Cover photo for Diane Sandra-Kenwabikise "Chief" Smith's Obituary
Diane Sandra-Kenwabikise "Chief" Smith Profile Photo

Diane Sandra-Kenwabikise "Chief" Smith

April 30, 1958 — June 30, 2022

Diane Sandra-Kenwabikise "Chief" Smith

Diane Sandra Kenwabikise "Chief" Smith, 64 of Charlevoix died June 30, 2022, the day after her brother.  She was born April 30, 1958 at the old Charlevoix Hospital, the daughter of Paul and Isabelle (Wabanimkee) Kenwabikise.  She was a member of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.


   Chief was an amazing cook and chances are if you went out to eat in Charlevoix you enjoyed her cooking.  She worked at many restaurants throughout Charlevoix including The Villager Pub, Terry’s Place, Great Lakes Fish & Chips, Grey Gables, The Flight Deck and Castle Farms Estates.   Chief also helped handle many of the other daily operations at these establishments such as prep work, dish washing, hiring, and cleaning.  She was always a team player. 


   Introduced to each other by Diane’s dad Paul, Steven “Sonic” Smith stole Diane’s heart and they were married in Las Vegas at The Chapel of Dreams in 2001. Together they traveled all over the US including California, Florida, and motorcycle swap meets in Iowa and Pennsylvania.  They also went to Mexico and took a 30 day back road trip from Charlevoix to Imperial Beach, CA.   They took most every back road they could find in the U.P., and loved to spend time on Tahquamenon River at their camp.  They also had a special campsite on South Shoal on Drummond Island just out of sight of Cockburn Island. 


   Surviving is her husband Sonic, her son David Kenwabikise of Charlevoix, grandchildren Jayden Bergmann, Caleb Kenwabikise and Isabelle Kenwabikise, a brother, Joey Kenwabikise; four sisters, Caroline (Buck) Ramey, Nancy Harris, Pauline (George) Anthony, and Mary Kenwabikise, brother-in-law Jack Bray a sister-in-law, Peggy Kenwabikise; many nieces and nephews and her favorite dog Scrapper Do.


   She was preceded in death by her parents; three sisters, Margaret Way, Doris Kenwabikise, Sarah Bray; and five brothers, Johnny Kenwabikise, Leonard Kenwabikise, Robbie Kenwabikise, Stephen Kenwabikise and James Kenwabikise.


   There will be a Celebration of Life on Friday, August 12, 2022 from 3-6 p.m. at the Beaver Bar at the Kenwabikise property on Beaver Island.

   A graveside service will follow on Saturday, August 13, at 1:00 p.m. at the Holy Cross Cemetery also on Beaver Island.

      Arrangements are under the direction of the Charlevoix Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Diane Sandra-Kenwabikise "Chief" Smith, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Graveside Service

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery (Beaver Island)

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