— May 28, 1928 – July 21, 2009 —
Graveside funeral services for Jerri Gearldine Chasteen, 81 of Claremore, OK will be held 10:00 A.M. Friday, July 24, 2009 at Fairview Cemetery in Pryor. Services are under the direction of Key Funeral Home of Pryor.
Jerri was born on the 28th day of May in 1928 in Pryor, OK to Earl Jessie Rogers and Olga Nancy Williams. She died July 21, 2009 in Claremore, OK. Jerri attended the first 8 years of school in Pryor and completed her education in California, where she achieved an Associates degree in Business Administration and Accounting.
Jerri enjoyed several occupations in her professional life. She worked for American Airlines and Douglas Aircraft. She became a licensed private investigator and worked for the Fletcher detective agency in Tulsa. Jerri and her husband later ran the CB shop and Truckers store in the Cherokee Truck Stop at Big Cabin. They became known from coast to coast by the truckers as “Copperhead and Deacon.” “Deacon,” Cloys Dwight Chasteen preceded her in death in 1984.
Jerri retired from the truck stop after Dwight passed and decided to focus her passion of Cherokee Tribal history and became a certified professional genealogist. She worked closely with Lee Fleming HR, and the Cherokee Nation to promote accurate research practices. She also worked with the National Archives and the Mormons library in Salt Lake as she established the Cherokee Archival Project. Collecting and translation of historical records relating to all of the 5 civilized tribes. She became the first Head Registrar for the Cherokee Elders Society, and worked as Vice President of the Twin Territory Historical Society for several terms. She was a board member of the Native American Arts Council and during the 80’s and 90’s, the Oklahoma Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court considered her qualified to give “expert testimony” on Cherokee History and Cherokee Citizenship Rights.
Jerri’s dedication to the creation of accurate records for valid tribal citizenship was her passion. Up until her passing, she maintained the leadership of several online group sites such as on ancestor.com and Cherokee.net.
Much of Jerri’s considerable research archives will be donated to the Pryor Library in hopes that everyone will be able to research their ancestors locally.
Jerri (Rogers) Chasteen is survived by one daughter Gloria Murray of Owasso, three grandchildren, Freeman Bull of Claremore, Nancy Neal of Claremore, and Debra Mouse of Chouteau; eight great grandchildren; one great great grandchild; one sister, Pauline Rundell, and many nieces and nephews in the Pryor Area also survive her.
Family will be greeting friends Thursday evening from 6-8 PM at Key Funeral Home in Pryor.
Jerri Chasteen was Co-Coordinator of TNGenWeb’s First People of Tennessee and the American Southeast.