In Memoriam

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Richard “Chief” Quiles

September 4, 1956 – May 14, 2020

Richard "Chief" Quiles
U.S. Veteran

On May 14, 2020, Chief Warrant Officer, Richard Quiles, 63, peacefully passed away at his beach house after a courageous fight with cancer. Richard is proceeded in death by his father, Benigno and oldest daughter, Lesa Carli. He is survived by his wife Elsa, mother Amparo, daughter Wendy, son Richard, and five grandchildren who he proudly said were his lifelong legacy: Nichole, Janae, Anthony, Austin, and Jonathan. 

Chief, as he was fondly called, was born September 4th in Brooklyn NY to Benigno and Amparo Quiles. He joined the Army at an early age and dedicated over 21 years of service with elite groups and continued serving his country in several capacities for the duration of his years.

His knowledge, skills, and ability extended into our community while temporarily working with both the Tampa and Polk County law enforcement agencies. Richard always seized the opportunity to excel in sharing his elite skills with many and was deeply passionate in impacting those around him as their life coach. He is fondly remembered as a good friend, amazing man, and radiant person with a good heart.

His passion, dedication, and love for his country was profound and those who knew him remember him for his natural leadership, energy, love of our country and flag, his love for his family, and a bigger than life personality that has left a great void in the lives he impacted.

Richard looked for every opportunity to enjoy life with his family and friends and his favorite pastime was spent by the water either on his boat, a sea-doo, or simply sitting on the dock smoking his Cuban cigars. His other passion was riding his Harley motorcycle throughout the Florida countryside accompanied by his closest friends.

A private family grave side burial will be held on Saturday May 23rd, 2020 at Serenity Meadows Memorial Park in Riverview, FL. A celebration of his life and military honors will take place at a later date, pending military approval. Flowers can be sent to the funeral home or donations can be made to the Pancreatic Cancer Organization in his memory.

https://www.serenitymeadows.com/obituary/richard-quiles


KENNETH LEE WNUK (POOH BEAR)

WARRIORS MOTORCYCLE CLUB BROTHER

RIP BROTHER!

KENNETH LEE
WNUK, 75
Lakeland Police Dept.
1944 – 2019

LAKELAND – Kenneth Lee ‘Kenny’ Wnuk, 75, also known to his friends as Pooh Bear died on Monday, September 23, 2019. He was born in Rochester, NY on July 16, 1944, Kenny graduated from the University of Georgia at Athens and went on to earn his Master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Rollins College. He served as a Lakeland Police Office from May 12, 1975, through November 3, 1995.
Kenny was an avid motorcycle rider and loved riding with brothers and friends.

Pooh Bear will be greatly missed by family and friends


David Bald Eagle, Lakota Chief, Musician, Cowboy And Actor, Dies At 97

Chief David Beautiful Bald Eagle during the opening of the Days of ’76 Museum in Deadwood, S.D. Bald Eagle died on Friday at the age of 97. Tom Griffith/Rapid City Journal via AP.

Chief David Beautiful Bald Eagle during the opening of the Days of ’76 Museum in Deadwood, S.D. Bald Eagle died on Friday at the age of 97.

Tom Griffith/Rapid City Journal via AP

In the U.K., the headlines note the passing of a “Dances With Wolves actor.”

But appearing in an Oscar-award-winning film was one of the least interesting things David William Beautiful Bald Eagle ever did.

Bald Eagle died last Friday at 97. In his long, extraordinary life, he was a champion dancer — both ballroom and Lakota styles — a touring musician, a rodeo cowboy, a tribal chief, an actor, a stunt double, a war hero.

He danced with Marilyn Monroe. He drove race cars. He parachuted into enemy gunfire at Normandy. He played professional baseball. He was a leader not just of his tribe, but of the United Native Nations. He was an advocate for Native people.

And he was a bridge between the past and present — a man who, in his childhood, heard stories from survivors of the Battle of Little Bighorn.

Bald Eagle — whose full Lakota name translates to Wounded in Winter Beautiful Bald Eagle, the BBC reports — was born in 1919. At the time, he couldn’t be a U.S. citizen. He was 5 when America finally extended citizenship to indigenous people.

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He lived with his grandfather White Feather as a child, the Rapid City Journal has written. His other grandfather was Chief White Bull, a relative of Sitting Bull and one of the leaders in the Battle of Little Bighorn. Both would tell young David their war stories, and exhort him to remember them.

Bald Eagle only spoke Lakota until he was 12, when he started school. He spent his teenage years learning English, playing sports — everything from pole vault to baseball — and competing in the rodeo.

He saw the West before barbed-wire fences and roads arrived, says his son, Kili Bald Eagle. “He used to tell me about how he could ride across the state and he’d never have to open a gate,” Kili says.

As a young man Bald Eagle enlisted in the horse cavalry. A few years later it was mechanized: The Army swapped his horse for a motorcycle, and made him a messenger.

He was discharged on Dec. 7, 1941. After he’d signed his papers, he heard the news about Pearl Harbor. At his commander’s request he reenlisted, joining as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne.

Sgt. Bald Eagle’s first combat jump was during the invasion of Anzio, Italy. He was part of a regiment that fought so fiercely a captured German soldier called them “Devils in Baggy Pants.”

Then he parachuted into Normandy, suffering severe injuries when he was accidentally dropped directly over German troops, an easy target for gunfire.

“We were just like clay pigeons, coming down. Most of my outfit was wiped out,” he told the Rapid City Journal in 2001.

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“The first medics to reach him left him for dead,” the paper wrote. “But some British commandos came along and found he still had a pulse.”

Bald Eagle survived. He started a musical career, as a drummer for Cliff Keyes’ Big Band, the BBC reports.

While he was in the Army, he’d met and fallen in love with an English dance teacher named Penny Rathburn. After he returned from the war, they were married.

As a couple, they were competitive ballroom dancerschampion ballroom dancers, in fact, dancing in St. Paul and Chicago.

Penny was pregnant with their first child when she died in a car crash. Bald Eagle was devastated.

“I became pretty much suicidal from then on,” he once said in an interview. “Why her, not me?”

So he took up dangerous pursuits.

His biography is filled with things that would have killed lesser men.

director Steven Lewis Simpson

He started race car driving, tried skydiving, returned to the rodeo circuit, took up bareback bull riding, became a stunt double in the movies.

But when chasing death, he came across success. His work as a stunt double “made his name,” according to Richard Bullock, who has written an obituary of Bald Eagle.

Shooting Westerns required “people who can actually ride horses,” as Sonny Skyhawk puts it. Skyhawk is a member of the Sicangu Lakota Nation who has been a film actor for nearly four decades.

So Bald Eagle, a talented rider, went on to appear in dozens of Hollywood films — which is how he met, and danced with, Marilyn Monroe.

The Westerns he was in represented Native people as less than human, Skyhawk says: “We were always being shot down or killed. With one bullet five or more Indians would fall.”

But Bald Eagle always tried to teach people about Native American history and life, whatever was happening around him, Skyhawk says.

“He excelled at being an educator, and did whatever it took, whatever his own power and talents, to bring that to the forefront,” Skyhawk says.

Dave Bald Eagle, at 95, playing the role of Dan in Neither Wolf Nor Dog. Courtesy of Steven Lewis Simpson.


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