Tribe loses a voice as Patsy Pullin walks on
Tribal Elder Patricia Joan “Patsy” Pullin walked on Friday, June 15, in Carson City, Nev., at the age of 75.
Pullin was born June 8, 1943, to Frank H. Harrison, a Chippewa-Cree from Montana, and Kathryn Harrison, who would go on to be a longtime Grand Ronde Tribal Council chairwoman.
Her grandparents were Henry Jones, a full-blooded Molalla Indian, and Elena Katane, an Eyak Native from Alaska.
Pullin received a degree from the University of Alaska Southeast and worked for two years as the Tribal Employment Rights Officer for the Ketchikan Indian Corp.
Patsy and her husband, Gene, performed in bars and at Veterans of Foreign Wars posts while living in Alaska and raising four children. They also recorded three albums together. According to a Jan. 1, 2005, Smoke Signals story, they married in 1960.
“He had a band, and I convinced him that he needed a woman singer,” Patsy said.
Pullin moved to Grand Ronde in 1999 and worked for the Grand Ronde Tribe as an Employment and Training Specialist in the Social Services Department. She also served on the Education, Culture and Health committees.
Pullin ran for Tribal Council six times. Her best finish occurred in 2010, when she garnered 331 votes and finished fourth out of 14 candidates.
In her 2008 Candidate Statement, Pullin said her mother, who survives her, was a “mentor and role model.”
Autumn Funerals and Cremations in Carson City is assisting the family with arrangements.
A full Walking On notice will appear in an upcoming issue of Smoke Signals.