Irene L. Digby
1921 - 2022
Irene L. Digby was born Nov. 12, 1921, in Fairview, Oklahoma, She graduated from Davis (Oklahoma) High School.
Ms. Digby was described as “small in size, but mighty in her Chickasaw heritage.” Ms. Digby was a distinguished Chickasaw storyteller and teacher of the Chickasaw language.
Ms. Digby exhibited traits which cannot be obtained by a certificate of degree. Her expertise and experience with traditional Chickasaw ways far outweigh anything a higher education facility could offer.
Ms. Digby performed her storytelling in local schools, teaching children Chickasaw heritage through her tales. She was honored in 2013 by Davis (Oklahoma) Public Schools for her charitable contributions by being inducted into the Davis Alumni Association.
Ms. Digby shares her heritage in a multitude of ways. She taught Chickasaw language and songs, beading and traditional recipes.
She has been featured in three books published by the Chickasaw Press, as well as Mike Larsen’s acclaimed painting series, Elders of the Chickasaw Nation, and the documentary Chickasaw Removal.
Although she was a fluent Chickasaw speaker, Ms. Digby could regularly be seen at Chickasaw language classes.
As a sign of respect in her community, she was often asked by parents to provide Chickasaw names for children, a tradition she established with her own family. She and her late husband, B.F. “Dick” Digby, have four children, 11 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.
Ms. Digby was a soft-spoken woman who spoke loudly of her Chickasaw heritage. She was a wise, spiritual, honorable and prominent Chickasaw example to all who have had the privilege of knowing her.