Norma Thomas
B: 1924-06-24
D: 2018-06-13
View Details
Thomas, Norma
Bruce Haverstock
B: 1940-01-07
D: 2018-06-12
View Details
Haverstock , Bruce
Maureen Lazore
B: 1961-07-12
D: 2018-06-07
View Details
Lazore, Maureen
Ivan Dodge
B: 1955-10-09
D: 2018-06-04
View Details
Dodge , Ivan
Cindy Young
B: 1957-01-14
D: 2018-05-31
View Details
Young, Cindy
Julia King
B: 1940-11-15
D: 2018-05-28
View Details
King, Julia
Robert LaValley
B: 1922-01-06
D: 2018-05-23
View Details
LaValley, Robert
John Remington
B: 1930-04-24
D: 2018-05-22
View Details
Remington, John
Sherwin Seymour
B: 1959-02-24
D: 2018-05-21
View Details
Seymour, Sherwin
Benjamin Schilling
B: 1987-02-18
D: 2018-05-21
View Details
Schilling, Benjamin
Joseph Barnes
B: 1975-04-17
D: 2018-05-20
View Details
Barnes, Joseph
Ronald Tatro
B: 1949-09-16
D: 2018-05-15
View Details
Tatro, Ronald
Joseph Ward
B: 1936-06-17
D: 2018-05-14
View Details
Ward, Joseph
Leo Bush
B: 1939-05-26
D: 2018-05-10
View Details
Bush, Leo
Barbara Cunningham
B: 1943-08-04
D: 2018-05-08
View Details
Cunningham, Barbara
Terry Johnson
B: 1965-09-14
D: 2018-05-08
View Details
Johnson , Terry
Mary Oney
B: 1942-08-11
D: 2018-05-07
View Details
Oney, Mary
Judith Simmons
B: 1946-01-19
D: 2018-05-05
View Details
Simmons, Judith
Frank Leaf
B: 1963-08-05
D: 2018-05-04
View Details
Leaf, Frank
Carol Ashley
B: 1950-04-30
D: 2018-05-01
View Details
Ashley, Carol
Harry Kienzle
B: 1932-09-07
D: 2018-05-01
View Details
Kienzle, Harry


Use the form above to find your loved one. You can search using the name of your loved one, or any family name for current or past services entrusted to our firm.

Click here to view all obituaries
Search Obituaries
100 North Main Street
Massena, NY 13662
Phone: (315) 769-3579
Fax: (315) 769-3570
John Thomas
In Memory of
John B."Sawatise"
1956 - 2018
Memorial Candle Tribute From
Donaldson Funeral Home, Inc.
"We are pleased to provide this Book of Memories to the family."
View full message >>>

Obituary for John "Sawatise" Thomas

John "Sawatise"  Thomas

AKWESASNE – Mr. John B. “Sawatise” Thomas, unexpectedly passed away Wednesday morning, March 7, 2018 at Massena Memorial Hospital.

Sawatise, Wolf Clan, was a very talented ​Mohawk​ ​artist​ ​from​ ​the​ ​Akwesasne​ ​Mohawk​ ​Territory.​​ ​As​ ​a​ ​self-taught​ ​artist​ ​in​ ​many​ ​mediums,​ ​his​ ​artwork​ ​is​ ​recognized​ ​throughout​ ​Akwesasne, the United States and Canada.​ ​​ ​He​​ ​made​ ​illustrations for​ ​books,​ ​posters,​ ​game​ ​boards,​ ​logos​ ​for​ ​local​ ​businesses​ ​and​ ​governmental​ ​programs​. He was also the instrumental​ ​artist​ ​behind​ ​the​ ​creation​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Mohawk​ ​Code​ ​Talkers​ ​mint​ ​coin​ ​for​ ​the​ ​US​ ​Mint.​ ​Some​ ​of​ ​his​ ​paintings​ were​ ​used​ ​for​ ​demonstrations​, government​ ​to government​ ​initiatives​​ and​ ​teachings​ ​in​ ​local​ ​schools​ ​and workshops.​ ​​ ​​John’s​ ​art​ was​ ​also​​ ​featured​ ​on​ ​the​ ​cover​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Indian​ ​Gaming Magazine​ ​twice​ ​plus​ ​he​​ ​received​ ​commendations​ from​ ​the​ ​New​ ​York​ ​State​ ​Governor​ ​during​ ​a high​ ​society​ ​private​ ​art show. John’s​ ​art​ ​was ​sought​ ​by​ ​many​ ​art​ ​collectors,​ ​museums, governmental​ ​agencies,​ ​and​ ​native​ ​institutions, including​ ​the​ ​National​ ​Assembly​ ​of​ ​First Nations and​ ​Ontario​ ​Power​ ​Generation.​ He ​was​ ​a​ ​true​ ​natural​ ​born artist.

Sawatise was also a Native American Culture Teacher within the Akwesasne community.​ Because​ ​the ​Akwesasne​ ​community​ ​straddles​ ​the​ ​US/Canadian border,​ ​he ​used​ ​his​ ​art​ ​and​ ​knowledge​ ​to​ ​create​ ​relationships​ ​and​ ​cultural​ ​sensitivity​ ​between the​ ​community​ ​and​ ​the​ ​Canadian​ ​Border​ ​Service​ ​Agency​ ​and ​the​ ​United​ ​States​ ​Customs.

Sawatise was a life long member of the Longhouse and was one of the founding members and President of the North American Ceremonial TeePee Society and served as a Delegate of the NAC Eastern Branch at one time. Sawatise had a great love for the Native American ceremonies of singing and social dancing. As a singer, he was active with the Standing Arrow Singers. He was a 1973 Wounded Knee Veteran and was a strong believer in the traditional ways and proudly spoke of them.

Sawatise is survived by his wife, Leslie (Whitecrow) who enjoyed 43 plus years of marriage with John; his children, Tiio and Jackie Thomas, Starr Thomas, and Falon Thomas, all of Akwesasne; his grandsons, Tylar, Destin, Riley, Bryson, John, and Preston; his twin sister, Jennifer Standing Arrow and her husband, Ken Jock; two sisters, Loretta Thomas and Lorraine Thomas, all of Akwesasne; his brother, Paul Thomas, also of Akwesasne; his half sister, Cassandra Thomas-Eaton of Utica; two half brothers, George Thomas of Oklahoma and Russell Thomas of Florida; and many nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, Frank Standing Arrow Thomas in 1979 and Georgia (Point) Thomas in 1990, he was predeceased by his brother, Harold “Gesso” Thomas on October 8, 1996; two sisters, Marcella Thomas in infancy and Nancy Herne on September 27, 1987; and a nephew, Curtis “Karom” Thomas on October 7, 2006.

Friends may call at the Thomas Family Ceremonial House, Thomas Road, beginning Thursday 5:00 PM until 10:00 AM Saturday when his funeral ceremony will be held. Cremation will follow.

Order Flowers