The Creator brought much beloved artist and author Kathleen Rose Smith home on April 26, 2023. The third youngest of eight children of Stephen Smith, Jr. (Bodega Miwok/Jenner Pomo) and Luciana (Lucy Ann) Lozinto Smith (Dry Creek Pomo). Kathleen grew up in her mother’s present-day Healdsburg homeland. An artist from early childhood, she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1977.
Kathleen was a founding member of the Federated Coast Miwok. She was also an elder, culture bearer, and proud citizen of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, who served on its Tribal Lands Committee. Kathleen worked as a cultural interpreter, an instructor of Native American art, an archaeology field technician, a foods columnist for News from Native California, and as a cultural consultant and demonstrator. She also served as Coordinator of the Native American Advisory Committee of the Warm Springs Cultural Resources Study. Her art has been featured in books, magazines, posters, logos, and multiple exhibitions, and she is author of Enough for All: Foods of My Dry Creek Pomo and Bodega Miwuk People.
Kathleen leaves behind her spouse Beverly R. Ortiz; sisters Marceline Delira and Nancy Napolitan; sister-in-law Ann King Smith; thirteen nieces and nephews: Donna Ferris, Steven Smith, Cyndee Smith, Verna Smith, Sandy Smith, Bruce Smith, Sherrie Smith-Ferri, Mark Smith, Linda Johnson, Tinamarie Romo, Steven Delira, David Delira, and Francesca Napolitan; several cousins, great- and great-great nieces and nephews, and a spoiled cat. She was predeceased by her sister Geraldine Dollar and her brothers Steven Russell Smith, William Vance Smith, Stanley Darrill Smith, and Merle Douglas Smith; two nephews Robert Herbst and John Ferris; and her niece Lorna Smith.
A funeral service followed by a reception and light luncheon will take place on Monday, May 15, starting at 11:15 a.m. at the Healdsburg Community Church at 1100 University Avenue in Healdsburg. On Tuesday, May 16 at 2 p.m., we’ll gather for the natural burial of Kathleen’s earthly remains so that they can return to the embrace of the natural world she so cherished. The burial will take place at the Sebastopol Memorial Lawn Cemetery at 7951 Bodega Avenue in Sebastopol.
At 6pm that same day, you’re invited to join us at the Ya-Ka-Ama dance circle and picnic grounds to share dinner and ceremony. Please bring your good hearts and a potluck dinner item to share. Ya-Ka-Ama is located at 7465 Steve Olson Lane in Forestville.
Memorial donations in Kathleen’s honor can be made to the nonprofit Native California Research Institute’s Archival Projects Fund, https://nacri.kindful.com/. All contributions will be used to support an ongoing project to create an archive of Kathleen’s artistic legacy, as well as an eventual travelling exhibition and catalogue of that legacy.
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