Henry Old Horn Sr. / Deaxxkashe Iaxpewiishe

Thursday, October 29, 2020
Henry Old Horn Sr. / Deaxxkashe Iaxpewiishe
Henry Old Horn Sr. / Deaxxkashe Iaxpewiishe

Henry “Sarge” Old Horn Sr. / Deaxxkashe Iaxpewiishe passed on to be with the Lord on October 19, 2020.

Born in Crow Agency on August 3, 1942, he was a member of the Whistle Water Clan and Child of the Greasy Mouth born to Cecilia Old Coyote and Allen Old Horn.

Sarge was known by several given Indian names and recently named again until he entered Paradise on the other side of the camp. Through his belief ways, Sarge actively engaged both religiously in Crow traditional practices and Christianity. He was a member of the Tobacco Society and emphasized the character of generosity, humility and continued to remain steadfast with his Faith in God, the Creator and Maker of all things. Sarge’s kindness and on going giving to others was a natural trait and he would go above and beyond for others at any time. He unselfishly offered knowledge, wisdom and experience to those seeking advice, teaching or guidance.

Sarge was one of the very few elders that could fluently speak the old Crow style language without a single English word as taught by his parents and grandparents. In his early years and throughout his life, Sarge excelled and accomplished in all arenas in which he participated. He achieved numerous notable awards in sports, powwow dancing, Indian singing, academics, and his work with the Natural Resources Con servation District-USDA.

In 2009, as a non-traditional student he graduated from Rocky Mountain College with honors-Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science. He received numerous excellence and superior awards from top United States Officials for his dedication to preserve natural resources. He received three National Awards from former Vice-President Al Gore, United States Department of Agriculture former Secretary Dan Glickman and USDA Top Official Chief Pearlie Reed for Working Effectively with American Indians. He was the only Crow Indian to receive three corresponding honors as such and the only awards given at that level in the State of Montana during that time.

Further, he continued to be recognized both state and nationally in his efforts both personally and professionally as documented through various bibliographies and sports writer commentaries. In 2018, 57 years after high school, he was inducted into the Montana Indian Athletic Hall of Fame for an Individual Award for his Basketball Accomplishments.

During his high school tenure he was highly recognized by not only by coaches, officials and sportswriters, but by sports fans. As a Hardin High School graduate he was hailed by others and peers as “Mr. Athlete.” He was an All-State and All American in 1961. Most notably, as a senior and despite elimination in the Class A State Basketball Tournament, he was the unanimous Choice for the Class A First Team All-State and named Player of the Year during the 1960-61 season. His selection of Class A All Tournament First Team consisted of undisputed votes among coaches, sportswriters and officials distinguishing Sarge in this honor. According a newspaper characterization, he was a “flashy all around star of the regular season champion Hardin Bulldogs.” He was selected to the Montana North South Jaycee All Star Team in 1961. In 1960, he was the only junior in Class A that was selected to the All State All Tourney First Team.

Years after high school, he continued to be recognized for his athletic prowess and described as the famous Bulldog athlete. George Geise, in Great Falls Tribute article in 2002, revisits the inclusion of Sarge Old Horn under the question, “Mike Chavez the best Indian Player in Montana History? Best Indian Player Ever,” Mr. Geise said, “Many veteran observers believes (Mike) Chavez belongs alongside Legendary stars such as Larry Pretty Weasel, George Yellow Eyes, Mike Granbois, Sargie Old Horn, Willy Weeks, and contemporary standouts such as Elvis Old Bull, Tom Yarlott, Jonathan Takes Enemy and J.R. Camel.”

Sarge’s recognition was also demonstrated by his tenacious work ethic to promote Native American rights and equality. During his time in Cleveland, Ohio, Sarge and Russell Means lead the pioneering efforts to establish the first Cleveland Indian Center in the 1960s and was featured in the 1996 Autobiography “Where Whiteman Fear to Tread” Russell Means remarked, “He was couple of years younger than me, about five foot ten, but very quick and former All State Basketball Player, through Sarge I came to admire the Crow People… he was a foundation of knowledge about many other cultural traditions.”

Other paramount efforts of impression included his dedication to academics by working collectively to help establish the Little Big Horn College as documented in a letter written by the former Director of Adult Education.

Further, his fearless efforts to promote and retain Crow water and land rights remained paramount to the future of generations to come.

Separately, his social engagements were illustrated as champion powwow dancer, lead singer for the Maddog Singers, song composer of numerous handgame, powwow and praise songs. With respect to powwows, Sarge taught himself how to bead. He prepared his son JR’s beadwork and dedicated his time and effort to ensure his outfit was fully prepared. More importantly, above his accomplishments was his primary message to maintain humility, maintain fortitude to Trust in God and keep faith as it supersedes any achievement.

He loved spending time with his adult children and to them he was simply the best, their Hero. He recently went on the game show, the Price is Right in Los Angeles. The shirt he wore to the show read, “Crow Rez to the Price is Right” with his mother’s picture on the front. He also had the opportunity go to the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and was an avid NBA fan. His daughters took him to watch the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center in December. Whereever he was, his primary message at all times was: Aho, Creator. Thank You. Waste, Pidamiya.

Until he entered Heaven, he remained close to his Two Leggins Family and brother Joe White Clay and numerous nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends too many to name and across Indian Country from various tribes. He had a multitude of powwow friends and family and each remained close to his heart with beautiful memories. We apologize if we have forgotten anyone.

He his preceded in death by his mother,Cecelia Old Coyote; father, Allen Old Horn; his maternal uncles, Henry, Thomas, Mickey and Barney Old Coyote Jr.; paternal grandparents, Old Horn, Lucy Morrison; paternal uncles, Fred and Clarence Old Horn; and maternal grandparents Barney Old Coyote Sr., Al Child in the Mouth; grandmother Mae Takes the Gun-Childs; maternal great-grandparents Old Coyote, Medicine, Takes Gun, Mary Takes Gun; paternal great-grandparents Two People, Gives Away Well Known and Well Known Horse.

He survived by his children, daughters Linda Lee Old Horn Purdy, Carol Rose Old Horn (Barney Cummins) Marjorie Old Horn (Adrian Spotted Bird Jr.), Lindsay Parrish (Chris Dearth), son Henry (Val) Old Horn Jr. and Veronica (Art) St. Germaine.