Chris Leith "Tasunka Wakinyan Ohitika", age 75 of Prairie Island, died Thursday March 4, 2011 at his home. He was born on July 2, 1935, the son of Walter and Cora (Lawrence) Leith. He attended schools at Burnside and graduated from Red Wing Central High School in 1952. He served in the United States Air Force from 1954-1958, as a pilot during the Korean War, while stationed in Okinawa, Japan. After his discharge from the service he married Barbara Jackson and they started their family, Crystal, Arnold, Carl and Clark Leith. They lived in Montana where he worked as a ranch hand. Chris moved back to Prairie Island and helped on the family farm. He attended the University of Minnesota, St. Paul Campus from 1966-1969. He worked at Jules Fairbanks Center Aftercare Residence Program, St. Paul American Indian Center, was a consultant to a number of Native American programs throughout the Twin Cities, completed Family Treatment Training at Hazelden and the Thunderbird Halfway House. He was a consultant to adolescent programs in the St. Paul Area, Eden Youth Program, Ogema, Fairview Deaconess Residential Treatment Programs, New Visions Treatment Program, and Red School House Cultural Resource Instructor. He was a board member of the NICWA Board.
He is survived by his children, Crystal Leith-Shabaiash of Prairie Island, Carl and Clark Leith both of Minneapolis, Christine Leith of St. Paul, Arvol Looking Horse of Green Grass, SD, Antonio Dirzo of Shakopee, Looking Horse Family, Johnson Family, Dr. Lloyd Elm and Ron Harms of St. Paul; grandchildren, Antulio Aguila Leith, Wamb'di (Inajin) Leith, Amberann Ione Khan, Javad Latif Khan, Melynie Quaderer, Nick Anderson, Christine Leith, Cassandra Leith, Dezmond Smith-Leith, Dathan Leith, Denaya Leith, special granddaughter, Shining Star Woman (Mona) Gavilan; great-grandchildren, Elliana, Chris, Chaske, Cora; former wife, Barbara Erickson. He is preceded in death by his parents, son, Arnold Leith; sisters, Christine Leith, Marcella Bluestone, Gladys Scharmer; brothers, Vern Hellman, Amos and Ione Owen and Wallace and Gertrude Wells.
The funeral was held on March 7 at the Prairie Island Community Cente in Welch, MN. His is buried at Prairie Island Community Cemetery. Arrangements made by Mahn Family Funeral Home, Bodelson-Mahn Chapel. www.mahnfamilyfuneralhome.com.