barr, Washoe Housing Authority, Dresslerville Community Council and staff, Beverly Caldera and sisters, Nita Zulian, Melba Rakow, Final Wishes Funeral Home, Robert Rodriguez, Tracy Kizer, Washoe Tribal clinic and staff; Home Health and Hospice of Barton Memorial Hospital, Washoe Tribe administration and chairman's office, Head Start and law enforcement staff; Wal-Mart and staff; all the people who brought food and flowers, and those who shared and supported the family in their time of grief and sorrow.
Lenora Kizer is Marie Kizer's daughter.
Woodfords Washoe Indian Cemetery
Maintained by: Eileen Gillette
Originally Created by: Jessie
Record added: Feb 28, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 34300674
Added by: Anonymous
Added: Oct. 25, 2011
Rest on in peace|
Added: Sep. 23, 2009