Michelle Sue Walking Bear of Fort Smith left this world Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019. Her Crow name is, ‘Aweenmaachaache’ (known by all for her achievements), given by her grandmother, Sarah Pretty Paint. She was born on June 22, 1977, in Billings to Marlene and the late Leland Walking Bear. She belonged to the Ties the Bundle Clan and was a child of the Greasy Mouth.
The Indian National Finals Rodeo (INFR) Association said it best: "The INFR lost a true champion today. Michelle Walking Bear was a Tour Champion as well as horse owner of the year and many time INFR qualifier. She was never scared to travel and rodeo hard. She was a great rodeo mom and rodeo competitor. Our most sincere prayers and condolences to all her family and friends. Michelle you will be missed." - Bo Vocu
Although Michelle was well known for her rodeo accomplishments, she was, first and foremost, proudest to be a mother to her three children, Dallas (Spur), Susanna (Nana) and Slick (Baby).
Michelle’s livelihood was the cattle and horse ranching business. Her ranching expertise was the result of her Dad’s horse breeding knowledge, who often told her, "Work with what you have." Her dad’s Buckskin stud was the core of the business who sired her beloved and champion horse, Sugar Daddy. She continued breeding and training roping/barrel racing horses creating a legacy for her children.
She is preceded in death by her father, Leland Walking Bear; her beloved niece, Tamara Rose Walking Bear; grandmothers Sarah Pretty Paint, Mildred Old Crow and Faye Iron; grandfathers Glen Birdinground, Victor "Happy" Three Irons; her uncle, Danny Three Irons; aunts Nelvette Siemion, Erlise Chandler and Susanna Bear Quiver; and her sister, Lisa Frost.
She is survived by her children, Dallas Spur, Susanna Joy and Slick Matthew White Clay; her mother Marlene Walking Bear; her sisters, Leah Walking Bear (Clinton) Good Luck, Traci Chandler, Fawn Walking Bear, Sami Walking Bear (Buddy) Windy Boy, Sheri Chandler, Peri (Curtiss) Schenderline; her brother, Jordan White; her nephews, Swift, Taurean and Tyrell "Troy"; nieces LeeAndra, Erlise, Debra, Dani, Kylee, Sannah, Sarah, and Jordan Valerie; her granddaughter, Zaylee Rose; her uncles Valerian (Mary), Gayle (Mary), Clarence (Jocelyn) Three Irons, Larry (Agnes) Pretty Weasel, Stanley Pretty Paint, Lionel Bull Chief; her aunts, Alice and Suzanne Iron, Virjama (Gerry) Plain Bull, Glennette (Orrie) Alden, Carol (Pat) Alden and Debbie and Iris Pretty Paint; other sisters, Tammie (Leo) Hugs, Mary Pretty Weasel (Jude Hogan), Lana (Tom) Robinson, Lauren (Scott) Medicine Horse, Roxanne Old Crow, Dyanna, Lori Three Irons, Valerie, Shelly Alden, Eileena Milda, Lila Bull Chief, Thelma and Rosie Other Medicine, Peggy and Jaimie White Clay; other brothers, Lawrence Pretty Weasel, Jr., Randy, Daryl, Greg, Cameron, Alvin, Clay Three Irons, Larkin Chandler, Pat Alden, Jr., Darin, Chip, Brandon Siemion, Travis, Tronnes Birdinground, Emerson Bull Chief; other aunts Avis and Lana Three Irons, Rachel (Corky) Old Horn, Daisy (Eddy) Stamper, Darla (Sam) Horn, Valerie (Jeff) Packs the Hat, Francis Pretty Paint and Glenda Morrison; other nieces and nephews, Austin, Bryan, Bobby, Sadie DeCrane and Wyatt Joe. Also Hugo White Clay, who thought of her as a daughter and all of her Rodeo Family. Our family is large and if we have forgotten your name, please accept our apologies during our time of grief.
Services for Michelle will be Friday, Feb. 8, 2019, at 11 a.m. at the Spirit of Life Foursquare Church in Crow Agency. Burial to follow at the Crow Agency Cemetery. Rosary will be Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, at 4 p.m. at the Bullis Funeral Chapel. Bullis Mortuary has been entrusted with the arrangements.