Donna Mae Cultee, age 74, of Lummi passed away on January 21, 2021.
She was born in Tacoma, WA on September 12, 1946. After obtaining her GED and attending college, Donna worked at Lummi Nation as a Family Cultural Coordinator.
Being deeply passionate about her work as the Family Cultural Coordinator for our Behavior Health Department, she always had high hopes for our people to get their lives on track and to strive for a better future. Donna played a huge part in the Sche’lang’en Village project with Lummi Housing and the new crossroads project, which consists of two, eight-bedroom halfway houses for men and women. Without Donna’s efforts, behind the scenes leadership, and support of Diana Phair, the Housing Board to help young families would not have become a reality.
Donna served on the Housing Board, Enrollment Budget, Education, Grandparent, and Children in Care Team. Donna was a loving, caring, humble, forgiving, beautiful person who had the biggest heart. She loved everyone, young and old, and everyone loved her. She had her finger on the pulse of the Lummi community and her compassion made her a fearless risk taker. We are all richer because of her loving and caring ways.
What her family and friends will remember about her: Her caring beautiful heart; one mind one spirit; work together and finish the work; remember the teachings; always remember to say your prayers and to pray for our people. Hearing about their awesome memories when they had the women’s Coho fast-pitch/slow-pitch softball team. They were the legends to put Lummi Nation on the map for taking championship at the tournaments all over Indian country. She never let anyone feel left out or alone and checked up on any of our young people who were incarcerated and wrote to them or sent them money if they needed it.
Donnas favorite activities included people watching, garage sales, watching her family play softball, traveling to softball tournaments near and far, quality time with her family, supporting her grandchildren in cultural traditions like the local culture night, and Blackhawk singers group.
She is survived by her children Thelma James (Dale), Reynold James Jr. (Priscilla), Pamela James (Raymond Sr.), and Norbert James (Jenn); grandchildren Kendra Kelly, Michael Jefferson, Raymond Wilbur Jr. (Ayla), Meagan Wilbur, Mariah James, Norbert James Jr., Joy-Jo Donna, Cameron, Dakota, and Cassandra; great grandchildren LaRaya, Auhdi, Auturro, Mikeahzia, Jaelynn, and Eliza; brother Michael Scarborough (Hedger); aunts Wilma Olsen and Ernestine Gensaw (Ballew), and numerous nieces and nephews.
Donna is preceded in death by parents Bernadine Celestine (Murry) and Kitsap “Chief” Cultee Sr., biological father Herbert Scarborough; brothers Kitsap Cultee Jr., Clifford Cultee, Alvin Cultee, David Scarborough, James Scarborough, and Darryl Scarborough; sister Thelma Cultee; grandparents Aurelia (Balch) and Francis Celestine.
A family graveside service was held on Tuesday, January 26, at Lummi Nation Cemetery.