Marissa Lynn Birdtail-O’Claray, 5, died May 4, 2008, at Fort Belknap Public Health Services from injuries after being struck by a vehicle in Harlem.
A wake service began Wednesday, May 7, 2008, at 7 p. m. in the Fort Belknap Senior Citizen Center with rosary being recited. Funeral services were scheduled for 10 a.m. today, Thursday, May 8, 2008, at the Fort Belknap Senior Citizen Center with burial following at the Birdtail Family Cemetery at Lodge Pole. Arrangements are by Edwards Funeral Home of Chinook. Marissa was born on Jan. 6, 2003, in Havre, the daughter of Cassandra (stepfather and good friend Ted Bell Jr.) Jackson of Harlem and Raymond (Misty) O’Claray of Havre. She was raised in Fort Belknap and Harlem area. Marissa was attending preschool at Fort Belknap Head Start with teacher Margaret Strike in the “Little Rascals Class.” She would have graduated on May 16, 2008. Marissa was a fun loving and very outgoing little person. She always had a big smile on her face. Marissa was always a joy to be around, helpful, and kind. She loved to be outdoors, playing at the playground with her sister LaTesha and friends and riding her bike around Harlem, and was always at the swimming pool during the summer. Marissa also liked skating around on her heels. Marissa is survived by her mother, Cassandra (Ted Bell Jr.) Jackson of Harlem; father, Raymond (Misty) O’Claray of Havre; sisters, LaTesha Jackson of Harlem; Sage Plumage and brother Landen O’Claray, both of Missoula; grandparents, Cecil and Avis Jackson, Greg and Tammy Sears, Dale and Carmen Jackson, Larry Jackson Sr., Savanna Wing Jackson and Duane and Christine Flying, all of Fort Belknap; John and Twyla Birdtail of Havre; greatgrandmothers, Ophelia Birdtail and Jolene Sears, both of Fort Belknap and Geneva Wallace of California and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. She was preceded in death by her grandmother Shirley Birdtail, uncle Trevor Birdtail, great-grandfather Vernon Wallace and great-uncle Vernon Wallace Jr.