Passing On
Passing On: Terri Lynn Oliver
Monday, May 04 2015
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Terri Lynn Oliver

Terri Lynn Oliver, 47, of St. Paul, journeyed to the Spirit World on Monday, April 20, 2015 at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, Minn.

She was born on July 23, 1967 in St. Paul, the daughter of Allan F. Oliver and Zelda M. King.

An independent spirit and being, Terri enjoyed crossword puzzles, playing cards, spending time with family and friends, joking and laughing. She could sing a capella. Terri cared and protected her friends and family always, if she couldn’t do it personally, they would always be on her mind and in her heart.

She is survived by special friend: Greg Maurer; sons: Marc Anthony Gozzi, Marc Joseph Gozzi and Marc Michael Gozzi; a daughter: Sarah Gozzi; a granddaughter: Olivia; a brother: Wayne Oliver and by a sister: Jane Anderson; a niece, nephew and by two grand nephews.

Funeral Services for Terri Oliver were held on Saturday, April 25 at Noon at The St. Paul Area Council of Churches/Division of Indian Works.

All night wakes were held on Thursday, April 23 and Friday, April 24 at 6 p.m. at The St. Paul Area Council of Churches/Division of Indian Works.

The Chilson Funeral Home in Winsted, Minnesota is serving the family. Online condolences may be made to

Passing On: Clyde Nelson Philbrick
Monday, May 04 2015
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clyde philbrick-web.jpgClyde Nelson Philbrick

Clyde Nelson Philbrick, 77, journeyed to the Spirit World on Sunday, April 19, 2015 at Prairie Lakes Health Care Hospital in Watertown, S.D.

He was born on May 5, 1937 in Santee, Neb., the son of Lawrence Philbrick and Victoria Johnson.

Clyde lived in Minneapolis most of his life and taught at the Little Red School House in Minneapolis.

He honorably served his Country in The United States Navy during the Korean Era.

He was joined in marriage to Emmy.

In 1987, he moved to Newton, Iowa and lived there until 2013.  He then moved to Sisseton. Two months before his death, he moved to Watertown, S.D.

Clyde liked to go to thrift stores, auctions and rummage sales. He was happy to be reunited with his son after 22 years. He loved to ride his motorcycle and was a lifetime member of A.I.M. 

Clyde loved his dogs, especially German Shepherds and Doberman Pinchers. He was a big-hearted person and kind to everyone he met!  Clyde liked to go to the Casino.

Passing On: Wilmer Mesteth
Friday, February 06 2015
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Wilmer Mesteth wilmer mesteth-web.jpg

1957-Jan. 16, 2015

Oglala Lakota spiritual leader Wilmer Mesteth died unexpectedly at midnight on Jan. 16.

He will be remembered as a man who was as generous with his time and spiritual teachings. Mesteth served his people in every possible way. Those who are mourning his passing are remembering his guidance, direction and leadership.

According to his daughter Rachel, Mesteth underwent surgery for a double hernia on Jan. 8 and was recovering at the Prairie Winds Hotel in Pine Ridge, S.D.. In the afternoon, he was visiting with his adopted brothers when he called his wife with concerns that he was having a heart attack.

Mesteth lived in the Cheyenne Creek community and was married to Lisa Mesteth. He taught at Oglala Lakota College for over 20 years, where he was a cultural instructor. He taught traditional songs, dance, traditional herbs and foods, language and history. OLC student Lilly Jones said about Mesteth, “He treated everyone the same. Whether it was a Hollywood film crew or a student, he was always so respectful and humble.”

Mesteth also participated in the Big Foot Rides and the Crazy Horse Rides, and supported the Northern Cheyenne Fort Robinson Run.

Survivors include his wife Lisa Standing Elk-Mesteth and children Juan Mesteth, Lonnie Mesteth, Ronnie Mesteth, Hoksila Mesteth, Dakota Mesteth and Rachel Mesteth, all of Pine Ridge, S.D.; brothers Gilbert Mesteth and Phil Iron Cloud of Pine Ridge and Phillip Mesteth of Ethete, Wyo.; sisters Mary Ann Mesteth-Witt, Lynette Mesteth-Murray of Parmelee, S.D., Ruth Mesteth-Gray Horse and Letitia American Horse of Ethete, Wyo., Dennis Mesteth-Spoon Hunter of Fayetteville, N.C. Wilmer had 19 grandchildren. Numerous hunka children, brothers and sisters.

Wilmer was preceded in death by his parents Gabriel Mesteth, Sr., Rosalyn Red Shirt-Mesteth and his siblings Daniel Mesteth, Gabriel Mesteth, Jr., Orlin Mesteth and Theresa Mesteth.

