RAPID CITY, S.D. - Roy Charette, 49, of Rapid City, began his journey across the Milky Way on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2008. He's probably telling jokes to those that came to greet him and hoping he's settled in time to catch the next football game, especially if the Grizzlies are playing.
He was born on March 5, 1958, in Crow Agency, Mont., to Bernadette Perkins Charette and Frederick Marvin Charette. Roy was a member of the Crow Nation and belonged to the Ties in the Bundle clan. He was also a descendent of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa and adopted member of the Northern Cheyenne Kit Fox Society. He attended school at St. Labre, Glasgow, Mont., and high school at Senior High in Billings, where he served on the Billings American Indian Council. Roy worked for a wide variety of employers, including Amerigas, Great Western Sugar, Swiss Colony and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, working as a roughneck, stock clerk, driver, dispatcher and laborer until he encountered an intolerable, uncooperative water main and service line job at Muddy Cluster that convinced him to go to college. He graduated from Chief Dull Knife College in 1995 and transferred to the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. His greatest calling was to serve the needs of those struggling with chemical dependency. He worked for White Bison Consultants, Keystone Chemical Dependency Treatment Center and often as an independent consultant who traveled extensively as a conference and workshop presenter on topics specific to the needs of American Indian communities striving to enhance their sobriety and wellness. He was instrumental in obtaining the first grant that funded the development of the Seven Hills Treatment Center on the Crow Reservation and was its first director.
Roy was preceded in death by his grandparents, Roy and Louise Bolson, and Clark and Elreno Takes Horse; his maternal aunts, Loretta Sue and Rosaline Takes Horse; his uncles, Albert Perkins, John, Damian and Duane Charette; his maternal great aunts, Velma Flores, Ernestine Reece and Verlie Brown; his great-grandparents Fred and Mary Azure, and Olive Venne. Roy is survived by his parents; Charette siblings, Reno, Charles (Melanie), Damian Duane (Dina), Frederick Allen, Rochelle Rene'; sister Mary Ann (Joseph) Still Smoking, and brothers Gavin (Jill) Gleich, and the South Dakota boys that loved him dearly. He is also survived by his daughter, Elena Renae'; his loving companion, Carmella Brown; and adopted granddaughter Beatrice Ruth; his special aunts, Dorothy (Brian) St. Pierre, Geneva Whiteman, Theresa Haun, Sarah Armijo, Loretta Good Luck; his special uncles, Chance Whiteman, Clifford (Sandy), Bill (Gwen) and Dennis (Brenda) Takes Horse, Earl (Maria) Charette, Carl (Edwina) Venne; special sister Zena (Thurlow) Venne-Birdinground; nieces Carlene Goes Ahead, Wisper Wynter, Hunter Rose, Kara Lynn, Breanna Louise, Erin Mariah, Holly Dawn, Kirby Lynn, Nicole Chevon, Catrina "TT," Suzette Ann and Royalle Rae; his nephews, Wayne "Quig," Rayne "Boo," Zachary Allen, Stephen Joe, Francis Dean, Michael Angelo, Gabe and Gus; his former wife, Rachel White and her children and grandchildren whom he loved as his own; his many great-nieces, great-nephews, Clan brothers and sisters, and friends everywhere he went. If we have omitted anyone, please accept our apologies.
Wake services will be held at the House of Hope in Hardin, on Tuesday, Feb. 19, at 7 p.m. Final resting services will be on Wednesday, Feb. 20, at 11 a.m., at the House of Hope. Burial will take place at Garryowen, Mont.