Paul Small Jr., 81 years, 3 months and 10 days old, whose Indian name was Tah-pah-chi-pi-ye-s-iw “Low Thunder Bird,” died Monday, June 20, 2011, at his home in Rocky Boy.
His wake service will begin Tuesday with his funeral service 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 22, 2011, at the Rocky Boy Lutheran Church, with Allen Gardipee and Merle Tendoy officiating. Burial will follow at the Small Family Cemetery in Rocky Boy. Services and arrangements have been entrusted to Holland & Bonine Funeral Home.
Paul was born March 10, 1930, in Rocky Boy, to Joe and Marie (Alexander) Small. He was raised and educated in Rocky Boy. He married Ruby Fox on Feb. 9, 1961, and together they made their home in Rocky Boy and raised their family. Paul was employed as a custodian and bus driver for the Rocky Boy Elementary School. He retired in 1995. Paul also had his boiler makers license. He served on the Chippewa Cree Tribal Council as a member and also was a member of the Native American Church where he served as president and vice president of the National Native American Church. Paul was instrumental in allowing the use of peyote across the border for Native American Ceremonial uses. He enjoyed attending Native American Church Services, hunting, watching all of his children and grandchildren play basketball, watching Western movies and boxing.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two sons; two daughters; two uncles; two aunts; three grandchildren; and his son–in-law Jason Kalama.
Paul is survived by his wife, Ruby Small; sons, Gerald Small Sr., Emory (Colleen) Small, Direk Small Sr., Clinton (Roberta) Smal, and Marty Small, all of Rocky Boy, Mont.; daughters, Joette Small of Billings, Mont., Sharlene Small of Rocky Boy, Mont. Paulette (Joe Gray) Small of Rocky Boy, Mont. Vanessa Small of Rocky Boy, Mont., Farrah Small of Rocky Boy and Jalene (Roland Dixon) Small of Great Falls, Mont.; 60 grandchildren; 75 great-grandchildren; and 1 great-great grandchild; adopted children, daughters, Valerie Standing Rock, Roberta Saddler Sutherland, Leanna Gina Wright, Peggy Myers, Josephine Corcoran, Michelle Bailey, Alana Medicine Bull, Renette Kaline, Doris Kaline, Lori Kaline, Deanna Kaline, Mary Deberry, Cynthia Schmokel. Adopted sons, Garrick Fergason, Joey Arkinson, Bert Kaline Jr., Kenny Kaline, Chuck Kaline, Willie Kaline, and Elmer Balletyne and Thomas Limberhand.