LODGE GRASS — Ira Left Hand Sr., 89, of Lodge Grass, left to the other side camp, Feb. 19, 2013, in the Billings Clinic.
He was born Feb. 7, 1924, in Crow Agency, a son of Pete Left Hand and Folka Blood Man. He grew up and received his education in the Lodge Grass area. He was a member of the Big Lodge Clan and child of the Big Lodge clan.
Ira was a traditional Crow man who loved to participate in cultural events. These events included powwows, sundances, hand games and arrow throwing. He was the founder of the junior handgames tournament. He was given the honor of giving Indian names to many Crow people, an honor he was very proud of. Ira loved basketball, especially watching his hometown Lodge Grass Indians. Ira was the first Native American judge to serve in the state of Montana and was also the first judge to be elected under the Law & Order Code of 1980. He was given his judge’s robe by the Montana Supreme Court chief justice at the time. He was a man that respected the law and was a genuine advocate of the Crow Tribe Judicial branch. He was a kindhearted person who loved to spend time with his family and friends. He will be greatly missed by all those who knew him.
His parents; wife, Ramona Big Lake; brothers Melvin, Tyler, Edward Left Hand, Alex Birdinground; niece Heather Left Hand; nephew Gilbert Left Hand; granddaughter Heavenly Angel Left Hand; grandsons Nathaniel and Gibby Left Hand, Emerson Pickett, Ron Big Lake Jr., all preceded Ira in death.
Survivors include his daughters Myra Left Hand, Nicole (Bernard), Josephine (Thomas), Rena (Joseph) Pickett, Jennifer (Kenny) Spotted; adopted daughter Rhea Plenty Hawk; sons, Ira Jr. (Maria) and Joseph Left Hand; adopted sons, Jacob Pretty on Top, Dale and Larry Kindness, Mark Bruised Head, Dean Rowland, Eymard Left Hand, Dee and William Bad Bear; companion, Juanita; sister Charlotte Black Elk from South Dakota; brothers, Anthony (Agnes), Frederick, Marshall (Barbara) Left Hand, Arthur (Lenora) Plenty Hawk; numerous nieces and nephews that he loved dearly; as well as his extended family including the Left Hand, Blood Man, Blaine, Bulltail, Yarlott, Plenty Hawk, Pretty on Top, Alden, Falls Down, Back Bone, Gets Down, Old Bear and Whiteman families. Our family is large, if we have missed anyone in our grief, please accept our apology.
Funeral Services will be held 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 22, in the Lodge Grass Catholic Church gymnasium. Interment will follow in the Lodge Grass Cemetery. Bullis Mortuary has been entrusted with the arrangements.