Joseph “Joe” Amarbe Dent passed from this earth on September 25, 2017 at the age of 79 at his home in Red Rock, OK. He was surrounded by family.
Joe was born December 12, 1937. He was the eldest child of Abraham Dent, Sr. and Wilma Dailey Dent. He was the grandson of the last hereditary Otoe-Missouria Chief Ralph Dent and Madge Pettit Dent. He was the great grandson of Chiel Hoke Dent (Chief Blue Hair) and Chief Dave Petit (Chief Wach’ehi Manyi). He was a descendent of Chief Big Soldier, Chief Harragarra and the great Chief Letan (Chief Sumanyikathi).
Joe was raised at the Dent family allotment between Red Rock and Perry, OK with his nine brothers and sisters. As a descendent of chiefs, Joe was taught the traditions and ways of the tribe as a child.
Joe graduated from pPerry High School in 1956. He was a U.S. Air Force veteran and was stationed in the South Pacific in the years following the Korean War. In 1959, he married his wife, Rita Jiron (Taos Pueblo) in New Mexico and moved back to Oklahoma.
He became certified in automobile paint & body repair through Okmulgee Technical School and worked in that industry until he could no longer continue his career due to health concerns. Joe then became certified in phlebotomy and worked a number of years at the Oklahoma City Indian Clinic before retiring to Red Rock. After moving to Red Rock, Joe served as a member of the Otoe0Missouria Tribal Council in the capacity of Second Member.
Joe learned the ways of the Native American Church from his grandfather, Jim Pettit. He held the position of Chairman of the Otoe Church for 20 years. He kept his own fireplace until his passing. While he and bis wife, Rita, were faithful believers regarding all aspects of the church.
Joe’s dedicated friendship with many Kiowa elders resulted in becoming a member into the Kiowa Tia-Piah Society. His friendship amongst the Kiowa people continued until his passing and was sincerely cherished.
Joe has also established the honor of being recognized by the Ponca NAC Chapter and was very humble to be accepted into and included in their tribal ceremonial traditions. Throughout his travels, he made friendships and relationships among various tribes and all were very sacred to him.
In 2004, Joe was awarded the Oklahoma Spirit Aware by Governor Brad Henry. In 2014, he was recognized at the AARP Indian Elder Honors.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents, one son Calvin Wayne “Humphrey” Dent and two daughters Treva Louise Dent and Sonia Renee Dent, one brother Ira Hoke Dent, two sisters Patricia Dent and Madge Francis Dent.
He is survived by his wife Rita, three sons Ralph Dent of Red Rock, Anthony Dent of Sapulpa and one daughter Shanelle Dent of Ponca City; 12 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren; two brothers Abraham Dent, Jr. and Dana Dent, five sisters Rose Lane, Carole Aquero, Rhonda Dent, Etolia Habibi and Joan Aitson. A traditional feast will begin at noon on Thursday at the Otoe-Missouria Cultural Center. Burial will follow at the Otoe-Missouira Cemetery. The pall bearers for the service are Kyle Robedeaux, Aide Robedeaux, Gideon Goodeagle, Robbie White, O.J. Littlecook, Pete Littlecook, Oliver LIttlecook, and Jade Roubedaux. Services are in care of Grace Memorial Chapel.
God has blessed our Nauni family with the remembrance of our Otoe elders over the many years. Many precious thoughts of the special place the Dents and Petits have had in our hearts. Joe was a Godly man, very respected. I was out of state when I heard the news. Rita and the family have been in our prayers. God Bless and surround you all with His loving peace.
Franklin E. AkonetoWalters, OK