Julia (Whitestar) Hardman, longtime resident of Ponca City and Ponca Tribal Elder entered into her eternal reward on November 7, 2021, in Wichita, KS having reached 79 years of age.
Julia was born in the winter, January 30, 1942, on the allotment of her Great Grandmother Katherine “Shines White” Primeaux. She was the first daughter of the late Rev. Stanford and Frances (Faye) King Whitestar. At the time of her birth, the weather prevented her parents from reaching a hospital, so she was delivered at home by her Father, a story she liked to recount often. Her father gave her the Ponca name P'ąk'a są, which could translate as “Pale Ponca”. Julia descended from prominent families of the Ponca Tribe. Her paternal grandparents were Starling and Julia (Yellowberry) Whitestar, and her maternal grandparents were Joseph and Mabel (Primeaux) King. She was proud to descend from her grandfather’s Whitetail and Yellowberry and took great pride in passing down her family lineage to her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Through her father, she belonged to the Ma’Kan (Medicine) Clan of the Ponca Tribe and at the time of her passing was one of the clan’s oldest female members.
Family was everything to Julia. Some of her happiest times were spent with her children and grandchildren She was the matriarch of the Whitestar family and following the passing of other family members she proudly took on the responsibility of their children and grandchildren as her own. She was one of a handful of tribal elders who could still converse in the Ponca language and took great pride in attempting to preserve the language as best she could. She loved the Lord and was a devout member of the Ponca Indian United Methodist Church and the Native American Church, Ponca Chapter.
In her working years, Julia was a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and traveled across many states providing care. Her last federal position was at the White Eagle Health Center after which she then spent several years working for the Title VI Program of the Ponca Tribe doing homebound care for elders. She was very proud of her nursing career and always took pride that she was able to support her family and do something that she really loved.
Julia was also a skilled Native artist. She was renowned for making moccasins, leggings, purses, and other beadwork projects. Many Ponca babies wore her moccasins, and she would always say that as she made them, she prayed that they would have a good and happy life. She also loved to knit, crochet, and visit on the phone with her friends and family.
Julia is survived by five daughters: Brenda Begay, Jo Ann Springwater, Julia Whitestar, Lee Dawn Pickett, and Holly Hunt. Also, Aunt Norma Lewis and family of Zuni, New Mexico. Julia has a host of grandchildren and numerous great grandchildren. She also leaves behind numerous nieces and nephews and a large extended family.
She was greeted in heaven by her parents, Rev. Stanford and Faye Whitestar; siblings, Eddie Atkins Whitestar, Analee Whitestar Stafford, Pearl Whitestar Morris, and Hope Whitestar; one son, Joseph Whitestar; grandchildren, Brenda Jo, Seth, and Daniel; two great grandsons, Eriz and Malachi.
Julia will be taken to the Ponca Tribal Cultural Center beginning November 8, 2021, where she will lie in state with nightly services to follow. The traditional feast and funeral services will be Wednesday November 10, 2021, beginning with the noon meal followed by the giveaway and traditional services. Rev. Jim White of the Ponca Indian United Methodist Church will be in charge of services assisted by Ponca Tribal Chairman Oliver Littlecook Sr. of the Ponca Native American Church. Julia will be laid to rest at the Ponca Tribal Cemetery.
Those who will serve as pallbearers are Dra-Honga Littlewalker, Xitha-Gaxe Littlewalker, Christian Springwater, Michiah Springwater, Preston Backus, Jr., Taylor Backus, David Lee McLain, and Caleb McLain. Honorary pallbearers will be Jimmy Sherron, Daniel Sherron, Eagle Rhodd, Starling Whitestar, Robert Burris, Raymond Burris, Doran Morris, Jr., and Charles Morris.