Passing On: Wilmer Mesteth

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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.