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Obituary: Thomas Francis Weso

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7/19/1953 – 7/14/2023
Healdsburg, CA

Thomas Francis Weso was born July 16, 1953, in Neopit, Wisconsin, the son of Frances (Weso) Walker and Thomas Pecore, and died July 14, 2023, in Healdsburg, California.

He was born on the Menominee Indian reservation in Wisconsin and was raised there and in the area. He lived and worked for over fifteen years in Madison, Wisconsin. He attended Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas, where he received an A.S. degree in business, and then the University of Kansas, where he received an undergraduate degree in anthropology and a master’s degree in Indigenous Global Studies. He taught social sciences at Kansas City area colleges for 20 years. He loved food and history as well as his Menominee culture. He wrote the food memoir Good Seeds (Wisconsin Historical Society Press), and a second memoir Survival Food, which is forthcoming. His children’s book Native American Stories for Kids won a Kansas Notable Book Award. He was known for his humor and political insights, especially on social media. He loved his family, especially all the grandchildren, and his beloved friends.

He is survived by his wife of 30 years Denise (Dotson) Low-Weso; daughter PEmecewan Wesosa (Fleuker) Meisel and husband Joshua, grandchildren Curtis and Frances, of Lawrence, Kansas; stepsons David Low and wife Allison, granddaughter Natalie, of Healdsburg, California, and Daniel Low and wife Meiling, grandson Aidan, of Washington D.C.; and adopted daughter Diane Willie of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Other survivors are his sister Mary Walker-Sanapaw (Al Dick) of Gillett, Wisconsin; Donovan Walker of Neopit, Wisconsin; his aunt Nita Perez (Bobby); sister-in-law Mary Weso; nieces Morgan Butner, Laura (Corn) Paredes, Rachel (Corn) Bailey, Yvonne Katchenago; and nephews Monroe and Nathan Weso. Other survivors are his sister-in-law Jane Ciabattari (Mark) and brother-in-law David Dotson (Ginny).He was preceded in death by his mother; father; grandfather Monroe “Moon” Weso; grandmother, Jennie (Heath) Weso; and siblings Gerald Thomas “Oogie” Weso, Terri Ann (Walker) Katchenago, and Diane and Robert, who died in childhood; and nephew Michael Weso.

A celebration of life will be held July 23, Sunday, 2 pm, at the First Congregational Church of Santa Rosa, California with a reception to follow. Adobe Creek Funeral Home of Petaluma is handling arrangements. Tribal services will be Sept. 15-16 in Neopit.


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