Edward 'Eddie' Wadda

Jun 5, 2012 Staff

Edward "Eddie" Wadda, 42, of Fort Washakie, died Thursday, May 31, 2012, in a single car accident near Buffalo.

Funeral services are at noon Wednesday, June 6, at Rocky Mountain Hall in Fort Washakie. Interment will be in the Sacajawea Cemetery at Fort Washakie.

A wake is at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 5, at Rocky Mountain Hall.

Wind River Unity had a memorial service to honor Mr. Wadda on Saturday, June 2, at the Lander City Park. The Eagle Staff runners had a Journey Home Run from the Wind River Casino to Fort Washakie on June 3.

Edward Wadda was born July 7, 1969, in Lander, the son of Nancy Wadda Large. He grew up in Fort Washakie, spending most of his younger years at the home of his grandmother Suzette Wagon on Trout Creek.

He was a 1987 graduate of Lander Valley High School where he excelled in basketball and was given the nickname "The Wizard" because of his skills. He attended Central Wyoming College from 1996 to 1997, where he was a member of the college basketball team and a Trio Award recipient. He then attended the University of Wyoming, earning a bachelor of arts degree in education in 1994. In 1998, he completed his master's degree in education at Oklahoma City University. He was a doctoral candidate in 2003 at the University of Wyoming in education curriculum and instruction.

Mr. Wadda was appointed as the tribal liaison for the Eastern Shoshone Tribe by Gov. Dave Freudenthal in October 2005.

He became the tribal liaison for the Eastern Shoshone Tribe in July 2009. He was a teacher at Wyoming Indian Elementary School, an adjunct instructor at the University of Wyoming and Central Wyoming College since 2003 and an adjunct instructor at the Wind River Tribal College.

From 2004 to 2005, he was also the Eastern Shoshone program coordinator for the Boys and Girls Club.

His family said Mr. Wadda devoted his life to Native American youth by being actively involved in coaching basketball and coordinating Wind River Unity chapter events. He and members of the Eastern Shoshone tribe participated in the inaugural parade for President Barack Obama. Mr. Wadda made several trips to Red Lake, Minn., to assist the community following a tragic shooting there. He participated in the Eastern Shoshone sun dance.

His family said Mr. Wadda enjoyed watching local high school basketball games and attended games at Wyoming Indian schools, Lander Valley and Wind River. His favorite college/professional teams included the Bulls, the Broncos, the Tar Heels, the Fighting Irish and the Cowboys. When not traveling with Unity or working, the family said he could be found playing golf or tennis, visiting friends and eating at the local casinos, where he was a fan of table games. They said he also enjoyed all types of music, but his favorite was Michael Jackson. He kept in touch with thousands of friends and family with his Facebook posts.

The family has plans to establish a memorial scholarship to continue his work of encouraging Native American youth to advance their dreams.

Survivors include his sister, Deanne Large Leonard and her husband Floyd; brothers Buddy Large and Vincent Large and his wife April of Cache, Okla.; nieces Jaylea, Emerald and Martina Large, Gracie Hooper and her husband Loren, Tammi Wallingbull and husband Jared, Mylee Wadda and Mattie Leonard; nephews Bradlee Wadda and Tristian Harris. Uncles Lyle Wadda, John Wadda and wife Rose, William Wagon and wife Mary, Arleigh Armajo and wife Carla; aunts Lillian Aragon and husband Tony, Cara Moon, Eva Magnum and husband Marvin; grandmother Wilma Swallow, and numerous other relatives.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Nancy Large; his grandparents Ione and Edward Wadda, Susette and Roger Wagon, Gloria and Homer Phillips, Laura and John Tyler, Arvella and Charlie Crispin, Mattie Meeks, Raymond and Elmer Isis; aunts Donna Shoyo and Celeste Marie Wadda; uncle Frank Armajo; brothers Delbert Large Jr., Roland and Kenny Shoyo, and numerous other relatives.

Arrangements are by Hudson's Funeral Home of Lander.

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