Cover photo for Dr. Marlene Kihega Echohawk's Obituary
Dr. Marlene Kihega Echohawk Profile Photo
1932 Dr. Marlene 2023

Dr. Marlene Kihega Echohawk

February 24, 1932 — April 25, 2023

Dr. Marlene Kihega EchoHawk started her journey to the next life on April 25, 2023. Born Leora Marlene Kihega on February 24, 1932, she was the second daughter of Louis Kihega and Eunice Whitehorn Kihega. She was a member of the Otoe-Missouria Tribe, and grew up in Sumner, OK until moving to Oklahoma City as a young girl. She graduated from Central High School in Oklahoma City at the age of 15 and went on to study at St. Mary-of-the-Woods in Terre Haute, IN. In 1962, she took a job at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Oklahoma City and worked in the biochemistry laboratory from 1962 to 1973. She returned to graduate school in 1969 and obtained a doctorate in clinical psychology from Oklahoma State University in 1976. After serving as an independent consultant for various universities and American Indian and Alaska Native tribes, she decided to settle down into private practice in 1983. She focused her attention and skills on helping newborn through adolescent children.


In 1986, she joined the Indian Health Service Mental Health Program and served as staff psychologist in Chinle Comprehensive Health Facility in Chinle, Ariz., on the Navajo Reservation. In 1989, she became the Mental Health Branch Chief in the IHS Aberdeen Area Office in Aberdeen, S.D., where she provided oversight to 17 tribal mental health programs in 14 states. In 1993, she was recruited to be the deputy chief of the IHS Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Program Branch at Headquarters central office. From 1999 to 2009, she worked at IHS Headquarters in Rockville Md., in the Behavioral Health Program. She received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters in 2009 from her undergraduate alma mater. She had also served as a tribal court judge for the Tonkawa and Pawnee Tribes.


Marlene was preceded in death by her parents, her sister, Lois Moon, brother, Louis, Jr., and her daughter, Paulette EchoHawk. She leaves behind daughter, Bernadette (B.C.) EchoHawk, son, Daniel EchoHawk, nephew, Jim Moon, and niece Kathy LaPlante. Marlene was a loving and generous aunt, niece, and sister to her family, and leaves many family members in the Red Rock, Perkins, and Pawnee communities.






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Service Schedule

Past Services

Prayer Service

Friday, April 28, 2023

Starts at 7:00 pm (Central time)

Otoe-Missouria Tribal Cultural Center

, Red Rock, OK 74651

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Funeral Service

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Starts at 12:00 pm (Central time)

Otoe-Missouria Tribal Cultural Center

, Red Rock, OK 74651

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Burial

Otoe-Missouria Cemetery

, Red Rock, OK 74651

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