Elmer LaFlesche Blackbird 1921 - 2007 Walthill
Services for Elmer LaFlesche Blackbird, 86, Walthill, were Nov. 17 at Omaha Nation School auditorium in Macy. Native American church services were Nov. 16 at the Native American Church in Macy. Burial was in Omaha Tribal Cemetery.Mr. Blackbird died Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2007, at a Sioux City Hospital.He was born Feb. 16, 1921, the son of Charles Blackbird and Suzette LaFlesche. He graduated from Walthill High School. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Wayne State College, a master's degree in guidance and counseling from the University of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff, and a honorary doctorate from Nebraska Indian Community College.Mr. Blackbird served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. He taught at Lynch Public Schools and Bureau of Indian Affairs Schools in Colorado, Arizona, and North and South Dakota. He retired from Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kan., in 1975, where he served as head of the guidance department and director of residence halls.He continued to work as an educator for the tribe at the Omaha Indian Reservation. He served twice as Omaha Tribal chairman and once as a Nation chairman of the Native American Church. His son, Russell, established an academic scholarship in his honor in 2001 that is presented to a Walthill High School senior each year.Mr. Blackbird married Mabel Veaux in 1947. They divorced. He married Nancy Miller Springer in 1972. Survivors include three sons, Kenneth, Fort Duchesne, Utah, Russell, Lawrence, Kan., and Gene Blackbird, Tama, Iowa; a daughter, Ida Blackbird, Walthill; two stepsons, Tim and Leonard Springer; two stepdaughters, Connie Kirkpatrick and Tammy Springer; two sisters, Francellia Clark and Maxine White, both of Macy; 37 grandchildren; and 20 great-grandchildren.He was preceded in death by a son, Ray Steven Blackbird, and three grandchildren.Munderloh Funeral Home in Pender is in charge of arrangements.