Obituary of Shirley McGowan (1943 – 2021) – Mattaponi, Virginie
Shirley was educated on the Mattaponi Indian Reservation and accepted Christ from a young age while attending the Mattaponi Indian Baptist Church. She was immersed in the rich history of her people from an early age by her elders. At the age of four, her grandfather, Chief George Forest “Tecumseh” Custalow, gave her the name Little Dove, and received her mission in life, to travel in the direction of the four winds by teaching the history of his people and always seeing others through the eyes of the creator. Through her hard work and perseverance, Little Dove has become a respected historian who will spend her life sharing the history of the Powhatan people with the world. Its living history programs have touched countless people in museums, historical societies, schools, churches, festivals and many other events spanning over 50 years. She was well known for her craft skills, creating traditional baskets, pottery, tools and badges representative of her people. Countless newspaper articles and reports captured his true mission to make sure that everyone left their programs knowing that their people were still with us. Shirley has been interviewed as a resource on Pocahontas by The Washington Post, Japanese Television, International Herald Tribune, New York Times, Richmond-Times Dispatch, Daily Press, Tidewater Review, BBN, CNN, Entertainment Tonight, PBS and has featured in from the Mothers of America and the American Princess movies. She served on the board of directors of the Jamestown – Yorktown Foundation, on the advisory board of the Virginia Historical Society, Colonial Williamsburg and Henricus College (1619) Inc. and was a Native American consultant for the Disney film Pocahontas. Little Dove has also left us with books, articles, collaborations, documentaries and films that will continue to fulfill its mission and educate future generations.
His life and inheritance will be an everlasting testimony of his unwavering faith in God. It gives us great comfort to know that she is in Heaven.
The family will receive friends on a walk-in visit from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, September 23, 2021 at Vincent Funeral Home, 417 11th St., West Point, Virginia. A cemetery funeral service will be held at 12:00 noon on Saturday, September 25 at Mattaponi Indian Baptist Church Cemetery, 1409 Mattaponi Reservation Circle, West Point, Virginia 23181. Tributes can be posted at www.vincentfh.com.
Posted by Richmond Times-Dispatch on September 21, 2021.