Mississippi Choctaw Mourn the Passing of Former Chief Calvin Isaac 

Tribal Chief Calvin J. Isaac

Published January 12, 2020

CHOCTAW, Miss. — The Mississippi Band of Choctaw announced the death of former Tribal Chief Calvin J. Issac, who served as the first tribal chief since the great Pushmathana. Chief Issac passed away Saturday after battling a long illness. He was 86.

“TaRita and I, along with all Tribal Members, join the grieving family over the loss of our first Tribal Chief. He will be greatly missed,” said current Tribal Chief Cyrus Ben. “I had the great opportunity of knowing Chief Isaac my entire life. He was always a teacher, and I value his words of wisdom. We send our prayers to the entire Isaac family, as we honor the life and legacy of Chief Calvin Isaac.” 

Elected in 1975, Isaac served one term as tribal chief. He also served on the Tribal Council and worked in tribal education for over 15 years as a teacher and principal. 

Chief Isaac graduated from Meridian High School and received his bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Delta State University in 1958. That fall he joined the U.S. Army. After his time in the military Mr. Isaac went to Mississippi State University where he obtained a master’s in education, becoming the first Choctaw to graduate with a master’s degree. 

Out of respect for the family, and to honor Chief Isaac’s memory, Chief Ben has ordered the lowering of all Tribal Flags throughout Choctaw Tribal lands.

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