Walter Means Wambli Owica'yanke (Eagle Looking Around) November 17, 1937 – April 23, 2023 Pine Ridge, SD – Havre, MT
Last updated 4/27/2023 at 11:23am
Warren Walter Means, 85, Wambli Owica'yanke, (Eagle Looking Around) began his journey April 23, 2023, of natural causes at his Havre, MT, residence surrounded by loved ones.
Rosary services will be held at 9 a.m., Saturday, April 29, 2023, and funeral mass will be at 10 a.m. at the St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church, Havre, MT, with Father Michael Schneider officiating. A meal will follow at the parish center. The family plans to spread his ashes on the Young ranch in South Dakota over Memorial Day weekend.
Warren was born November 17, 1937, at the Pine Ridge Hospital, S.D. to Myrtle Irene Young Means and Charles Joseph "Johnny" Means. He grew up and attended school in Laramie, Wyoming, spending summers on the family ranch in Pine Ridge near Wanblee, SD. He played football and wrestled in high school and went on to play football at the University of Wyoming and trained on the Old Mississippi campus during two summers. Warren cherished his South Dakota family and Lakota ways while spending his last 30 years with his Montana family. His best years were spent horseback, roping with his partners along the Hi-Line.
Warren's prolific writing skills led to a professional career serving tribes in social, environmental and economic development, the construction and oversight of major projects on Indian reservations in the Great Plains and two Canadian provinces. He wrote millions of dollars in grants that led to hospitals, clinics, infirmaries, college campuses and other major facilities.
Warren graduated from University of Montana in Missoula in 1971 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Warren was an original organizer of the Butte Indian Alliance. In summer of 1971, he completed an Indian law course at the University of New Mexico. He attended the University of Montana School of Law in Missoula for a brief time before he received a call from Wyman Babby, the BIA Area Office Director from Aberdeen, SD, asking him to take the executive director position at the United Tribes Educational Technical Center in Bismarck, ND, now United Tribes Technical College, 1972-1976. During his leadership at United Tribes, he was appointed by President Nixon to serve on the National Advisory Council on Vocational Education. He served as the Chairman. He lobbied successfully for an "ear mark" within the Department of Education: Vocational Education Division and that set aside exists yet today. Warren was founder of the North Dakota Indian Education Association and was an original board member of the Indian National Finals Rodeo and National Indian Activities Association. Warren was on the President's National Advisory on Vocational Education from 1973-76, co-chaired the Committee on Indian Vocational Education, and worked with Congress to help pass the Native American Vocational Technical Education Program.
From 1991 to 1993, Warren served as tribal administrator of Fort Belknap Indian Community in Montana. Warren spent 16 years at Fort Peck Community College in Poplar, MT, as vice president of Institutional Development from 1993 to 2009. He truly cared for his FPCC colleagues under the leadership of his friend, President Dr. Jim Shanley, as they became his family and where he worked alongside his wife, Margarett. While at Fort Peck, he served on the board for the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame.
Survivors include wife, Margarett Campbell; children Scott Means, Dr. Jeffrey Means, and Kerrie Cordoray; grandsons, Garrett, Wyatt, and Dylan; granddaughter, Lorien; special nephews, Walter Hank Means, Dennis Means, and Warren Means; special nieces Maryann Means Bryant, Lauren Ebert, Donette Bowman, granddaughter, Henrietta Means; great-grandson, Aaden Means; adopted daughter, Miquela Perez; stepdaughters, Vernelle Chase, Reyna Perez and Jennifer Perez; numerous grandchildren; and great-granddaughters, Ximena and JayTeigh.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Myrtle; father, Charles "Johnny"; daughter Lisa Ann; sisters, Karen and Janice; brothers, Dennis Means, Russell Means, Ted Means, and Dace Means; and stepson, Franklin Buck Perez.
Holland & Bonine Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements for our cowboy. Warren was an incredible person, and he will be forever loved, missed, and remembered.