Bobby Onco, Wounded Knee Warrior, Walks On
Onco was born in Hobart, Oklahoma, on May 23, 1950 to Atwater William Onco and Lucille Redbird Onco, both Kiowa. He left Oklahoma in April 1968 to serve in the armed forces during the Vietnam War. “However, he found his true warrior spirit fighting for the American Indian Movement at Wounded Knee in 1973,” his family said an obituary.
Onco loved adventure and enjoyed traveling around Indian Country. His travels earned him the Kiowa name Daum-To-Yai or “Traveller to Other Countries.” But it was his family and home at the Shinnecock Indian Nation Reservation that meant the most to him.
“Of all the things he had done in his life, he always said that his proudest achievement was his family. He married Jacqueline Smith on May 25, 1988 and became stepfather to David Taobi Silva and Adrienne Star Silva. Bobby and Jacqueline had two children together: Robert ‘B.J.’ Tangnaqudo Onco and Lacina Tangnaqudo Onco. Using his skills as a tradesman, he built his family a home. It was the love he had for his family, and for the community, that made Shinnecock his true home,” family members said.
Family members describe Onco as a father, a husband, a grandfather, a brother, an uncle, a friend, and a spiritual leader. “Bobby was the kind of man that made friends with everyone. His amusing sense of humor, loud laughter, and gigantic smile made him a charming man. If you were upset, Bobby would always make you smile. He was someone you could turn to for words of comfort, guidance, and support,” reads his obituary.
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