Gustine Old Bear

Thursday, July 9, 2020
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Gustine Marie Old Bear, 68, of Benteen Flats, Montana was called home by her Lord and Savior on July 2, 2020.

She was born November 6, 1951 in Crow Agency, Montana. She was raised at Second Bridge and grew up and resided in Benteen Flats, where she lived until her passing. She was given her Indian name Iilaasannialiash by Louise Old Bear.

Gustine was an enrolled Crow tribal member, but also proudly represented her Southern and Northern Cheyenne blood. She was a member of the Big Lodge Clan and child of the Big Lodge. She was a member of the Night Hawk Society and came from the Reno District, where she was well known as our “Reno Cowgirl” by many district members. She was a part of the Crow Hymns Ministry group.

Gustine was an active and faithful member of the First Crow Indian Baptist Church in Lodge Grass, Montana, where she was most recently serving as the Business Council Treasurer-Secretary.

Gustine graduated from Hardin High School in 1970, but she was a strong and loyal Lodge Grass Indian fan. During the summer of 1968, she participated in the Upward Bound program. She attended Haskell Indian Nations University graduating in 1971 as a cook. While attending Haskell she considered herself a cupid, as she united numerous couples who went onto marriage.

She later went to Charles Cook Theological School in Tempe, Arizona graduating in 1989 with a certificate in Youth Ministries. While in Tempe, she became good friends with Lorraine Tootsie.

She became a part of the Tootsie’s large Hopi family. She eventually became the Godmother to Lorraine’s grandson Nathan.

Gustine befriended members of the church group from Indiana who travel to the First Crow Indian Baptist Church every year. They quickly became her family. Bette White and Larry Page were very special and dear to her.

Gustine was a woman of many skills and started her early career at the Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone Park as a reservation clerk and a cook. She also worked at the Arts and Crafts Center in Lodge Grass. She spent time as a camp counselor at the Native American Indian Youth Camp in Tempe, Arizona. She worked at the Lodge Grass High School as a cook, a teacher’s aide and in the bilingual language program.

She served as the Director of the Victim’s Assistance program, an advocate for the Domestic Violence program, and a family advocate for the Headstart program. For the last 13 years she was serving her community at the Crow Nation Recovery Center. She loved to help people solve problems.

Gustine was a very smart, skilled and tireless worker. She was always complimented on her work ethic and she often encouraged her colleagues to improve their work ethic. True to form, Gustine always sought to improve her skills and abilities, which encouraged her colleagues to follow her lead.

Gustine had served on many boards and participated on many committees. It was not uncommon to see her help fundraise, organize, setup and clean-up at numerous activities or events in the community. When she volunteered to help, she was passionate about her commitment and she worked until the job was done the right way… her way.

She was a social butterfly and had many lifelong friends who became family. Gustine was caring and generous person to everyone she came across. She greeted her friends and family with kind words or teased with her jokes, and she always offered her helping hands if they were needed.

In 1995, Gustine was fortunate to be given her daughter Monica, whom she called one of the biggest blessings God bestowed on her to love, protect and cherish. She took a lot of pride in her daughter and raised her to the best of her ability. Their special bond only grew stronger as Monica grew into a woman and a mother.

King Stephen lit up Gustine’s life when he turned her into a kaale. The two loved each other unapologetically and without hesitation. They shared the one of greatest bonds anyone could ever witness. In the Crow way, Stephen was the first grandchild, so he belonged to his kaale.

Gustine was proceeded in death by her parents, Gus and Annie Old Bear Sr.; grandparents, Ned (Monica Chief At Night) Old Bear, Harry (Alice Blackree) Long Sioux, and Lena and Rose Old Bear; her adopted mother, Mel Patterson; her uncles, Elmer Sr., Eugene and Victor Yarlott, and Clarence Long Sioux; her aunts, Jessie, Louise and Agnes Old Bear, Louise Fisher, and Marietha Charette; her brothers, Edward Sr., Stephen, Fredlyn, Bert and Loris Old Bear, and Rico Harjo; her sisters, Lois Jean Old Bear, Elretta Parker, and Charlotte (Paul) Spotted Horse; her nephews, Jared Littlewhiteman and Louis Old Bear; and nieces, Kalsey BirdinGround, Raelyn Old Bear and Phyllis Spotted Horse.

Survivors include her uncle, David Yarlott Sr.; aunt, Carolyn Morrison; her daughters, Monica (Cayoz Fisher) Chief At Night and Adrianna Fayedra Toineeta; grandchildren, Stephen Chief At Night, Wake and Natalie Parker, and Madison Little Light; sons, Charles, Vincent (Maria) Parker Jr., and Robin Old Bear; brothers, David, Lee (Mary), Loren (Roselyn) and Gus Old Bear Jr., Vincent Parker, Thomas, Marlon, Elmer Jr., Oliver, Aaron, David, Eugene and Curtis Yarlott, Benito and James Morrison, Thomas Bonko Sr., Albert Sioux, Laforce Sioux Calf, and Ty and Thomas Ten Bear Sr.; sisters, Effie (Paul) Beartrack, Te-Atta, Lori, Roberta and Tela Old Bear, Lydia (Eugene) Birdin-Ground, Angela Russell, Magdalene Bonko, Francine, Davine and Linda Morrison, Laura (Hanks) Rides Horse, Rosella Stewart, Delmyrna, Charlotte and Charlene Yarlott, Marcia (Benito) Brown, and Tori Half; nephews, James, Lee, Lephi, Quannah (Elizabeth), Gus III, Edward Jr., Dean and Aaron Old Bear, Patrick and Jim Amyotte, Jess and Zac (Whitney) BirdinGround, Leonard Gardner, Larry James, Eric Morrison, and Hanks, Martin and Frank Rides Horse; nieces, Masiela, Davida, Lorna, Tela, Annie Mae, Miesha, Jessica, Tamara and Heather Old Bear, Jana Amyotte, Rona and Lynn Gardner, Martika (Reginald Flat Mouth) Pretty Paint, Paulette (Terry) Birdinground, Carolyn (Leon) Pretty Weasel, Bethany Rides Horse, Bridget Morrison, Brenda Timber, and Daneeta and Elizabeth Fisher; grandchildren, Orlena and Orlanda Birdin-Ground, and Mandale, David and Tim Spotted Horse.

Gustine had many grandkids and a few great-grandkids, all of whom she loved dearly.

She considered all the people she met on her many endeavors as her special friends. She enjoyed the people she worked and looked forward to spending her days with them developing great friendships with all of them.

Gustine’s extended families include the Yarlott, Morrison, Wilson, Kindness, Smart Enemy, Hogan, Old Coyote, Big Hair, Bear Cloud, Rising Sun, Two Moons, Knows His Gun, All Runner and Long Sioux families. Our hearts are heavy with grief and Gustine had many family members and friends, please accept our apology if we did not acknowledge you or your family member. It was not intentional.

A graveside service was held at the Garryowen Cemetery in Garryowen, Montana on July 7, 2020.

Bullis Mortuary was entrusted with arraignments.