Allen Arthur “Arsh” Stiffarm was born to Peter Stiffarm and Ruby Chief Goes Out Stiffarm on July 16, 1955, in Havre, Mont.
Arsh attended grade school in Rocky Boy and Box Elder until 1964 when the family moved to Browning. He graduated from Browning High School in 1973. Arsh was a member of the Browning High School team that placed second at the 1973 State Class B Basketball Tournament, where he was also named to the All-Tournament Team. In the first round game of the tournament, Arsh scored 28 points and grabbed 23 rebounds. For his efforts, Arsh was named to the Class B All- State Team, first team.
He was also named to the All-Conference and All- Division teams. He received a basketball scholarship to Northern Montana College, where he played for two years. Basketball was his passion. In 1975, he was selected to play on the Browning Reds, an Indian independent basketball team that won the National Indian Activities Association Basketball Championship. It was the only Montana team to ever win this title. Arsh also played on the Rocky Boy Rockets and the Fort Belknap Warriors teams, winning numerous MVP honors.
In addition, he played on the Fort Belknap Warriors and Milk River Sponsors softball teams. Arsh was a real Renaissance man as he won the Betty Crocker Homemaker of Tomorrow award at Browning High School.
Arsh was also an avid fan of the University of Montana Grizzlies and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Upon his graduation from the University of Montana (business administration), Arsh worked in the finance department for the Fort Belknap Indian Community. He later worked for the National Tribal Development Association. In addition, he was a member of the coaching staff at Harlem High School.
Arsh was diagnosed with diabetes in his early college days. The rest of his life, he actively participated in basketball, bowling, softball, golf and swimming to control his diabetes.
Arsh was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, Wesley and Lesley; his sisters, Celia and Delia; and his nephew, Jeremy.
He is survived by his son, Allen Taylor-Stiffarm; his sister, Thelma Stiffarm; brothers, Steve, Loren “Bum” (Barbara) and Garland “Ping” (PeeWee). He is also survived by his nieces, RaeDee, Amy and Mariah; and his nephews, Daniel, Eric, Pete, Jason, Justin, Tristan and Nathaniel “Nano. ”
In addition, he is survived by numerous aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews throughout the United States.
A celebration of Arsh’s life will be held on Thursday, March 29, and Friday, March 30, at the Red Whip Center in Fort Belknap. The wake will be 7 p. m., on Thursday. The funeral Mass will be 10 a. m., on Friday. Arrangements are made by Edwards Funeral Home of Chinook.