Chief William Hauser DePoe, Sr.
1912 - 1997

William Hauser DePoe, Sr. died on January 11, 1997. He was born in Siletz, Oregon on December 14, 1912 to Robert Charles (Siletz Indian) and Mary Houser DePoe (Cheyenne Indian), the 4th of 5 children: Reggie, Chuck, Peter and Roberta. Both his parents were school teachers who later moved to Neah Bay, Washington to teach school. He was named after his great grandfather Chief William Charles DePoe, of DePoe Bay, Oregon. He inherited and carried on the tradition and title of "Chief". He also was a direct descendent of Chief White Antelope of the Sand Creek Cheyenne Band.
William met Marie LaFrance (Chippewa Indian) at Chemawa Boarding School in Salem, Oregon and married her, and had five children.
In his sports career, he won the Decathlon in high school, is in the Hall of Fame at Port Angeles, Washington and was on the National Indian Basketball All Star Team that played against the Harlem Globe Trotters. In later years, he often appeared at the University of Washington Huskies football events in his full regalia cheering them on.
In his career as a musician he played with many bands such as: Lawrence Welk, Lionel Hampton, Bob Crosby and the Bobcats and Tommy Dorsey.
A veteran of World War II serving in the Navy, he was one of 36 survivors out of 400 seamen serving on the USS Wateree.
Fifteen years ago he returned to DePoe Bay, devoting his time to instill pride in his Native American culture by presenting programs at schools and participating in Powwows with his second wife, Vivian, who predeceased him.
Chief DePoe is survived by his sister, Roberta Mike of Seattle, Wa.; children, Charlotte DePoe Herz of Neah Bay, WA., William H. DePoe, Jr. of Seattle, Wa., Ronald E. DePoe, Peter O. DePoe, Ilene DePoe Somes all of Neah Bay, WA.; 20 grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Chief William Hauser DePoe, Sr. had provided that his son, William Hauser DePoe, Jr. will succeed him.