LODGE POLE - Kim Kelly "Moke" Cliff, whose Indian name meant "Eagle Flying Home," 40, a firefighter, died Sunday, March 20, 2005, at Fort Belknap Hospital as the result of a brain tumor.
A wake service will be 7 p.m. today at the Medicine Bear Lodge in Lodge Pole. The funeral Mass will be 11 a.m. Thursday at Medicine Bear Lodge with interment in the Longfox Family Cemetery.
Kim was born on June 12, 1964, at Fort Belknap to Gilbert Cliff and Marlys Stiffarm and was raised by Charles (Chap) and Naomi Stiffarm-Longfox. He was raised in Butte and attended Webster Garfield Elementary School and graduated from Butte High School. Kim won numerous boxing awards, including several Golden Gloves championships in his weight division. He was recognized as one of the Indian Champions in Boxing for the state of Montana. Kim graduated from College of Technology in Butte with an associate degree in drafting.
He returned to Fort Belknap as Indian firefighter, serving as a crew boss since 1993 and as an engine boss, dozer boss, tractor/plow boss, felling boss, firing boss and strike team leader since 2001. He was dispatched for the Columbia Shuttle Recovery in Texas as a strike team leader and was thanked by NASA for facilitating the "Return to Flight" of the space shuttle program. He served as strike team leader for task force, wild line engine, crew representative, engine boss, helicopter crew member and incident commander. Moke was CPR certified, first-aid certified and had numerous trainings and certifications in basic air operations. He was part of the Interagency Helitack Training, wildland fire behavior calculation, and fire operations in the urban interface. He was qualified in wildfire power saws, fire-line leadership and task force leader. He held the record for many years for the fastest time in the 3-mile run in the physical fitness test. Moke had been on more than 100 fires all over the United States, including New Mexico, Florida, California, Oregon, Wyoming, Minnesota, North Carolina and Virginia.
Moke married his longtime love and soul mate, Stacey Gunn, on March 3, 2005.
Moke was preceded in death by fathers, Chap Longfox and Gilbert Cliff; brother, Andy Longfox; aunts, Leona Messerly, Caroline Sullivan and Cora Crabtree; uncles, Jody Cliff and Lee Stiffarm; grandparents; Florence and Ignatius Stiffarm, Olivia Healy and Tom Cliff.
Survivors include his wife, Stacey Gunn Cliff; children, Kimberly, Kelly, Lynette, Tiana, Moke and Tiffany Cliff; stepson, Derrick Gunn; sisters, Colleen Longfox-Stein of Bozeman, Judy Has Eagle of Lodge Pole, Stephanie Joseph of Portland, Ore., and Twila Old Coyote of Missoula; brothers, Darrell Longfox of Butte, Craig Cliff of Fort Belknap, Bill Powell of Browning, Willie Has Eagle and Erwin Little Sun of Rocky Boy; god children, Lynette Chandler and Jesse Runs Above; favorite uncle, Iggy Stiffarm; numerous aunts and uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.
Adams Funeral Home of Malta is in charge of arrangements.