Obituary - Kenneth C. Writing Bird
Last updated 11/3/2020 at 11:04am
Kenneth C. Writing Bird, Ko-Sah-Wah-Kew "Orange Maker," 71, passed away due to natural causes at Northern Montana Hospital on Sunday, November 1, 2020. Wake services began at 4:00 p.m. Monday, November 2, 2020, and continued until his funeral service at 10:00 a.m. today, November 3, 2020, all at the Writing Bird Hogun on Bitterroot Drive. Burial followed in the Rocky Boy Cemetery.
Ken's feast will be held Thursday, November 4, 2020, also at the Hogun.
Holland & Bonine Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements.
Please visit Ken's online memorial page and leave a message of condolence for his family at http://www.hollandbonine.com .
Ken was born February 2, 1949, in Rocky Boy to Charlie and Edith (Chief Goes Out) Writing Bird. He was raised in Rocky Boy, attending Parker School through the eighth grade. After his school years, Ken worked for a time and then married Dorothy Jarvey, with whom he had three children. They moved to Great Falls, where Ken worked as a custodian.
They later divorced, and Ken returned to Rocky Boy where he worked as a bus driver and a firefighter.
He met and married Linda Cummings, with whom he had one child, and they, too, later divorced. Soon after,
Ken met Lorena Chapoose, to whom he was married for 38 years. They married in 1982 and had two children. Additionally, Ken adopted her two sons from a previous relationship. The couple moved to the Northern Ute Reservation in Utah, where Ken worked for IHS in property supply and custodial.
The family moved to Rocky Boy in 1987, where Ken worked as a police officer, in housing, as a firefighter and in transportation. He studied under several elders in order to become a cultural specialist with the CDC program. Ken served on the tribal council for four years, and returned to serving as the cultural specialist for the Chippewa Cree Tribe, educating the people in their traditions.
In 2015, he suffered a massive stroke which left him nonverbal and disabled. However, his spirit manifested itself in other ways, and he found ways to communicate. He has an incredible bond with his grandchildren.
Ken enjoyed gaming, especially handgame, playing the machines and playing poker, where his playing buddies nicknamed him "Monster" for the monster pots he would win. He was a very traditional man who sang rounddance, ghostdance, and horsedance songs. Ken was a member of the Native American Church and a Sundance leader. His culture and spirituality were very important to him, and he was involved in many naming ceremonies. He was a very well-known and respected man throughout the Hi-Line community and Indian Country.
He was preceded in death by his son Daniel Charles Writing Bird; parents, Charlie and Edith Writing Bird; siblings Mary Jane Eagleman, Margaret Weaving, Caroline Gray, Calvin "Jess" Writing Bird, Ruby Stump, Amy Harris and Wilberta Lee.
Ken is survived by his wife, Lorena Writing Bird; children Stephanie (Rob) Writing Bird-Duffy, Kenneth Chavez (Kelly) Writing Bird Jr., Raven Writing Bird, Taralyn Writing Bird and Leanna Rae (Chase Taveapont) Writing Bird; 13 grandchildren; brother Duncan Standing Rock and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and other extended family and friends.