USK, Washington — Katherine “Katie” Nick, 76, of Usk, Washington, was called home by Creator to join her ancestors on Saturday, March 9, 2019.
Katie was born Nov. 15, 1942, in St. Ignatius to Steven Matt and Adelaide (Parker) Matt. She had several siblings: Margaret Coffey †, Mary Valeria Plant † , Mary Lucy Parker †, Virginia Brazil †, Charlene Petet, Genevive (Jenny) Matt, Clark Matt, Marvin Matt, Martha Langston, Steve Matt, Wilhemina (Willie) Wright, Steven (Sam) Buffalo, Bob Bigart, James (Bing) Matt, Arlene Dustybull, Ronald (Ronnie) Matt, Kay Decker and Patricia (Patty) Young Running Crane.
Katie was raised on the family ranch in Arlee and attended school through the eighth grade. After grade school she spent much of her time working the ranch with her dad, and cared for her mom and younger siblings.
Katie later started her own family and moved into her own home in Arlee. She always had an open door and shared what she had with others. Her home was often filled with children, many of whom called her Mom.
In 1975, she settled in Usk, Washington; here she raised her kids, grandkids, and spent as much time as she could with her great-grandchildren, often saying how blessed she was to have so many tupyes (great-grandchildren).
Through the years, she was happiest when surrounded by her family and friends, often her friends becoming family. She loved unconditionally and was always quick to forgive. She knew no stranger; she had stick-game friends internationally. She was a true leader and often spoke of the many hats she wore; from volunteering as a JOM committee member, to domestic violence advocacy for women, ICWA, teaching at Native Youth Leadership Camps, hosting AA meetings, she enjoyed sharing her knowledge of traditional sweat lodge ceremonies. Also, gathering traditional foods and herbal medicines with her people. When she wasn’t wearing one of the many hats she wore, she enjoyed reading, knitting, hitting the open road for a traveling adventure to powwows, play stick-game, catch a session of bingo or play the machines.
She is survived by her children: Steven (Sam) and Patricia Buffalo, ValDena McGillis, Lisa Charlo (Dwight), Susan A. (Frank) Stanger, and Jesse Sheridan. Grandchildren: Samuel Abraham Matt, Danielle Matt, Francis J. Jackson, Brian A. Jackson, Ronald George III (Krista) Torpey, James Lee Jr. (Sarah) Nenema, Adelaide (Tayna) McGillis, LaRae Meshell, Miranda Fox (Sean) Mesteth, Louis A. (Mariah) Nick, Nikita Vallee, Elaina Vallee-Hawkins (Matthew), Amyroze Charlo, Mark A. (Bree) Vallee, Amber M. Nomee, AnaLee K. Vallee, Kameron A. (Kendra) Vallee, Marcus Sheridan, Devlin Sheridan. Over 45 great-grandchildren, and blessed with a great-great-grandchild (Messiah Matt). She is also survived by her many nieces and nephews, and her Sheridan and Nick family.
She is preceded in death by her husband Hy Nick, her parents, and her children Marilyn L. McGillis, Dave Charles Vallee Jr., and James Michael Vallee. Grandchildren: Raylene K. McGillis Nenema, Jaela Jean Nenema, Raelynn Charlo, and great-grandchildren Jace and Meshell-Montoya twins.
Funeral arrangements are as follows:
Monday March 11 — Friends and family, Wake at Kalispel Community Building. Mom will be arriving from Newport at approximately 4 p.m. in Usk, Washington.
Tuesday March 12th - Final viewing begins at 10 a.m. to prepare her for her final trip down the River Road to Montana. Friends & Family, Wake at Arlee Community Center.
On Wednesday March 13th, the rosary is at 8 p.m., March 14th, a traditional service and final viewing will begin at 10 a.m. at the Arlee Community Fitness Center on Powwow Road. Burial will be at the Jocko cemetery followed by a meal at the community Fitness Center. Funeral arrangements provided by Foster Funeral Home and Sherman Funeral Home in Newport Washington.