Joseph W. Hale, Sr. “Wek Ma Bi Tuk” Obituary

September 22, 2010 –


MAYETTA – Joseph W. Hale, Sr., Wek Ma Bi Tuk, 62, of Mayetta, died Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at the VA hospital in Topeka.

He was born October 26, 1947 on the Potawatomi Common Land at Mayetta, the son of William and Blanche Wahgo Hale. He graduated from Topeka High School in 1965 and attended Haskell University, Kaw Area Vo-Tech, and Kansas State University.

Joe worked in various jobs as a laborer and for the Potawatomi Nation, including the enrollment office.

He was a member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, the Big Drum Religion, had served on the Tribal Council and had worked with the Royal Valley Native American Dancers. Joe was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. He served in Viet Nam where he was combat wounded and received the purple heart.

He married LaVerne Kitchkommie. They were divorced.

Joe was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Victor Hale and Cecil Hale.

Survivors include five sons, Chago Hale, Naseka Hale, Gubba Hale, Wahpi Hale, and Kwake Hale, all of Mayetta, an adopted son, Wamp Shopteese, six adopted daughters, Lori Shopteese, Renee Shopteese, Lemon Shopteese, Tracy Shopteese, Jodi McIntosh, and Toni McIntosh, one brother, Philip Hale, Portland, OR, one sister, Larene Thomas, Horton, and nine grandchildren.
Drum services will be Saturday evening at the Dance Ground, west of Mayetta. Burial with military honors by We-Ta-Se Post No. 410 will be Sunday afternoon in the Matwe-Shobney Cemetery. Joe will lie in state until 3:00 p.m. Saturday at the Chapel Oaks Funeral Home in Holton. On-line condolences may be made at

(Courtesy of Chapel Oaks Funeral Home-Holton, Kan.)