James M. Bear

James M. Bear, 65, (Yellow Eyes – Ishda-Zeedish), died Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, in his home.

James was born July 11, 1947, in Elbowoods, the son of Philip and Amelia (Spotted Wolf) Bear. James was a member of the Three Clan.

In 1952, the year of the flooding of Elbowoods, Jim was in the first grade and his family relocated to Lucky Mound District, south of Parshall. James then attended Lucky Mound School and continued his high school education at Flandreau, S.D., through the 11th grade.

On March 5, 1968, Jim entered the Army and while in the Army, he completed his GED. He was stationed at Fort Ord in California to Company D, 3rd Battalion, 1st Brigade. He was honorably discharged on Nov. 26, 1969.

James settled in Pomona, Calif., after the Army and attended college at Cal-Poly State, where he studied addiction counseling. He was employed as a counselor at Compton Recovery Home. He was appointed to various boards and sat on the board for actor Will Sampson. He worked in construction and welding and was even a chef at the Bellevue Hotel in Los Angeles. Jim worked on a movie lot in Los Angeles, where he developed an interest in the film industry and its portrayal of historical events. While working behind the scenes, he met many American Indian people involved in movies and TV.

In 1978, Jim moved back to Parshall where he met the love of his life, Barb Little Owl, in May of that year. They were united in marriage on Oct. 18, 1992. Jim and Barb lived in Los Angeles, Bishop, Calif., and Bismarck before returning to Parshall. While living in Bismarck, Jim attended University of Mary.

Jim’s number one enjoyment was being with his wife and his grandson, Laimen, whom he loved very much. Jim’s interests included music and playing guitar. He often sang, played and recorded favorite songs; he always sang special songs to Barbara.

Jim was an average jokester, who liked to talk like WC Fields and imitate other actors. He was always teasing, especially his nephews, nieces and grandchildren for whom he had special names even his doctor who he called Dr. Doorknocker.

He loved horses and was often seen riding his horse, Zorro, around Lucky Mound. James once rode a buffalo at Fort Yates and finished in first place. One of his many adventures was hitchhiking from Parshall back to Los Angeles. He was also interested in the art of bow and arrow making and flint-knapping; he hoped to some day spend more time with this hobby.

Jim’s interest was in history; specifically the Military Era and Plains Indians War Era. He read numerous books on the subject. He served as a historian at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas. Jim portrayed his grandfather, Thomas Spotted Wolf, in reenactment of a meeting with the U.S. Army Officers in the production “This Land I Am Standing On.” James became interested in arts and crafts as a youngster and participated in Ina Halls 4-H Club. He was artistic and recreated early Plains Indian artifacts with several still on display at the Buffalo Museum in Jamestown and at Knife River Indian Village in Stanton.

James was once elected as the community chairperson for the Northeast Segment. He was an outspoken activist for people’s rights and was 100 percent for the people of Fort Berthold, for whom he cared very much. When a friendship was formed, he remained loyal. James was a certified Veterans Service officer and was employed with the tribal Veterans Program from 1992 to the time of his passing.

Jim will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

Jim is survived by: his wife, Barb, of Parshall; daughters, Shawn Charging (Brent), of Riverdale, Rhonda Bear, of Pine Ridge, S.D., and Winona Bear, of Parshall; 11 grandchildren; brother, Dewey Bear (Roberta), of Parshall; sisters, Clarinda Menzie, of Fort Thompson, S.D., Juanita Bear, of Sioux City, Iowa, and Josita Bear, of Fresno, Calif.; and several nieces, nephews, and extended family.

He was preceded in death by his grandfather, Thomas Spotted Wolf; grandmother, Susie Heines; parents; and brothers, Terry Bear and Stoney Mitchell.

Funeral: Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, at 11 a.m., in Veterans Memorial Hall, Parshall.

Wake: Today, Jan. 4, beginning at 5 p.m., in the hall.

Burial: Memorial Congregational Cemetery, rural Parshall

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(Langhans Funeral Home, Parshall)