A Voice from the Eastern Door


AKWESASNE- Michael L. Laughing, Sr., "Sahtekaientes," Bear Clan, peacefully passed on to the Spirit World on January 7, 2024 with his children and grandchildren by his side at his home.

Mike was born on January 19, 1966, son of the late Frank W. and Marilyn Jean (Anderson) Laughing. He married Shawn Tarbell on January 19, 2000 at Kanien'ke:haka Kaianereh'ko:wa Kanonses:neh.

He belonged to the Death Benefits Group, and many Longhouse Societies and was a Land Defender. He first worked construction with Cote Contractors Inc., and then joined Local Union #440 Utica. He later was a card dealer at TVI, a bouncer at All In, and a bouncer/bartender at Sweet Dreams.

Mike was a renowned wood, bone and antler carver, making many rattles and cradleboards throughout the years, and he loved teaching and passing his skills and knowledge on to the next generation. He helped the community with his medicines, and helped with and was a singer for longhouse funerals. Michael was very proud of his sons and loved to spend time with his family and grandchildren.

He is survived by his wife Shawn; his four sons Charles Tyson Oakes, Vincent (Samantha Smith) Rockwell, Michael L. Laughing, Jr., and Sebastien M. Laughing; six grandchildren Tommie Sunday Oakes, Charlie Sunday Oakes, Josie Sunday Oakes, Jameson Lefford, Laila Rockwell, and Vinny Jr .; his siblings Shawn (Hector) Costillo, Monica Nieves, Sherri Laughing, Frank (Jennifer) Laughing, Jr., Rhonda (Terry King) Gray, Fred (Elaine) Laughing, Heather (AJ) Laughing, Eric (Margie) Laughing, and Julie Laughing.

His in-laws Karen and L. Basil Tarbell; his sisters-in-law Lisa (Glen) Jock, Michelle (Joe) Sawatis, Jody Gray, Brad Benedict, and Sara McDonald; brothers-in-law Rodney Tarbell and Corey (Barbara) Tarbell; his daughters-in-law Kierstyn Sunday; his aunts Jeannie Crogan and Carol Jacobs; and many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.

Mike is also survived by his chosen mother Elizabeth Clute; his chosen children Austin Thompson, Wil Laughing, Leon Swamp, Larry Swamp, Lacey Swamp, Jessica Cox, Kanietonon Swamp, Chad Edwards, Dudes Thompson and Jasmine David; chosen grandchildren Satewenkenhiio, Karahkiiontha, Tekanerahtakwas, Wahtarineh, Fawn and Fox; chosen brothers Wade Herne, Quentin Mayo and Lawrence Jackson, Jr .; and chosen sisters Amber Montour and Dr. Sarah Rourke

Besides his parents Frank and Marilyn, Mike was predeceased by his grandson Terry Gordon Sunday Oakes; niece Ashley Summers; nephews Wesley Gray and Estol Nieves; his grandparents Angus and Ida Laughing and Elwood and Geraldine Anderson; and his chosen parents Leonard and Rose Marie Swamp.

Mike rested at the Kanien'ke:haka Kaianereh'ko:wa Kanonses:neh. Burial followed at the Solomon Road cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Mike's name to Tsiakwawennatonhe'ts school at the longhouse.

Arrangements are under the care and guidance of the Donaldson Funeral Home where friends and family are encouraged to share memories and condolences online at http://www.donaldsonfh.com.


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