Mary E. “Gramma E” Bear of Fort Washakie
Funeral services for Mary E. “Gramma E” Bear of Fort Washakie are at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 29, at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church south of Riverton. Interment follows at the Arapaho Catholic Cemetery at St. Stephen’s. A rosary is at the Davis Funeral home at 8 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 27, with a second rosary at 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 28, at Eagle Hall at St. Stephen’s. A wake will follow at the SunRhodes residence, 1170 17 Mile Road on the Wind River Indian Reservation. Mrs. Bear died at the Lander Regional Hospital on Tuesday morning, Nov. 22, 2011, at the age of 85. Mary Elizabeth Brown was born in the Mill Creek area of the Wind River Indian Reservation on July 16, 1926, the daughter of Andrew Brown, Sr., and Alta (Tyler) Brown. Her Indian name was “Niicihe’ hisei,” meaning “River Woman.” She was a descendant of Chief Lone Bear and was raised by Cora and Ora Manderson. She lived in the St. Stephen’s area of the reservation all of her life and had attended the Fort Washakie Boarding School and St. Stephen’s Mission. She was a housewife, having married Calvin C. YellowBear, Sr. Together they had 11 children. They made their home near the Little Wind River at St. Stephen’s. She later married Phillip Bear and they had one son together. Mrs. Bear was of the Catholic faith and the Native American church. She was a member of the Arthur-Antelope-Brown Post 84 Auxiliary to the American Legion and was a Gold Star Sister. Her family said Mrs. Bear enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren and great grandchildren, attending family functions, traditional Indian naming ceremonies for many of her grandchildren, going to pow-wows, watching Western movies, and participating in horse racing in her younger years. She participated in the culture camp where she engaged in story telling for the Northern Arapaho people. She was fluent in the Arapaho language and taught at many places. She also engaged in craft making and worked at Canyon Hills Manor at Thermopolis. Mrs. Bear is survived by her brothers, John Lee Tyler and Charles Manderson and family; sisters, Arlene Tyler, Ramona Cesspooch, Ada Mae Wallowingbull, Betty Hienzer, Alice Headley; sons, Byron YellowBear, Sr., and his wife Karen and their family, Vincent L. YellowBear, Sr., and family, Gabriel Whitetail and family, Ivan Bear and family; adopted sons Delmar Duran, Sr.; grandson, Stephen Fasthorse; daughters, Elizabeth YellowBear and family, Eloise YellowBear, Mick and family, Lorrina YellowBear, Judd and family; adopted daughter, Viola Smith and family; grandchildren whom she raised, Martha Killcrease and family, Angel YellowBear and family, Andrew YellowBear, Jr., and family, Mitchel “Jude” Warren, Jr., and his wife Shila and family, Amber YellowBear and family, Christopher YellowBear and family, 36 grandchildren, 31 great grandchildren, numerous nieces, nephews and the families of Brown, LoneBear, and White. She was preceded in death by her parents, Andrew Brown and Alta Tyler-Brown, Ora and Cora Manderson; brothers and sisters, Mary Blackburn, Johnny Brown, Andrew Brown, Jr., Eva C’Hair, Annie Wanstall, Julia Norse, Ramond Brown, Rosaline Headley; her first husband, Calvin C. YellowBear, Sr.; her second husband, Phillip Bear; her children, Andrew John YellowBear, Sr., Mary Rose Yellowbear, Violet Jane YellowBear, Calvin C. Yellowbear, Jr., Charlene “Macy” Yellowbear; adopted son, Benjamin Oldman, Sr.; grandchildren, John Earl Willow III, Ernest SunRhodes III, Christopher YellowBear, Shawn E. Armajo, Brian Willow, Baudeilio Guietterez, Angelo Guietterez, Lisa M. Mandan, Marisa Spoonhunter, Brandy SunRhodes, Leandrae Dawn Marie Duran. On-line condolences for may be made at: theDavisFuneralHome.com. Services are under the direction of the Davis Funeral Home of Riverton.