Cecelia Alvarez

Cecelia Frances Alvarez, born on March 14, 1996, left this world on March 28, 2024. She was a remarkable soul, deeply connected to her roots and passionate about life.

Born in Lewiston, Idaho, Cecelia was the cherished daughter of John Alvarez and Angela Williams. Her upbringing spanned the towns of Lapwai, Caldwell, and Nampa, where she embraced her diverse heritage as a Nez Perce, Makah, and Mexican American.

As a young girl, Cece enjoyed participating in Bahai youth groups, and as a teenager, she taught children’s classes for the young ones in the community.

During her high school years, Cecelia’s journey led her to the Nez Perce National Park Service in Spaulding, Idaho. Her first job there was a youth internship, and it didn’t take long for her supervisors to recognize her unwavering work ethic and commitment. She took immense pride in every task, leaving a lasting impression on those around her.

On November 4, 2014, the love of her life, her baby son, Quanah Jr., was born. His father, Quanah Wheeler, and Cece were high school sweethearts. Baby Q brought his mother so much joy and was the light of her life.

Cece’s creativity knew no bounds. She found solace in the arts, expressing herself through drawing, painting, intricate beadwork, and the ancient craft of weaving. Her connection to nature ran deep, and she reveled in gathering roots, finding beauty and sustenance in the land.

In November of 2018, CeCe became a “fire starter” for the Nez Perce Wellbriety movement, playing an integral role from its inception. Alongside Jasmine Higheagle, she facilitated the Daughters of Tradition program at Lapwai High School, empowering young voices and fostering cultural pride. CeCe’s dedication extended beyond the classroom; she trained and implemented multiple White Bison Curricula within the community, leaving an indelible mark on those she touched.

Before her passing, Cece worked at Zany Graze in Lewiston, Idaho, as a sushi chef. She made many friends and had the respect of her coworkers and supervisors.

Cecelia Frances Alvarez is survived by her loving family, including her parents, John and Angela, her son Quanah Wheeler Jr., and her siblings: Josh Morales, Tyler Williams, Sean Alvarez, Juan Alvarez, Solana Pablo, and Jackson Pablo. Her grandparents, Jose Alvarez Sr., Ferris and Linda Paisano, and Alex and Joyce Williams, will forever hold her memory close.

Cece is preceded in death by her grandparents: Celia Hernandez Alvarez, William and Klara Tyler, Ferris and Frances Paisano, Kenny Williams Sr., and Genevieve “Peni” Switzler-Jones.

May her soul find eternal peace, and may her legacy continue to inspire us all.

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