Two night wake services were held on Jan. 21 at the Lakota Dome, Prairie Wind Casino, Pine Ridge, S.D., and Jan. 22 at the Mesteth family residence, Cheyenne Creek, S.D.. The funeral was held at Jan. 23 at the Mesteth family residence. Arrangements were handled by the Sioux Funeral Home of Pine Ridge.

Passing On: Ronald Charles “Bear” Cronick
Friday, January 09 2015
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Ronald Charles “Bear” Cronick

January 17, 1939 - December 1, 2014

Ronald Charles “Bear” Cronick, 75, of Minneapolis journeyed to the spirit world on Monday, Dec. 1 at his residence.

He was born on January 17, 1939 and was an enrolled member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe and an honorary member of the Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Community. He was also a sundancer and helper for 17 years.

Bear worked as head helper at Porky’s Sugarbush Camp for over 20 years. He was the recipient of The 1989 McKnight Award.

Bear was a constant service to his community directing AIM patrols and Community Youth Programs in the 80s and 90s. He continued to serve as AIM’s head of security at community events until 2012.

His service and generosity enriched the lives of all that knew him, he was a pillar of a cherished, extended community. His presence and love will be remembered and missed by all!

Cronick is survived by an entire community of brothers and sisters; uncles and aunts; nephews and nieces.

Traditional funeral services for were held on Friday, Dec. 5 at the Minneapolis American Indian Center, 1530 E. Franklin Ave. in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Ceremonies were led by Art Owens. An all night wake was held Dec. 3 at the Minneapolis American Indian Center.

Casket Bearers are Rory Scoles, Jon Gephardt, Mike Skinner, Elliot Skinner, Brinton Martin, Vaughn Lodge, Bob Walker and Hunter Bancroft.

The Chilson Funeral Home in Winsted, Minnesota is providing funeral and wake services for the family. Online condolences may be made at

Passing On: Ivan Randal Wanstall
Thursday, August 07 2014
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passing on ivan randall wanstall the circle.jpgIvan Randal Wanstall

November 13, 1963 – July 11, 2014

The son of Marshall Edward and Elaine Sage Wanstall, Ivan Randal Wanstall took his spirit journey on July 11, 2014. He was born on November 13, 1963 and was 50 years-old. He left this world of an accidental choking death.

He leaves behind three sons who live in St. Louis, Mo.: Josh, Ian and Dustin. He is survived by his brother of St. Paul, Minn., Dennis Sun Rhoades and his sister of the Wind River reservation, Corrine Elizabeth Wanstall. He also leaves behind his closest nephews and nieces: Eldon Kyle James Wanstall of Wind River; Jeffrey B. Wanstall of Minneapolis; David N. Wanstall of St. Paul; Tamara Elaine of West St. Paul and Christy Rae Wanstall of the Wind River reservation; along with his grandchildren: Marshall, Gianna, Carlo, Nico and MijaElena.

We are acknowledging his friends and relatives near and far. His traditional funeral services were presided over by Lessert Moore and with wake held on July 15 and funeral on July 16, 2014.

Ivan was a well-loved person. He enjoyed reading novels, especially of the fantasy genre. He knew how to wrangle and cowboy up. He could do anything! He was an artist and crafter, a car mechanic, he fenced and corralled, and he also had his Early Childhood associate’s degree. He worked with the Shoshone/Arapaho Birth to Five Program on the Wind River reservation and worked at Mystic Lake Casino in Prior Lake, Minn. for two years. His hobbies were hunting, fishing, playing cards, board games and he loved hiking and walking on all sorts of terrain.

We will miss him whole-heartedly! Farewell Brother, Son, Dad, Uncle, Grandpa!

Passing On: Cheryl Gresczyk
Monday, July 07 2014
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cheryl gresczyk.jpgCheryl Elizabeth Joyce Geshick Gresczyk

October 10, 1945- June 24, 2014

Cheryl, whose Ojibwe name is Aabitaagiizhigookwe (Half Way to the Sky Woman), 68, of Eden Prairie, MN, entered into the spirt world around midnight on June 24. She had diabetes, lung cancer and heart issues.

Funeral services were held on June 27 at 7 p.m. at Gichitwaa Kateri Parish at 3045 Park in Minneapolis with a funeral Mass on June 28. Burial was held at Immaculate Conception Cemetery in Wright, MN, near the cabin, followed by a gathering and a meal at the cabin. Fr. Jim Notebaart and Fr. Mike Tegeder were two of the celebrants.

