Vivian Thunder Stately, 84 of Red Lake, died Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at the Sanford Bemidji Medical Center.
Traditional Funeral Services will be 10:00 am Saturday, June 16, 2012 at the Little Rock Community Center in Red Lake, MN. A wake will begin Thursday, June 14, 2012 at the Little Rock Community Center and will continue until the time of the service. Interment will be at the St. Mary’s Mission Catholic Cemetery in Red Lake, MN under the direction of the Cease Family Funeral Home of Bemidji.
She was born on August 16, 1927, in Red Lake, MN, the daughter of Otto Thunder and Emma (Holstein) Johnson. She was raised in Ponemah, and graduated from the Flandreau Indian School. She attended Business College after high school. She worked for 8 years as a police dispatcher. She worked as a secretary for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and later Red Lake Housing. She was promoted and served as the Director of Red Lake Housing until her retirement. She started attending Bemidji State University, and at the age of 65 graduated with a teaching degree. She taught the Ojibwe language at the Heart of the Earth School, Red Lake Schools, the Anishinabe Academy, and at the Red Lake College. She was known as “Nokomis” to many of her students. She traveled to Boston, Massachusetts and was recorded speaking the Ojibwe language. She enjoyed crafting, beadwork, feeding the bears, and going to the casino. Her door was always open, and she shared what she had with everyone. She is survived by: Children, Gary (Phyllis) Thunder of Redby, MN, Robin (Robyn) Stately of Redby, MN, Bruce Stately of Red Lake, MN, Tina Stately of Ponemah, MN, Guy (Diane) Stately of Redby, MN, Angela (Elias) Stately of Minneapolis, MN Step-Daughter, Marlene (John) Stately of Red Wing, MN Special Grandchildren, Bear Woman Stately of Redby, MN, Robin (Melanie) John Roy of Red Lake, MN, Martina Isham of Ponemah, MN, Siblings, Collins Oakgrove, Gertrude Redeagle, Agnes Smith, Harry Johnson, and Elizabeth “Pug” Kingbird, 39 grandchildren, 47 Great-Grandchildren, and 10 Great-Great Grandchildren She was preceded in death by her parents, Sons David Stately, Maurice Stately, an infant daughter, brothers Edward Thunder, Vernon Thunder, Robert Oakgrove, McKinley Kingbird, sister Mary “Puddles” Kelly, Grandchildren Brandon Cobenais, Sheena Roberts, Shantelle Roberts, Shaun Thunder, Shawn Howard, David Howard, Lee Prentice, infant Stately twins, baby Hernandez, and a special uncle Robert Holstein.
Active Casketbearers will be Robin John Roy, Golden Eagle Stately, Rain Stately, Tyrone Thunder Sr., Zach Stately, Sean Thunder, Corey Stately, Floyd Iceman, Guy Stately Jr., Dillon Thunder, Tyrone Thunder Jr., William Stately Jr., and Robert Brown III. Honorary Casketbearers will be Sharon Garrigan, Rosalie Jourdain, Vickie Howard, Karen Cobenais, and “Babe” Morgan.