October 17, 1933 ~ February 21, 2022
Marie Clarice (Pico) Russell, family matriarch, respected Pechanga tribal leader, role model, and gifted public speaker, was born on October 17, 1933 at the Soboba Indian Hospital and returned to the creator on February 21, 2022 in Temecula, California at the age of 88. Adored and loved by family members she had the gift of sharing life experiences that often told of tribal customs and traditions. A descendent of Luiseño (Payómkawichum) Indian tribal leaders, Marie served on the tribal council, enrollment and numerous committees for the Pechanga Indian Reservation. She was honored with her family at the Perris California 100-year Celebration as a pioneer family. Specifically, Marie was recognized for supporting the WWII efforts through rationing and metal collection while her parents supported the military at Camp Hahn (March Airforce Base). She was individually recognized as a role model for her supervisory excellence in pre-fabricated home building, paving the way for other women in the area. During her teens Marie worked in packing sheds throughout Perris Valley as a Potato Grader. A proud Pechanga Silver Feather member, with bloodlines from the Nesicutt and Yuac clans including Daniel Pico who once led the Mission Indian Federation. Her grandmother, Virginia Pico, recorded songs and photos that were considered culturally significant and to this day are maintained in the US Library of Congress archives. Marie lived in Perris, Temecula, and Pechanga. For over fifty years she provided community services that enabled the establishment of the tribal sand wash bridge, elder transportation, food and youth clothing distribution to name a few. During the period of limited public services on Pechanga, Marie frequently transported injured persons to medical facilities. She possessed a gift of presence as an eloquent speaker, while inspiring, and successfully delivering messages that mattered. Marie proudly walked in two worlds as an unsung hero who understood tribal sovereignty while often educating non-natives living in the ancestral homeland of the luiseno. She will shine in the heavens forever as a star. Marie was predeceased by her mother, Evelyn Clarice Pico, Father, Carlos J. Pico, brothers Norman Pico Sr., Gabriel Pico Sr., sisters, Germaine Arenas, Milless Shores and her daughters Tina Lane and Colene Freeman. She was married to William Glass and Gordy Russell remaining friends with throughout their life. Marie enjoyed traveling and spending time with family that included children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, brothers, sisters, cousins, nieces, nephews, in addition to her many friends. Most notable loves of her life are the children of daughter Colene that included Sherry, Joshua, Jason, Della, Danny, Sheela, Robert, Russell, William, Nicole, 35 great grandchildren and 9 great-great grandchildren. In accordance with traditions her remembrance and related ceremonies will begin on Friday evening, March 11, 2022, at the Pechanga Old School House. A precession will occur prior to a 10:00 a.m., funeral mass Saturday, March 12, 2022, at the Pechanga St. Michael's Church located next to the Pechanga Indian Reservation Cemetery 12705 Pechanga Road, Temecula, CA 92592.