BUSBY - John Russell, Jr., 57, of Busby, passed away Saturday, May 10, 2003, at St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings.
He'heenoohvoKomaestse (White Black Bird) was born Feb. 21, 1946, in Busby, a son of John Russell, Sr. and Alice Rising Sun. He grew up in the Busby area, attended the area school and graduated from Busby High School in 1964. He later attended the Haskell Indian School in Lawrence, Kan., where he received an AA degree in auto mechanics. Following his education, John entered the U.S. Army, served in Vietnam during the Tet offensive and received his honorable discharge.
John married Glenda Brady and was later divorced. He married Thomasine Woodenlegs on May 16, 1991, in Sheridan, Wyo., and the couple made their home in Lame Deer.
He worked for the Busby School as a maintenance person, as well as serving as a member and former board chairman of the Busby School. He later worked for several years as an EMT and its director on the Cheyenne Reservation. He currently was employed as the food distribution director for the Northern Cheyenne Tribe. John also served on the Northern Cheyenne Tribal Council as the Busby District representative for several years.
John was a traditional Cheyenne man who was a spiritual leader, a member of the Hereditary Chiefs Society, Native American Church, Northern Cheyenne Honor Guard and the Sweat Lodge. He participated in numerous sun dances and followed the powwow Circuit. Because of his traditional values, he was given the honor of having several young men named after him.
His parents; sister Agnes Russell; brothers Charles, Eugene and Clifford Russell, Sr.; and adopted brother, Norman Brady, preceded John in death.
Survivors include his wife, Thomasine Russell; his daughter, Alicejean Russell-Salazar; four sons, Lance, Merle (Christy), Charles and John Russell, III; three stepsons, Brandon, Tyrone and Kenny Woodenlegs; his three sisters, Margie, Elva and Elsie Russell; his adopted sister, Eva Bearchum; his adopted daughters, Maria Buckaloo and Esther Littlewolf; his adopted brothers, Justin (Barbara) Jenkins, Linwood Tallbull, Gabriel (Virgenta) Little Calf and Patrick Allori; his special brothers-in-law, Marvin and Thomas Woodenlegs; numerous grandchildren; as well as a host of nieces and nephews.
Traditional wake services will be held 7 p.m. Thursday, May 15, at the family homestead near Busby. Traditional funeral services will be held 10 a.m. Friday, May 16, at the home. Interment with traditional and military rites will follow in the Russell Family Cemetery. Bullis Mortuary of Hardin has been entrusted with the arrangements.