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Obituary - Russell Thomas Gopher

Russell Thomas Gopher, "Old Man Bear," age 66, passed Sunday, May 19, 2024, at his home in Rocky Boy Montana.

Wake services started at 3:00 p.m. Monday, May 20, and funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. today, Tuesday May 21, 2024, at Our Saviors Lutheran Church in Rocky Boy. Burial will be at  Summer Hill Drive in Newtown.

Holland & Bonine Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements.

Please visit Rusty's online memorial page to send a card or leave a message of condolence for his family at .

Rusty was born December 18, 1957, to James and Agnes (Roasting Stick) Gopher in Fort Belknap Montana. He attended school at Box Elder, graduating in 1975.

Rusty worked at the Rocky Boy Schools for many years as a teacher's aide, elementary basketball coach, in media and served as a member of the school board.

Rusty treasured the history of our Chippewa Cree people, and he was the Cultural Data Archiver at Stone Child College and served on the SCC Board of Directors. He served his community as a member of the Chippewa Cree Business Committee for eight years. At present, he has served as the media person for the Chippewa Cree Tribe since January 3, 2011.

He loved sharing the beauty of our homelands with our people near and far to keep their connection to our home, no matter where they were. He captured many special memories and milestones unselfishly with smile and grace. He was always willing to sacrifice and offer his time to click that button behind the lens, documenting, recording and sharing a moment of our time with countless others. Volumes of history, volumes of special memories and events from years past amount to endless contributions one will never forget, nor replace. He kept us informed and provided countless media services from the kindness of his heart....Rest in Paradise Rusty, and thank you.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Michael, Melvin, Robert, and three baby brothers; sister-in-law Evelyn Gopher; nephews Michael "Mister" Gopher and George Molina; and granddaughter T'Shina Molina.

Rusty is survived by sisters, Kathleen Gopher, Linda Gopher, and Emma Lou Rock; sons, Craig (Crystal Gardipee) Gopher, Jerome (Desiree Sutherland) Gopher, and Tyler Gopher; nieces, Loranda (Joe) LaFromboise and Roberta Matt; nephews James "JJ" (Tiara) Gopher, Keenan (Bonnie Windy Boy) Gopher, and John Gopher; grandchildren Lillian, Jayden, Aeron, Tyler Jr., Thomas, Zayden, Tamina, Taysen, Tayler, Gabriel, Taylor, Aaron, Aliyah, Jerel, Adrienne, Keenan, Tristan and Julian Gopher, Garret, Darien, Cecil and Katrina LaFromboise, Breanna, Stephanie and Terrell Sutherland, Emily and Whitnee Geboe, and Jaydence and Miranda Molina. Rusty had numerous great-grandchildren and loved them all.


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