Dwayne “Dexter” Yellowtail, was born on October 17, 1952 to Bruce Yellowtail and Betty Froze of Crow Agency, Montana. Dwayne was given the name “bile sae’ aakako baachiash” “Fights Across the Big Water” by Hugh (Winona) Plenty Hoops.
Dwayne joined his relatives in the “Other Side Camp” early Friday morning April 13, 2018 after a sudden, unexpected departure from this world, that took everyone by surprise! He was diagnosed with cancer a week and a half before he made his journey.
Dwayne was raised in Wyola by his paternal grandparents, Tom and Susie Yellowtail and his aunt Connie Yellowtail Jackson. Dwayne attended Wyola Elementary, where he discovered his love of running. Dwayne would run in moccasins given to him by his grandma Susie and often competed against his nephew Ruben Yellowtail in Wyola Elementary track meets. Dwayne went on to graduate from Fountain Valley High School Preparatory School in Fountain Valley, Colorado where he set records for distance running and also learned how to pack horses for remote wilderness outdoorsmanship. Dwayne received a scholarship to Stanford University following Fountain Valley, but instead joined the Red Power movement. He was a life-long sundancer until his health no longer allowed him to dance; following in his grandfathers’ footsteps and supporting the “Big Lodge” in whatever way he could on the outside.
After graduating high school, Dwayne took a job with the Forest Service where he worked with Arnold (Bucky) Aragon as part of a Hot Shot crew stationed in Grey Bull Wyoming. He attended Eastern Montana College. Dwayne became the father of two children: Shannon and Amber Yellowtail. Dwayne was always supportive of his children’s sports and their shared love of running, at which they all excelled.
At nearly 30 years old, Dwayne took his little brother to the Army recruiter. When all was said and done, his little brother was a reservist and Dwayne was fully enlisted. After boot camp and being sent to Germany, Dwayne came home and went to the mountain – he was finished with the Army before the Army was finished with him.
Dwayne spent many years cowboying for the Carson Yellowtail ranch in the Big Horn mountains where he spent many weeks and months on the mountain, punching cows and breaking colts. Dwayne came off the mountain and worked with race horses for a time and began a midlife crisis that lasted for 20 years, until in 1999 Dwayne met the love of his life, Nina Renee Stewart and settled down in Baapua where he married Renee in 2005. He lived in Pryor since January 2000 and they shared their lives until his last breath. He loved and raised Renee’s children and grandchildren as his own and spent many hours teaching Stevan, Devin and Sandy to hunt and fish.
Dwayne worked for the Crow Tribal Beautification Program and served as a member of the 107th Committee. He also worked for the Red Star Ranch in Pryor.
Dwayne is preceded in death by his parents; his grandparents Fred and Eliza (White Fox) Froze, Thomas and Susie (Walking Bear) Yellowtail; brothers Joey, Rudy and Brian Yellowtail, Sr., Fred, Edward, and Melvin Pretty Weasel, Stephan Perry Laforge – White Clay, and Micheal Birdinground; sisters Lavina (Laforge) Rugsegger and Echo Laforge; aunts Virjama Wyles, Elizabeth White Fox, Katie (Froze) Pretty Weasel, Vera Froze and Janie Teeter; uncles Thomas Ray Glenn and Darrell Froze.
Dwayne is survived by his wife Renee and his children Shannon Yellowtail and Amber (Troy) Swittenburg; his children he raised as his own Ali (Donald) Spotted Tail, Berdie Bear Crane, the late Stevan Little Light, Devin (Joliz) Bird Hat, Sandy Big Hail, Ezra Stanger, Lourall and Lyree Light Light; his grandchildren Talon, Laquan, Tristan, Trista, Joseph, Quindell, Shantasia and Zion YellowTail, Troy, Santana and Grace Swittenburg; Corral, Donald, Edward and Joel Spotted Tail; Heaven, Cordell and Raymond Big Hail, Gracen and Stevan Bird Hat; his aunts Constance Yellowtail Jackson, Christine Yellowtail, Anita Morin and Delma Jean (Howe) Fox, Eleanor White Fox, Helen Striker and Lenore Stiffarm, his uncle Matthew Stiffarm. His siblings on his father’s side; brothers Merlin, Thomas (Amy) and Jamie YellowTail, David Small, Tracy, Frank Jackson, Kenny Wyles, Little Elk Glenn, Larry Pretty Weasel, Garland Howe and Jay Simpson; sisters Jackie YellowTail, Ann (Don) Martin and Carrie (Jose) Medina, Linda Andrews, Valerie Jackson, Lesley (Paul) Kobotie, Tiffany and Sasha Glenn, Audrey Garcia, Gail Bird Hat and Veda Iron; his siblings on his mother’s side brothers Jimmy Dean, Boyer (Thomas) Laforge, Leonard and Russell Teeter and Billy Red-Hawk Froze, Harold, Darrell, Howard, William and George Pretty Weasel; sisters Janice and Beldean Laforge, Stephanie Christie, Brenda and Kathy Pretty Weasel and Jewel (Hugh) Blacksmith.
Dwayne has many, many relatives on both sides; extended families on his father’s side include descendants of Pierre Dechienne, YellowTail, Moccasin Top and Comes Up; descendants of George Washakie, Clive Dust family, Nellie Plays, Walking Bear and Howe; his mother’s side Froze, White Fox, Laforge, Pretty Weasel, White Clay, Plenty Hoops, Spotted Horse, Costa , Bird Hat, Tobacco, Dawes, Pretty Paint, Stray Calf, White, Anderson, Bear Cloud, Stops, Williamson, Pretty On Top, Warren, Fitzpatrick, Bear Claw, Not Afraid, Takes Enemy, Three Irons, Rides Bear, Hill, Onion, Medicine Horse, Black Eagle, Bad Bear, Singer, Ten Bear, Bad Horse, and the Owen Snell Family. Our family is very large; and we do not mean to offend anyone if you were forgotten, please forgive us.
Funeral Services will be Wednesday Apr. 18 at 11:00 AM in the Bullis Funeral Chapel.
Burial will follow in the Bird Hat Family Cemetery in Pryor. Bullis Mortuary has been entrusted with the funeral arrangements.