Obituary for Aloysius Weasel Bear

~ Maureen Brucker

On June 8, 1966, a beautiful warm summer morning,

Tantanka Iyotaka (Aloysius John Weasel Bear) came

into the world to Beatrice Long Visitor Holy Dance and

John Tex Weasel Bear. Aloysius began his journey to

the spirit world on November 19, 2016 in Chadron, NE.

Aloysius lived a very good life. He was a Sundance

Chief, sundancer, Native American Church Roadman

and Reverend. He was a Guardian of Ceremonies,

practitioner of our Traditional Oglala ways. He performed all Seven Sacred Rites of our Great Sioux Nation. He knew every song that goes with the appropriate ceremony; he could recite the appropriate prayers. Among all of his mentors and teachers, he was honored by his grandfather Luke Weasel Bear to carry on these ways with Grandfather Luke’s peace pipe. He fulfilled those wishes, Jennie Little Soldier-Weasel Bear, Al’s own “Unci Gamma”, as he called her, gave him her father’s name: Tatanka Iyotaka – Sitting Bull. These traditional ways are his legacy to all of our relatives. We were honored by his wonderful presence in our lives, Aloysius is survived by his son, Adam (Angela) Begay of Santa Rosa, CA; daughters, Megan (Paul) Brown of Novato, CA and Amy (Chadwick) John of Arizona City, AZ; wife, Justine (Begay) Weasel Bear of Arizona City, AZ; sisters, Caroline Trivean and Arlene Weasel Bear & family, of Red Shirt Table, SD, Karen Carita, Darlene, Mary Weasel Bear & families, and Lisa Two Bulls & family, all of #4 Community, near Pine Ridge, SD, Loretta (Tom) Cook of New York, NY, Anita (Earl) Russell of Chadron, NE, Barbara Dull Knife & family of Oglala, SD and Delmarie Bradfield & family of Denver, CO; brothers, Fontanelle Pancho Afraid of Bear & family of Slimbuttes, SD, Cleveland Weasel Bear, Jr. & family, Benjamin Weasel Bear, Harold, Patrick & Leo Two Bulls & families, all of #4 Community, near Pine Ridge, SD; aunt, Rita Long Visitor Holy Dance of Slimbuttes, SD; and 10 grandchildren. Aloysius was preceded in death by his beloved parents, Beatrice Long Visitor Holy Dance and John Tex Weasel Bear; brothers, Norman and Mike; sisters, Virginia Lorraine and Madonna Faith Weasel Bear; his “Unci Gamma”, Jennie Little Soldier-Weasel Bear; nephews, Troy Lucio, Christopher Afraid of Bear, Steven John White Magpie and Alvin Lee Afraid of Bear; nieces, Lynette Afraid of Bear; and grandchildren, Elijah Afraid of Bear, Mariah Ponce, Manuela Finchum, Katherine Yellow Horse-Afraid of Bear and Lilith Afraid of Bear-Crow Wake Services: One night wake service starting at 10:00 AM, Friday, November 25, 2016 at the Weasel Bear residence in Slimbuttes, SD Funeral Services: 1:00 PM, Saturday, November 26, 2016 at the Weasel Bear residence in Slimbuttes, SD Officiating: Reverend Kirk Fool Bull and Reverend Chester Stoneman of the Native American Church Burial Services: Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery, Slimbuttes.

He Was A Complicated Man
~ Maureen D. Brucker

He was a complicated man
An artist and the family ceremonialist
A good laugh and an angry cut down
A complicated man, indeed

He was a complicated man
A frustrating presence and an appreciative soul
An appreciator of children with no biological children of his own
A very complicated man

He was a product of his upbringing
Born in the midst of a Native American church tipi meeting
The youngest in a strongly focused traditional family
That upbringing left its mark on all he did

He was funny and understated
The first time he visited, he called and asked to come.
Took a while to find out he and ‘mom’ were ragging too much on each other.
All came out in a gently funny way

From our first meeting in a cabin on Cheyenne Mountain
It was an interesting connection
The city girl, older than his oldest sister like a babe in arms when it came to expectations
And this ceremonially steeped soon to be brother who taught me the ways

And ways they were – of respect and how things were done
Of  how to be in the background without losing who I was
Of listening more and talking less
Of allowing questions to remain unanswered because the answer is simply there to be heard at the right moment

And always, ever always being there for mom in her time of need

This man born in a house outside a tipi meeting
A traveler to California for ceremonies and teaching
A traveler to New York where his singing of the sacred songs were recorded by the likes of Bethany and Peter Yarrow
A Traveler to the eastern Baltic because people wanted to know.

So much to give with a body wracked with disease
So many years of silent suffering
By the time he took control of the diabetes it was too late
Between the car accident that affected his back to the blood sugar that damaged his kidneys
The suffering was always with him

In the end, once mom took the journey, Aloysius saw his way clear
His body was worn out
His thoughts were with mom and the journey
He held on through the blazing of the summer
Allowed them to send him here and there in hopes of healing

That last week he just wanted to go home
Perhaps one last ceremony, but home nonetheless

And so it was, that Monday evening, the 14th of November
Aloysius journeyed from Denver to home
By Saturday, the 19th, he had joined mom and the others on the other side

Enjoy your well deserved rest, Brother!

Notes on the pictures:

The picture of Aloysius was taken by the Author, at my house, the fall of 2010.
The flag was awarded to Aloysius by the tribe.