Joseph “Joe” Gopher, 43, died Monday, Sept. 24, 2007, on the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation near Haystack Loop.
His cause of death is under investigation by the Hill County Coroner's Office. Joe’s wake service began Wednesday afternoon at the Rocky Boy Lutheran Church and his funeral service will be 10 a.m. today also at the Rocky Boy Lutheran Church with tribal elders officiating. Burial will follow at the Rocky Boy Cemetery. Joe was born Aug. 2, 1964, in Great Falls to Thomas and Lois (Murie) Gopher. His Indian name was “Medicine Bird.” He was raised and educated in Rocky Boy and graduated from Rocky Boy High School in 1983, where he excelled in basketball and track. He attended Stone Child College and graduated with his associate’s degree in general studies and a certificate in carpentry. Joe enjoyed being with his family and friends and taking long walks. He had a great sense of humor and his motto in life was “Go for it.” He is preceded in death by his father, Thomas Gopher; and one sister, Elizabeth Wetsit. Joe is survived by his mother, Lois J. Gopher of Rocky Boy; brothers, Tom Gopher of Great Falls and Paul V. Gopher and Hadushka Howell, both of Rocky Boy; sisters, Laurie, Juanita, Althea and Jackie Gopher, all of Rocky Boy; and many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins. Services and arrangements have been entrusted to Holland & Bonine Funeral Home.