Cover photo for Melvina KillsCrow's Obituary
1950 Melvina 2022

Melvina KillsCrow

July 30, 1950 — May 28, 2022

Melvina Hazel Kills Crow

07/28/50 – 05/28/22

Melvina Hazel Kills Crow (Major), 71, a Nez Perce Tribal member entered into rest May 28, 2022, at the Royal Plaza Retirement & Care Facility in Lewiston, Idaho. She was born July 28, 1950, to Melvin Frederick Major and Lillian Oatman. Her grandparents were James and Jane Allen Oatman. Her father was of the Pomo, Wailaki, Kon Kau and Ukic tribes from the Round Valley Indian Reservation in California. She is a direct descendant of Old Chief Looking Glass, “ Ah Pus Wa Hekt”.

Melvina attended school in Kamiah and graduated from William C. Overfelt High School in San Jose, CA, in 1968 while residing with her sister, Marian. She graduated with her niece, Renita, at the same time. She also attended LCSC and other colleges including UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA.

Melvina was very smart and was well versed on the Nez Perce history and culture. She was always an outspoken activist for American Indian rights. She served on the NP Housing Board. She was given a grant and taught attendees on how to make moccasins and other items. She was well known for her beaded coin purses, pouches and barrettes. She knew how to tan hides, smoke dried meat and fillet salmon. She also made dance outfits for her grandchildren and danced along with them.

Melvina traveled and lived in Seattle, Poplar, Montana, Nevada and California.

Her brother is Raymond “Fred” Major. She is preceded in death by her sisters Marian Bohanan and Laura Major, her son Melvin James McConville and her parents. Her other children are Melva Major, Cistina (aka Lilly Baloo) Wahtomy, and Rachel Johnson. She was also married to and preceded in death by Dewayne Wahtomy, and Lester Kills Crow. Her Uncle is Ronald Oatman and she is preceded in death by her other Uncles and Aunts, Marcus Oatman, Everett Oatman, Sr., Cecil (Butch) Oatman, Beatrice Miles and Loda Sublett. Her nephews and nieces are Ronald Pinkham, Renita Brien (Pat), Carol Holt, Joanne Bohanan and also preceded in death by her other nephews, Melvin Pinkham, Wayne Pinkham, Newton Bohanan, Jr. and Edmond Bohanan. Her great nephew is Patrick Brien, Jr.

The grandchildren are Angela Major, Heather Claunch, Dustin Major, Harold Willie, Charlisa Wahtomy-Alba, Asineom Painter, Jonathan Lupe, Sarah Painter, Chegemmem (Alexandria) McConville-McCovey, Melvin Alexander James McConville and Katrina George. The great grandchildren are Tristian Wahtomy-Alba, Joseph Wahtomy-Alba, Kailai Wahtomy-Alba, Marcell Meninick, Talyhia Pollan, Samual Painter, Sam’Ya Painter, Arrius Painter, Phoenix Lupe, Keioni Lupe, Isaiah Painter, Aria Weasel Boy, Ethan Hensen, Sierra Hensen, Maya Hensen, and Emmitt Hensen. Preceded in death by great grandchild, Samuel Joseph Painter.

Private dressing May 31, 2022, 2pm at Trenary’s Funeral Home in Kooskia, Idaho led by Leslie Moses. Procession to Wa-A’Yas Community Building, Kamiah, ID. Non- Denominational service with Mary Jane Miles officiating at 6pm. “Wa-lut-tsut” service to follow led by Andre Picard, Jr.

Sunrise service June 1, 2022, at the Wa-A’Yas at 7am. Burial to follow at the Nez Perce Cemetery on No Kid Lane, Kamiah, ID. Giveaway and dinner to follow burial at the Wa-A’Yas. Head Cook, Jessica Samuels. For donations of food or help please call her at 208-596-2810.
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