|Andrew Cuellar (Absentee Shawnee), the last surviving
graduate of the Carlisle Indian School, located in Carlisle, Pennsylvania,
died January 27 at his residence in Maryland. Mr. Cuellar was born
February 9, 1898 in Oklahoma Territory, the son of Philemon and Anna Barone
Cuellar. He attended the Shawnee Indian Mission School at Tecumseh,
Indian Territory before enrolling in the Carlisle Indian School.
While at Carlisle, he was involved in various scholastic and athletic activities.
He was also a member of the band and Rochester. Mr. Cuellar was the
treasurer and Valedictorian of the last graduating class of the Carlisle
Indian School in 1918. At Carlisle, Cuellar roomed with Edward Thorpe,
brother of the famed Jim Thorpe. The two roommates traveled to New
York City from Carlisle to visit Thorpe when he played for the NY Giants.
From Carlisle, Cuellar went to the Haskell Institute in Lawrence, KS.
After completing his studies at Haskell, Mr. Cuellar moved to Detroit,
Michigan and worked for the Ford Motor Company. It was there that
he met Henry Ford, and Ford's good friend and business partner, Thomas
Mr. Cuellar married the former Marie Irving (Menominee) and their daughter, Elaine was born. After leaving Detroit, in March 1934, Mr. Cuellar joined the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) at the Menominee Agency in Wisconsin. Mr. Cuellar and his family lived on the Menominee Indian Reservation. Mrs. Marie Cuellar passed away, and in 1941 Mr. Cuellar married Ada Aaron (Stockbridge-Munsee). They had a daughter, Ory.
Continuing in government service, Mr. Cuellar transferred to Aberdeen, South Dakota to work in the BIA area field office. He later transferred to Albuquerque NM where he retired in 1970. Mrs. Ada Cuellar passed away in 1988. In 1990, he relocated to Maryland where he resided with his daughter Ory.
When told of his passing, Linda Witmer, author of "The Indian Industrial School, Carlisle, Pennsylvania: 1879-1918" responded in sadness. "Andrew was a gentle and caring man. He shared with us his stories and trusted us to tell them. We will miss him. His passing marks the end of an era."
Mr. Cuellar is preceded in death by his wives, Marie and Ada, and daughter, Elaine Rochon, who passed away in September 1990. He is survived by his daughter, Ory Cuellar, seven grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and 4 great-great grandchildren.
A Memorial service in celebration of the life of Andrew Cuellar is being planned for the Spring. He will be laid to rest at the Tecumseh Mission Cemetery in Tecumseh, Oklahoma.
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