Cheryl was born October 10, 1945, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the daughter of Joseph Geshick and Rose (Marsh) Geshick. Cheryl was a full-blood Anishinaabekwe (Ojibwe) from Bois Forte Reservation. She married Rick Gresczyk on April 6, 1974. She received her bachelor of science degree in Education from the University of Minnesota and her master's degree from St. Thomas College. She was involved with teaching and youth work all of her working years. She and Rick helped start the Office of Indian Ministry and Gichitwaa Kateri Parish in Minneapolis.

She is survived by three sons, Rick Jr. (Nicole) of Oakdale, MN, Rodger (Annie) of Watertown, MN and Randy (Nichole) of New Brighton, MN.

They have three more children adopted in the Ojibwe way. They are Theresa Morrison (Pragedis Castillo) of Eagan, MN, Melvin Brazil-Geyshick (Suzie) of Thief River Falls, MN, and Yoku Aso (Megumi) of Kumamoto, Japan.

Rick and Cheryl were foster parents for many years for Hennepin County and very active in the American Indian community of the Twin Cities. She enjoyed being a loving wife, mother, and grandmother. She enjoyed cards, crossword puzzles, TV, and pets, most recently Waabooz, their poodle. She has two brothers, Joe and Ernie. She has several adopted sisters, Gaye Hallberg of Bloomington, MN, Pat Northrup of Sawyer, MN, and Shirley Krogmeier of Holyoke, CO. She is preceded in death by her parents and several siblings. Her sister, Virginia, was very close to her.

Casketbearers were Leonard Geshick, Randy and Elias White, William BigBear, Jr, Pragedis Castillo and Yoku Aso.

Passing On: Daniel James Amos, 1988-2014
Thursday, May 01 2014
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Daniel James Amos

Nov. 16, 1988 – April 18, 2014

passing on-daniel james amos.jpgDaniel James Amos, 25 years young, of Big Coulee, S.D. journeyed to the spirit world with his family by his side on Good Friday, April 18, 2014 at the Sanford Hospital-ICU in Fargo, N.D. An all-night wake service was held April 24, at the Big Coulee District Center in Big Coulee, SD. Rev. Enright Bighorn, Sr. officiated and the Big Coulee Choir sang hymns from the church where Daniel was baptized. Funeral services were held on April 25 at 2 p.m. at the Ascension Presbyterian Church in Big Coulee, S.D. Active pallbearers were William Langdeaux, Jr. and Raymond Eagle. Honorary pallbearers are Daniels family and all the staff at his various hospital and treatment stays.

Daniel James Amos was born in Sisseton, S.D. on Nov. 16, 1988 to the late Calvin Amos, Sr. and still-living, Susan Quinn (Amos) both of Sisseton. From that day on, Daniel was always smiling. He had an adventurous boyhood growing up a country boy with his older brothers Kevin and the late Calvin Amos, Jr. by his side. Daniel always had a plan and that plan was to see how tough he was, and he is the toughest young man ever known to his family.

Daniel attended Wilmot Public School from grade school to high school. He was the class clown because he would do or say anything to get you to laugh or smile. Daniel, known as the jokester in his school age years had been diagnosed on Jan. 14, 2002, with osteosarcoma, a rare bone marrow cancer. It has always been remembered as he learned this on the one-year memorial of Calvin Amos, Jr., his oldest brother.

Daniel underwent a year of chemo and radiation therapies. He showed osteosarcoma how strong of a warrior he was and his victory helps save the lives of many children who have the same diagnosis. Dan’s doctors and care team from the University of Minnesota-Fairview, Mayo Clinic and Masonic Cancer Center of Minneapolis, Minn. are forever grateful and respectful for his commitment to the research and cure of such a rare cancer as osteosarcoma. Thankfully, his roller coaster ride with cancer was resolved after the year of chemo and radiation. He was in remission although he has had multiple surgeries including an open heart surgery in November of 2012.

Dennis Lee Whipple, May 31, 1987 - Aug. 24, 2013
Thursday, September 05 2013
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Dennis Lee Whipple, 26, from the Lower Sioux Community passed away Saturday, Aug. 24 at his home.

Dennis Lee Whipple was born May 31, 1987 in Rhinelander, WI to Vincent Columbus, Sr. and Sylvia Whipple. He was raised in Rhinelander, WI and baptized at Mazakute Church in St. Paul. Dennis’ godparents were Jeannie Huberty and Dennis Whipple Sr. Dennis attended Mound Park School, Battle Creek Middle School and Arlington High School in St. Paul. Dennis was always smiling and outgoing. He enjoyed snowboarding and watching the Minnesota Vikings. Dennis enjoyed having bonfires with relatives and friends and having cookouts; he loved to cook and share his recipes. He spent time playing games with his X-Box and watching movies. Dennis especially liked giving Alianna popsicles to share with other nieces and nephews.

