Wes Luke Spotted Bear

Thursday, July 18, 2019
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Wes Luke Spotted Bear “Knows His Own Horses,” 32, went to the other side camp on July 5, 2019. Wes was born on May 27, 1987 to Max (Walla) Spotted Bear Jr. and Patricia Eastman at the Crow IHS Hospital in Crow Agency, Montana. He was given his Crow name by his grandpa Thomas DeCrane. Wes was also affectionately known as “Wes Bosh” and “Wessie Pooh” by many of his teammates and family members.

Wes was a member of the Big Lodge Clan, a child of the Ties The Bundle Clan, and a member of the Catholic Church. He was baptized at the St. Charles Catholic Church in Pryor by Fr. Charles Robinson. His godparents are Rosemary Spotted Bear Round Face and the late Bobby Round Face.

Wes grew up in Crow Agency and Pryor, Montana. He started his education at the Crow Tribal Head Start in 1992. From there, he attended school at Pretty Eagle Catholic School where he participated in all sports and he graduated from the 8th grade from Pretty Eagle in 2001. He attended high school at Plenty Coups High School in Pryor, where he graduated as class salutatorian, with, his best friends, Andy Round Face and Winston Caufield in 2005.

In high school, Wes lettered in javelin, shot put and football, but his passion was basketball. He played in three state tournaments, and in one state title game. One of the highlights of Wes’ high school career was the state tournament during his senior year when he was thrown a pass from Raymond Bull Shows, caught the ball with two hands and slam dunked it. He was awarded All-Conference selection three years, All-State selection two years, and was a McDonalds All-American nominee.

In 2006, he was a basketball walk-on at Bismarck State College, earning a scholarship there. In 2007, he earned a Team Catalyst award, Bismarck Quarterback Club Male Athlete of the Year 2007, NJCAA Second Team All-American selection, and a regional title winner, and he was in the top four scorers in the MonDak Conference. He also attended University of Montana.

He worked with BIA Forestry, Sysco, Best Buy, Hastings and in 2010-11, he coached the Hardin High School freshmen team. In 2010, he met Jessica Not Afraid, together they had two boys: Grayson Michael on January 13, 2017, and Rhett Max, on July 22, 2018.

In 2015, he started at Little Big Horn College as the Head Men’s Basketball Coach, where he worked until the time of his passing.

Wes was dedicated to the LBHC program spending many hours recruiting and often contributing his own money to the LBHC Scholarship Program. In April, his team placed third at the AIHEC Men’s Tournament. His favorite teams include Duke, the Mavericks with Dirk Nowitzki, the Yankees and the 49ers. He named his pitbull “Duke.”

He started powwow dancing as a grass dancer when he was 4 years old, and later he danced Crow style. Wes loved dancing with his Dad and with Grayson. He has placed in many contests, the latest being at Crow Native Days.

Wes threw arrows with the Arrow Creek Junior team winning the title at Spear Siding. He enjoyed golfing with his Dad, uncle Luke and sister Athena. Wes enjoyed riding horses, especially his horse “Quiet Old Man,” who became an Ultimate Warrior Champion horse along with Wes’ uncle, Cris Sanchez. Wes enjoyed hunting with his dad, uncle and cousins. He played independent basketball, winning many tourneys, with the War Lordz (Oliver Wallace, Bruce Goes Ahead Pretty, Ray Bull Shows, Marty Wallace, Buddy Windy Boy, Jess Bends, and Zion Red Star).

Wes’ sons were his world and took pride in his family.

Wes was preceded in death by his eldest sister Angela; maternal grandparents, Archie and Evelyn Bear Ground, Emma and Lewis Yellow Mule, George Hogan, Ethelene Stevenson and Delmar Eastman; paternal grandparents, Zelda DeCrane, Sarah DeCrane-Sanchez, Thomas Alexander DeCrane, Donna Hein, Julia Round Face and Sylvester Spotted Bear; maternal great-grandparents, George and Maryann Reed Hogan and Perry and Lucy Cummins Eastman; paternal great-grandparents, Theodore Spotted Bear and Emma Coffey Smells, Richard Thomas DeCrane and Violet Josephine Birdinground; great-great grandparents, Georgia Horse-Reed and Sampson Birdinground Sr., Alexander DeCrane and Sarah Bull Shows, Knot Woman and Spotted Bear, and Henry and Jeanette Coffey; maternal uncle, Curtis Eastman; and cousin/sister, Nyree Hogan.

Wes is survived by his sons; his wife; his mom; his dad; his sisters, Marya (Elishah) Reevis, Athena and Laval (Arlen Armajo) Spotted Bear; stepbrother, Jaymeson (Remi) Red Star; sisters-in-law, Amanda and Emily Not Afraid; father- and mother-in-law, Mike and Lorri Not Afraid; nieces, Alyssa and Laila; nephews, EJ, Alonzo, Javan, Finley and Coulee; maternal grandparents, Lloyd (Ardith) Hogan, Letty Ann Hogan, Bertha Hogan, Beverly Big Man, Polly McDonald, Buster Brien, Annette Couture, Roseann Reed, and Inez Birdinground; paternal grandparents, Max Sr. and Dorothy Spotted Bear, Bruce Spotted Bear Sr., Jerry (Peggy Rides Horse) Spotted Bear, Sharon Smells, Patrice (Jake Tall Bull) Not Afraid, Rosemary Round Face, Jeanette Richardson, Constance and Anna De-Crane, Victoria Stewart, and Andrea and Eleanor Birdinground; great-grandparents, Agnes and Larry Pretty Weasel and Regina Goes Ahead; maternal aunts, Joleen (Allen) Spang, Mary (Joe) Foote, Beverly (Ernie) Fischer, Ann (Lyndon) Old Elk; paternal aunts, Delia, Janel, and Veronica (William Big Day) Spotted Bear, Georgia (Calvin) Buckingham, Roseanna (Mark) Denny, Violet (James) Real Bird, Luisa (Richard) Crow and Cynthia Fredricks; maternal uncle, Larry (Lori) Eastman; paternal uncle, Luke (Missi) Spotted Bear, JC DeCrane; maternal cousin/brothers, Dylan, Al, Kyler, Mike, Leroy III, Alex, Bryan, Zack, Jacob; paternal cousin/brothers, Dennis, Matthew, McKinley, Colt, Lukas, Christian, Dallas, Myron, Jeremiah, and Marcus; maternal cousin/ sisters, Shanny, Marissa, Kaylene, Shania, Francesca, Abby, and Davlyn; paternal cousin/sisters, Savannah, Dwan, Terae, Tessa, Kimberly, Rose, Dana and Kenna; close friends, Andy Round Face, Winston Caufield, Raymond Bull Shows, Aaron Henry, Bruce Goes Ahead Pretty, Oliver Wallace, Samatt Top Sky, Cori Pretty Weasel, Raylee Pretty Weasel, Cheryl and Rae Bird Hat, the late Scott Russell Jr., Chris Leier, Rumeal Good Luck, and Anfernee Standing Rock.

Wes’ extended families include the Hogan, Yellow Mule, Spang, Brien, Lei, Eastman, Reed, Knows His Gun, McCormicks, Stevenson, Birdinground, De-Crane, Goes Ahead, Turns Plenty, Bull Tail, Whiteman, Cummins, Seestheground, Broken Rope, Archambault, Round Face, Sanchez, Cloud, Stops, Stewart, Horse, Young Bird, Bear Tail, and Foote families.

Our family is large and our hearts are on the ground, so please accept our apology if we unintentionally forgot anyone.