LODGE GRASS - Clayton Troy LaForge, 58, of Lodge Grass, died of a heart attack at his home in Lodge Grass, July 5, 2007.
He was born April 30, 1949, in Crow Agency, a son of Frederick Whiteman and Josephine LaForge. He was raised by Sylvester "Buster" Stray Calf and Agnes LaForge on the Old Stay Calf place in the Two Leggins area. Troy was the name given to him by his adopted parents and the name he was called throughout his life. His Indian name, uutta chiisah, Weasel Tail, was given to him by his grandfather, Austin Stray Calf. He learned how to ride calves, steers and cows at any early age, when the Stray Calf family held their annual brandings. He rode with his dad, Buster, and grandfather, Austin, tending to cattle and horses until his dad passed away. He knew the Two Leggins area like the back of his hand from all the hiking and riding throughout the area. He began his education in Hardin and later attended the Pierre and Flandreau Indian schools in South Dakota. He would sometimes ride a horse as far as his Aunt Gladys, and leave the horse there and catch the bus for school. Later on in the years, the bus route was changed so that catching the bus was only a quarter of a mile away.
He married Carmen White Hip on April 23, 1982, in Sheridan, Wyo., and the couple made their home in Lodge Grass. He was a member of the Lodge Grass Pentecostal Church, Ties the Bundle Clan and was a child of the Big Lodge Clan.
Troy was very proud of his son Clayton Jr., whom he coached in cross-country and track. His mentoring enabled his son to excel to the point of competing in the Junior Olympics. He was a "Jack of all trades," but he excelled in making traditional beadwork, arrows and old-time Indian saddles.
His parents, grandmother, Mabel Pretty on Top and sisters Emma Bear Crane and Gwendalee Whiteman and brother, Myron Jefferson preceded Troy in death.
Survivors include his wife, Carmen, of 25 years; daughters, Torie and Summer LaForge, Lalani Cougar and Evalline Not Afraid; his sons, Preston (Rhonda), Destin and Clayton (Jonnetta) LaForge Jr. and Dee (Nellie) White Hip; his stepfathers, Harold Brien and Arlin Stewart; his sisters, Darwina Brien, Jodi Big Man, Sandra (Preston) Grant, Ardith (Lloyd) Hogan, Sr., Brenda (Ricky) Fighter, Elizabeth (Merle) Plain Feather, Geneva Medicine Elk, Betty LaForge and Mitcheleen (Tom) Filesteel; his adopted sisters, Kaneeta Red Star and Connie Red Star-Price; his brother, Harold Jess Brien; his adopted brothers, Kevin, Wallace, Marlin and Aaron Red Star; 11 grandchildren; his uncles, Tommy Whiteman, Sr. and John Pretty on Top; his aunts, Henrietta Pretty on Top, Betty Caufield and Mary Louise LaForge; his favorite nephews, Preston Grant, Jr. Regis, Frank Hogan, Zac Fighter and Ricky Fighter, Jr.; as well as his extended family, including the Iron, Ten Bear, Alden, Big Man, LaForge, Red Wolf, Jefferson, Carpenter, Hunts the Arrow, Whiteman, Dillon and Pretty on Top families.
Funeral services will be held 10 a.m. Monday, July 9, at the Lodge Grass First Crown Indian Baptist Mission. Interment will follow in the Lodge Grass Cemetery. Bullis Mortuary of Hardin has been entrusted with the arrangements.