Donald Gary "Tehonatake" Fadden


Donald Gary "Tehonatake" Fadden, Wolf Clan, 57, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday March 16, 2024. Don was born on June 12, 1966 in Saranac Lake, NY and was raised in Onchiota, NY.

Don attended Bloomingdale elementary and graduated from Saranac Lake High School in 1984. He received his Associates Degree from North Country Community College and worked for various places in the Saranac Lake region including Currier Press and for the Saranac Lake School District. He was affectionately known as "Mr. Don" at the Lake Colby Elementary School by the students and staff. He went above and beyond his duties as a custodian at Lake Colby School to make the lives of the children and staff easier.

 Don married Kathy Green in 1992 and settled in Onchiota where they raised two boys, Ian and Evan. The marriage ended in separation.

 Don had many interests and hobbies. His love of cars began in childhood and took him to many races from Frogtown, Akwesasne to drag racing in Gainesville, Florida. He loved to tinker with cars, motorcycles and anything with wheels. During his teenage years, he and his high school friends could oftentimes be seen working on an old Plymouth Duster or an AMC Gremlin. Aside from cars and wheels, he was a skilled artist with pen and ink and in his later years, acrylic on canvas. The subjects of his art were of what he loved the most, the mountains, animals and his heritage. His works depicted historical Haudenosaunee wampum belts, animals who roamed the Adirondacks and scenes of Indigenous people in the Adirondacks.

 For countless visitors to the Six Nations Iroquois Cultural Center (formerly the Six Nations Indian Museum founded by his grandfather Ray Fadden in 1954), Don was the first person they met as they entered the building. He spent summers at the center's front desk welcoming and greeting guests with a friendly demeanor and hospitable nature. He would interact with visitors as they browsed the gift shop and would always take time to simply visit. He was deeply involved with the dream and vision of the center's planned expansion and enthusiastically anticipated its realization.

Don is predeceased by his father, John Fadden, who passed away in August of 2022.

 Don is survived by his sons, Ian and Evan, his mother Eva Fadden, brothers David (Margaret) and Daniel (Kimberly). He is also survived by his nephew Wishe (Leah) and nieces Hailey and Amber. He was very happy to have met his grandnephew, Logan, this past summer.

Funeral arrangements are in care of the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home, 20 Church Street, Saranac Lake, NY. Per Don's wishes, there will be no visitation. Funeral services will be private and at the convenience of the family.

 Family and friends wishing to remember Donald Gary "Tehonatake" Fadden can make memorial donations in Donnie's memory to the Six Nations Iroquois Cultural Center, in care of the funeral home. Family and friends can also share a memory, send a condolence and sign the on-line guestbook at


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