Shirley A. Bear Ground Stewart

Thursday, March 14, 2019
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Shirley A. Bear Ground Stewart, 81, went to be with her Lord on February 8, 2019. She was born April 7, 1937 to Otto and Frances (Backbone) Bear Ground in Crow Agency, Mont.

She was given her Indian name Awitchish (Good Land) by Pearl Backbone. She is a Big Lodge and a child of the Newly Made Lodges Clan. Shirley grew up in Lodge Grass. She was a horsewoman from a young age, parading at Crow Fair at the age of two. She often accompanied her father on horseback hunting trips into the mountains.

Shirley’s mother Frances, a cancer survivor, was chosen to represent the Messengers for Health program. The five-generation picture of Frances, her daughter Shirley, granddaughter Sharolyn, great-granddaughter Crystal and her great-greatgranddaughter Vont’e was used on the Messengers for Health informational pamphlet. This pamphlet was recognized at the White House in Washington, D.C.

Shirley married Charles “Billy” Stewart in 1953. The couple made their home in the Lodge Grass area on Sunday Creek. The couple had five children - daughters Sarah, and Geneva, Sharolyn, Frances and Debbie - and raised Shawn Walks Over Ice as their own.

Shirley worked for several years at the Crow Detox Center, but homemaking was her full-time job. She was known for her beautiful beadwork, her sewing ability and her culinary skills.

Bill and Shirley were always proud and supportive of their children and grandchildren. They enjoyed sitting on the sidelines cheering them on. Shirley was so proud when her great granddaughter Shauntel Jefferson was chosen Junior Miss Crow Nation for 2007-08. Shirley was truly the matriarch of her family and will be so missed by all her loving family members.

She is proceeded in death by her parents; her husband; her daughter Debbie Old Horn; her sisters Cora Bends, Verna Pease, Linda Blaine, Maudi Stops, Olive Stewart and Connie Brown; her brothers Archie Bear Ground and Greely Not Afraid, Kay and Cardy Bends, and Burton Bear Ground; her uncles Frank, William, Harold Backbone; her aunts Delphine Onion, Ruth Alden, and Julia Not Afraid; her great-granddaughter True Ann Danforth.

She is survived by her daughters Sarah (Tilton) Old Bull, G’ma Stewart, Sharolyn (Chester) Nomee, Frances Walks Over Ice, Sharon Whiteman, and Virginia Real Bird; her son Shawn Walks Over Ice; her brothers Henry Pretty On Top, Robert Nomee and Clifford Birdinground Sr., Burton Pretty on Top, Shawn and Bill Backbone and Clinton LaForge; her sisters Lara Jane Eastman, Wilma Stewart, Angela Stewart, Leda Falls Down, Frances and Daphne Alden, Anita Old Coyote, Joselyn Three Irons, Laurie Alden, Jennifer Onion, Donna, Nadine, Arlene, Noreen and Darlene Backbone, Garnett Watan; her adopted daughters Pamela Backbone, Rebecca White, Theresa Stops, Delmyrna Yarlott, Seresea Teeth, Carla and Valencia Crooked Arm, Donna and Janet Stewart, Almeda Good Luck, Barbara Spotted, Linda, Dorothy Stops, Aldora Big Man, Haroldine Backbone, Claudine, Tawyna and Aldean Dust, Clarice Medicine Crow, Gladys Brien, Shirley Davies, Mae Ann Smith, Elizabeth Fighter, Julee Maca Vinta; her adopted sons Leon Stewart, Harold Old Bull, PJ Jefferson, Clinton Stops, Samuel Nappi, Darrel Bends, Gary Gardner, Brian Blaine, Myron and Brad Crooked Arm, John Sight, William Teeth, Kevin Dust and Dean and Dana Bird; nephews Robert, Donald and Wesley Stewart, Wesley and Billy Stops, Ben Stands, Calvin Herrera Sr., Clayton, Marvin, Dexter, Adelei, William, Wesley and Myron Falls Down, Joe Alden Jr., Padgett Bad Bear, Frank Backbone Jr., Harold and Elton Backbone; her grandchildren who she raised as her own Nathan Chief Child, Taija Little Light, Chasity (Frank) Bastien, Tamara Bright Wings and Cameron Rides Horse, Luke, R-Jon, Crystal Nomee; grandchildren Shawn (Mamie) Jr., Mya, and Buren Walks Over Ice, Amber, Suzette and Jonathan Old Horn; adopted grandson Jordan Freemont; many great-grandchildren; her sisters-in-law Delma Yarlott, Regina Goes Ahead, Mary Black Eagle, Mary Lou Big Day, Stella Not Afraid, Ruby Plain Feather, Eleanor Birdinground, Linda (Manuel) Covers Up; her brothers-inlaw Larry (Pearl) and Dana Tobacco, Leon Pretty Weasel and Michael Fitzpatrick.

Her extended family includes the Bloodman, Backbone, Bear Below, Pretty on Top, Buffalo, Not Afraid, Left Hand, Walks, Falls Down, Williamson, Dust, Bad Boy, Whiteman (from Pryor), Spotted Horse, Bird and the Fast Horse families, also the Her Many Horses and American Horse families of South Dakota. Our family is large, please accept our apology if we have forgotten anyone.

Funeral services were held on February 15 at the Spirit of Life Foursquare Church in Crow Agency. Burial followed in the Lodge Grass Cemetery. Bullis Mortuary was entrusted with the arrangements.