Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Mourns Loss of Long-time Leader Jim Potter

Jim M. Potter

Jim M. Potter

Potter Suffered Fatal Motorcycle Injuries on Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Reservation

MAYETTA—The Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation is mourning the loss of James McKinley “Waubaunsee” Potter, who was suffered fatal injuries in a motorcycle accident after he left the Tribe’s powwow grounds where he spent Wednesday preparing for this weekend’s powwow on the Prairie Band Potawatomi Reservation. Mr. Potter was 56.

Tribal offices closed at 1:00 p.m. because employees were in shock because of Potter’s sudden death.

“Today was a devestating day for us. We were stunned by the news,” said Suzanne Heck, editor of the Tribe’s “Potawatomi Times.” 

Potter, a tribal citizen of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, diligently served his Tribe in various positions for the past 16 years. He served as the Tribe’s treasurer for 12 years and four years as secretary. Additionally, Potter served eight years on the Executive Board of National Congress of American Indians. He served on the tribal health board and was on the powwow committee at the time of his death.

In addition to American Indian work, Potter was past president of Jackson County (Kansas) Economic Development Corporation and the Jackson County Tourism Council. He was a member of Mayetta Masonic Lodge and the Banner Creek Science Center.

Potter was born January 14, 1958 in Topeka the son of John William and Rema Julia (Wahweotten) Potter.

He graduated from Royal Valley High School in 1976 and attended college in Emporia and Hutchinson. He had lived in Mayetta for 10 years and Delia for 7 years. Previously he lived in Topeka working as a parts manager for Price Equipment and later at Florence Crittenton Girls Home.

He married Patricia Miller on June 6, 1992 in Topeka, Kansas and survives him. Other survivors include his adopted mother, Mary LeClere of Mayetta, Kansas; 2 sons, Robert Lara and Richard Clark both of Topeka, Kansas; adopted daughter, January Bird of Winnebago, Nebraska; 2 sisters, Shirley Potts of Sabetha, Kansas and Leona Briscoe of Dallas, Texas and an adopted granddaughter, September Thomas.

Drum services will be Monday evening, June 16, 2014 at the Danceground Building west of Mayetta. Burial will be Tuesday afternoon, June 17, 2014 at the Danceground Cemetery. Jim will lie in state at the Mercer Funeral Home in Holton until 3:00 p.m. on  Monday.

Suzanne Heck contributed to this article from Mayetta, Kansas.

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  1. Arnold Paul Buntain 6 years ago
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