He is survived by his mother Sylvia Whipple of St. Paul; father Vince Columbus, Sr. of the Lower Sioux Community; siblings: Vince Columbus, Jr. and Joseph Columbus; nephew Josiah Caske Casiano Columbus; aunts and uncles: Joyce Whitted of CA, Betty Tebo of Kansas City, MO, Verna Warren, and Leslie Whipple both of St. Paul, Tim Columbus of CA, Roland Columbus of Redwood Falls, Lillian Wilson, LaVonne Swenson, Sandra Geshick, Mairlyn Hisday, Dan GreyEagle, all of the Lower Sioux, Chris Columbus of Redwood Falls, and Melissa Chee of the Lower Sioux Community; and many other relatives and friends. He is preceded in death by his grandparents Demis and Evelyn Whipple, Thomas and Iola Columbus and many other relatives.

Funeral services were held on Aug. 28 at the Lower Sioux Recreation Center along with a final viewing. Visitation was held on Aug. 27 at the Lower Sioux Recreation Center with a prayer service, continuing until time of services. The burial was in St. Cornelia’s Episcopal Cemetery.

Online condolences: Stephens Funeral Service - Redwood Valley Funeral Home assisted the family with arrangements.
Nonprofit leader Ron McKinley killed in motorcycle accident
Friday, August 02 2013
Written by by Stephanie Hemphill Minnesota Public Radio,
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passing_on_ron_mckinley.jpgRon McKinley, a philanthropic leader who campaigned for education for minorities was killed in a road accident July 21. He was 64.

McKinley, of St. Paul, was riding a motorcycle in Washington state when he and a passenger, St. Paul resident Ann K. Johnson, were killed.
Trista Harris, president of the Minnesota Council on Foundations, said McKinley worked to make sure people of color were included in foundation decision-making.

“He made our institutions more fair, and he made them much more inclusive places,” she said, “so everywhere that he was, he was making sure that the table was set in a way where we could get the most perspective and we could make thoughtful decisions.”
Ernest Wabasha -September 2, 1929 - March 28, 2013
Tuesday, June 04 2013
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passing_on_wabasha.jpgErnest “Ernie” Wabasha (age 83) of the Lower Sioux Community, journeyed to the Spirit World surrounded by family and loved ones on Thursday, March 28, 2013 at the Redwood Area Hospital. Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. John’s Catholic Church in Morton. Visitation was held April 2 and 3rd at the Lower Sioux Community Center. Interment is in St. Cornelia’s Episcopal Cemetery. Place online condolences at:  

Leonard (Robin) Alvin Stately Jr. Wiimitigoozens “little frenchman”
Wednesday, November 21 2012
Written by Jenny,
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passing_on_leonard_stately.jpgSeptember 22, 1952 - October 15, 2012.

Leonard (Robin) Alvin Stately Jr. Wiimitigoozens, age 60, of Redby, Minnesota journeyed to the Spirit World on Monday, October 15, 2012. He was born on September 22, 1952 in Red Lake to Leonard Alvin Stately Sr. and Vivian Frances Thunder. He was joined in marriage to Robyn Lynn Isham. They were marriaged by Native American custom for thirty six years. Leonard was a heavy equipment operator and teacher. He was a member of AIM. He was an avid hunter and fisher. He was a proud dad and grandfather. He liked spending time with his children and hunting with his sons. He liked going for rides around the horn, and he was known for driving slow around the community. He loved taking slow rides with the love of his life. He loved to make his babies smile. Survived by his wife Robyn Lynn Stately; sons: Robin John, Golden Eagle, Rain and Zachary Stately; daughters: Angel, Billie Jo, Rachelle, Leader, Bear, Sky, Antasia, Money and Terynn Stately, Star Taylor, an honorary daughter: Kathryn Fisher; thirty three grandchildren and seven great grandchildren; brothers: Guy and Bruce Stately, Theodore Graves, Gordon Johnson, Keith Defoe, Gary Thunder and Keith Lussier Sr.; sisters: Marlene Stately, Diane Roy, Tina Stately, Angela Hernandez and Suzanne Northbird; many other relatives and friends. Preceded in death by his mother and father: Vivian and Leonard Stately, brothers: David, Maurice and Alvin, an infant set of twins and numerous nieces and nephews. Funeral service for Leonard were held October 19 at The Redby Community Center in Redby, Minnesota. An all night wake was held October 17-18 at The Redby Community Center. Interment is at The Family Cemetery in Redby, Minnesota


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