CROW AGENCY — Thomas Lewis Bad Bear Jr., 63, of Crow Agency, passed away Feb. 17, 2010, at St. Vincent Hospital in Billings.
In the Crow tradition, Thomas was thrown (Given) away because of his health. He was born June 8, 1946, in Crow Agency, son of Thomas L. and Elvira Eagle Bad Bear Sr. He was adopted by Otto and Florence Crooked Arm. He grew up and received his education in Crow Agency, Hardin and Busby. During his teen years, he worked for various jobs on ranches, a seasonal fire fighter, the sugar beet factory, Campbell Farming Corp., and the Fox Triangle Motors in Hardin. Later on, he attended Missoula VoTech, Auto Body and Fender in Denver, and went on to the Roswell, N.M., Police Academy. He was a Tribal police officer for many years and as well the head of security for the late Carl Venne. The love of the mountains led him to be a officer for the Tribal Fish & Game.
Thomas married Shirley Ann Little Light in Sheridan, Wyo., on Oct. 2, 1964, and made their home in Crow Agency.
He loved to do arrow throwing, fishing, hunting and camping with his family. He loved horse racing so much that he invested in owning a race horse. He was an avid sports fan of the St. Labre Braves and Hardin Bulldogs, where his children and grandchildren participated in various sports.
His sense of humor was enjoyed by family and friends. His stories of blunders by family members were also enjoyed at gatherings. Everyone loved his Diana and Rhonda stories.
He was a traditional man who practiced the culture which led him to take his siblings’ children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren as his own. He was a very humble man. He opened up his door to all family, friends and in-laws. No one ever left his house hungry.
His parents; daughter, Nancy Two Bulls; sisters, Elvira Alden, Alma Cashen, Charlotte Bad Bear, Marjorie Wilkinson; brothers, Ira Sr., Merle Sr., and Everette “Otto Jim” Bad Bear; and friend Carl Venne all preceded Thomas in death.
Survivors include his wife, Shirley, of 45 years; daughters, Diane (Chester) Deputee, Tammy (Robert) Montclair III, Edwina (Tim) Jefferson, Alma (Tony) Davis; sons, Thomas L. Bad Bear III, Vincent (Jaime) Bad Bear; grandchildren whom he raised as his own, Weston, Ashley, Ariel, Alicia Bad Bear, Tillie Davis; adopted great-grandson Tynel; adopted children, Moris Covers Up, Jace Real Bird, Lena Russell, Jeremy Eastman; brothers, Clayton, Byron (Maria), David (Bernadine) Bad Bear, Dreke Irwin, Levi Bruce, Demont Johnson; sisters, Darlene Eastman, Janice Bad Bear, Nellie (Clyde) Little Light, Alice Tobacco, Carol Whiteclay; adopted sisters, Elsie Pretty Paint, Pansy Dawes, Myrna Old Horn, Claudia Thompson; adopted brother, Alvin Little Light; aunts, Winona Plenty Hoops, Bertha Bear Claw, Laura He Does It; grandchildren, Seth, Sean, Scottie, Kateri, Emily, Anthony, Mario, Angie, Roberta, Chester Jr., George, Ina, Audrey, Jaivin; great-grandchildren, Fural, Jonathan Jr., JoyAnn, Wesley; his mischievous friends, Bobo Wilson, Lucky Coyote Runs, Tyrone White Clay, Donald Medicine Horse, Henry Lewis Rondeau, Carl Williams, Merideth Lincoln, Wesley Crooked Arm, Carl Big Man; in-laws, Henry C. (Mary) Little Light, Ernest (Jane) Holds, Richard (Wyma) Little Light, Al Holds, Una (Gene) Smith, Vina (Richard) White, Rosella (Isaac) Shane, Joan Big Medicine, Vicki Holds; extended family, Gun Shows, Other Black Bird, Turns Plenty, Bird Hats, Medicine Horse, Big Medicine, Spotted Horse, Big Lake, Beads Don’t Mix , Old Crow, Medicine Crow, House, Sees the Ground, Tobacco, White Clay, Big Hair, The late Pauline Small families, Spotted Wolf of North Dakota, Johnson of Idaho. Please accept our apology if we have missed anyone; our family is very large.
Rosary will be recited at 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19, at Bullis Funeral Chapel. Funeral Mass will be held Saturday, Feb. 20, at 11 a.m., at St. Dennis Catholic Church in Crow Agency. Interment will follow in the Crow Agency Cemetery. Bullis Mortuary of Hardin has been entrusted with the arrangements.