FORT BELKNAP/BILLINGS Wesley Peter Stiffarm, 60, a former Marine and retired CDBG director for the BIA, died Thursday, Oct. 5, 2006, at his apartment in Billings of an apparent heart attack.
His wake and rosary was at 7 p. m. Sunday at the Red Whip Community Center. A funeral Mass was scheduled for 10 a. m. today at the Red Whip Community Center with burial in the St. Paul’s Mission Cemetery. Military honors will be by his fellow veterans from the Fort Belknap area. Wesley was born Feb. 5, 1946, in Havre to Peter and Ruby (Chief Goes Out) Stiffarm. He was raised in Rocky Boy, Box Elder, Fort Belknap and Browning. He graduated from high school at Haskell Institute in Lawrence, Kan. He attended Lamar Junior College in Lamar, Colo. Wesley joined the Marines in March of 1967 and was honorably discharged in March of 1971. He served two tours in Vietnam. He received the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal w/1*, Vietnam Campaign Medal w/device, Combat Aircrew Insignia w/3+, AM/Strike Flight w/BN#1, Rifle Marksman Badge, Good Conduct Medal, and Cross of Gallantry w/Palm. After his discharge, Wesley returned to Montana, where he attended the University of Montana in Missoula. After college, Wesley started working for the Fort Belknap Tribes and was director of the Community Development Block Grant program. He continued his profession in Billings working for the BIA. Wesley enjoyed playing softball with the Fort Belknap Warriors, attending powwows, and all sporting events. He also enjoyed playing the poker machines. Wesley was preceded in death by his parents; twin sisters, Cecelia and Delia; and brother, Leslie. Survivors include his brothers, Steve Stiffarm of Wolf Point, Loren “Bum” (Barb) Stiffarm of Harlem, Allen “Arsh” Stiffarm of Havre and Garland “Ping” (PeeWee) Stiffarm of Billings; sister, Thelma (Duane Bird Bear) Stiffarm of Albuquerque, N. M.; nine nephews; three nieces; aunts, Catherine Stiffarm Halver of Lodge Pole and Nadine Morsette of Rocky Boy; uncles, Al Stiffarm of Fort Belknap and Ben Stiffarm of Billings; and relatives in Fort Belknap and Rocky Boy. Adams Funeral Home of Malta is in charge of arrangements.