Luke W. Toyebo Sr. (Aw-zie’-the), the only living World War II veteran who is a member of the Kiowa Tribe, will be honored Sunday during the 59th annual Kiowa Blackleggings Warrior Society Ceremonial.
Lyndreth L. “Tugger” Palmer, commander of the Kiowa Blackleggings, said rations will be given to 40-plus campers Friday. The event will be in the valley north of Indian City U.S.A., two miles south of Anadarko on Oklahoma 8. The event will begin with a noon meal, followed by the ceremonial itself at 2 p.m., on both Saturday and Sunday. The O-ho-mah Lodge will preside over the evening program both days.
Toyebo, 96, was born five miles southwest of Mountain View on his paternal grandmother’s allotment near Big Tree Crossing on Rainy Mountain Creek, a Kiowa landmark. His parents were Milton and Maggie Quoetone Toyebo.
He attended two years at a one-room schoolhouse near Meers. He rode horseback to school with his sister. He graduated from Mountain View Public Schools in 1940. He attended Oklahoma Baptist University, Shawnee, on a football scholarship in 1940-41. OBU discontinued its football program after the fall 1940 season.
Toyebo’s higher education was temporarily tabled due to World War II. He entered the U.S. Coast Guard in July 1942, attended boot camp at Algiers, La., and was later assigned to the Coast Guard’s Radio School in Atlantic City, N.J., where he completed training with a rank of RM3C.
He served aboard the USS Agassiz for 29 months as a radio operator. He was honorable discharged in February 1946 as a RM1C.
Upon his return home, he attended Southwest Oklahoma State University, Weatherford, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business education. He completed his master’s degree at the University of Oklahoma. He had a long and distinguished career in education, serving as teacher/coach in Putnam City Schools, Hope, N.M., Public Schools and Fay Public Schools; accounting teacher at Haskell Institute, Lawrence, Kan.; counselor in the boys’ guidance department at Concho Indian School, Concho, and then higher education specialist and budget officer at the Bureau of Indian Affairs Area Office in Anadarko from 1963 until his retirement in 1985. After retirement he was employed as the Kiowa Tax Commission director.
An avid sports fan, Toyebo worked as a football official for more than 35 years. He is also a longtime breeder and owner of racehorses, his most famous being Go Kiowa Go. He was instrumental in resuming horse racing at the American Indian Exposition in 1970.