By HDN Staff
HARLEM William J. "Skee" Bigby, 69, Indian name Ti Mahen Kiyaici (Throws Himself in the Lodge), died Monday, May 28, 2001 at a Great Falls hospital due to natural causes.
Wake and rosary will be 7 p.m. Thursday in Red Whip Center at Fort Belknap. Mass will be 11 a.m. Friday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church at Fort Belknap. Burial with military honors will follow in Pony Hill Cemetery.
Bigby was born Jan. 31, 1932 to Dorothy Bigby in Fort Belknap. He attended schools in Harlem and graduated from Harlem High School in 1952. He was fullback on the 1951 Harlem Wildcat state championship football team.
In 1952, Bigby enlisted in the U.S. Army. He was awarded the National Defense Service Medal. He received an honorable discharge in 1954.
He married Yvonne Ball on March 15, 1966 in Harlem. He served as secretary/treasurer of the Tribal Council at Fort Belknap from 1967 to 1970 with Clarence Adams and John Capture.
Bigby was an active member of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church. He played an important part in getting a senior citizens center established at Fort Belknap and tried to get a kidney dialysis unit at Fort Belknap.
He was preceded in death by his daughter, Lauren Ball, in 1957.
Survivors include his wife, Yvonne of Harlem; daughters, Patrice Plant of Arlee and Cheryl Stiffarm of Spokane; sons, Cal Bigby and Don Bigby, both of Fort Belknap, Steve Gardner of South Colby, Wash., Dave Garcia of Nampa, Idaho, Stan Hawley of Missoula, John Hoops and Vaughn Perry, both of Harlem; 19 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.
His lifelong hobby was raising his registered quarter horses and paints. He also enjoyed playing basketball with his grandchildren.
Edwards Funeral Home of Chinook is in charge of arrangements.