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Passing On: Wilmer Mesteth
Friday, February 06 2015
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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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.




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