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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 11, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 19
Leonard R. 'Sonny' Stickman (1961-2012)
Section One
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Leonard R. 'Sonny' Stickman (1961-2012)

Our dear beloved friend Sonny left us on Sunday, May 6, while attending a social party.

Sonny expressed to his group of friends that he felt a bit tired. He put his forearm on the table and leaned forward to take a short rest. After some time had passed his friends noticed that he had been resting for quite some time. They attempted to wake him but received no response from Sonny.

After 911 was called and paramedics had arrived, Sonny's friends were informed that he had passed. At this time we have no knowledge of any other details regarding our dear friend Sonny. It appears that he passed away in his sleep.

Sonny lived a very colorful life. He was born in a helicopter in Alaska and grew up in a small Native American village named Nulato. He was an enrolled member of his native corporation.

Sonny was valedictorian of his graduating class in Nulato. He also was a champion cross-country skier. Everyone loved to listen to Sonny's memories of growing up in his village. He would share stories of the wolves singing to the moonlight over the Yukon River.

Sonny raised a bear cub for one full summer. In his childhood his father lowered him over a bluff, securely tied to a rope, to rescue a baby hawk. He raised this bird until it was able to fend for itself.

Sonny was a fluent speaker of his ancestral Athabascan language. One of his most amazing, incredible, and unexplainable gifts was his ability to disappear at will. It was as if he could step into a bush and vanish - even our dog was unable to find him when he was hiding.

While living the last 25 years in the greater Seattle area, he was known for his great gifts as an artist. His fine dreamcatchers showed extreme elegance and design. He created them in many different sizes. Some of them could be found in galleries for as much as $1,000.

Sonny graduated with a B.A. in Native American Museum Studies from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with the help of a scholarship from the Pride Foundation of Seattle. He was well known on many Native reservations in Washington state as a very kind-hearted caregiver to elders and children. Sonny was never asked to give care, but he was always the first to volunteer his time and energy.

You could easily recognize Sonny walking down the street with his hair piled up in the air, often in multiple colors. His Uncle Bill referred to Sonny's hair as getting ready to take off and fly. He carried a big voice that was often packed with laughter. He tended to move around a bit like a gypsy, but we always knew he was coming back. He loved to socialize, play the slot machines in casinos, and go dancing. He was a deeply loved joy to all of us who knew him, and although he will be deeply missed, we will feel him come visit us when gazing at a full moon or listening to the wind blow through the trees. When we hear the beautiful sound of a bird in the forest singing its mating call, we will know that was Sonny paying a visit.

To those of us who knew him he added to our lives. Sonny is now on a journey with the wolves. He is the Alpha wolf.

Written by his mate of 16 years, Paul D.G. Eubanks. 'I love you, Sonny'

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