Eleanor Louise BirdinGround, Iishusshe Axpakbachia (Carries a Plume During Battle) went to the other side camp on December 28, 2019 at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Billings. She was born on April 14, 1946, a daughter of Andrew and Inez (Reed) BirdinGround, her Indian name was given to her by the late John Holds, Sr. She was a member of the Whistling Water Clan, and a child of the Bad War Deed.
Friendly, kind, loving, beautiful, and a woman of faith—these all describe Eleanor. She was a devout Catholic and made sure her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren were raised in the Catholic faith with a Catholic education. She was a Eucharistic Minister, an Associate of the Sisters of St. Francisprayed the Rosary daily, and went to church every Sunday. She was also a traditional woman, she participated in Sundance, sweats, and handgames. She was a member of the Native American Church, and she was a Crow Traditional dancer. She treasured all aspects of being Apsaalooke, and Catholic and created a balance between the two. While in the Sundance, she was always the strongest dancer. Her powerful faith gave her the endurance to outlast every dancer in the arbor. When she was young, she was a first-class athlete, and a gifted horseback rider. She was also an excellent, loving mother and took many, many other children as her own. She loved all her siblings children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren as her own. She adopted and helped raise the following: Lydia, Champ Falls Down, Paula Fisher, Shawn BirdinGround, John, Corey Ladson, Elizabeth BirdinGround, Lily Plain Bull, Gladys SeestheGround, Almeda Good Luck, Michelle Armajo, Faye Rides At The Door, Naryan Diamond, Tye Backbone. Following Crow custom she raised her oldest grandchild, Charlie Tsoodle.
Eleanor also had many Godchildren, and the ones we remembered were: LaRae Bear Claw, Caspie Abbey, Annie Russell, Ashlei White Hip, Roses Williamson, Erik BirdinGround, John Ladson, Jennifer Gun Shows, Verna Howe, Trista Fog in the Morning and Trixy Bird Chief.
The following preceded her in death: Great grandparents, Good Horse & Jane Wesley, Henry Young Reed & Zita Bobtail Owl, Other Medicine & Walks to the Hole. Grandparents, Sam BirdinGround, Sr. & Winona Other Medicine, Hannah Other Medicine, George & Ida Reed. Her parents, Andrew & Inez Reed-BirdinGround. Siblings, Andrew Russell, Evelyn, Linda BirdinGround, Albert BirdinGround and Theresa Smells Haun. Children & adopted children, Peter John Pretty On Top, Carlene Pretty On Top, Tana Shane, B.J. Backbone, Edmond Old Crow.
She is survived by her children: Velma (Scott) Pease, Burton (Deb) Pretty On Top, Jr., Wendy (Ferd) Twinn, Dorcella (Ben) Rowland, Samson (Mandy) Pretty On Top, Charlie (Lori) Tsoodle. Brothers: Ricky (Ann) BirdinGround, Eugene (Lydia) BirdinGround, Gary Reed and Kermit Heart. Sisters: Ernestine, Andrea, Barbara BirdinGround, Elsie (Kirt) LaForge, Hannah (Kenneth) Pretty On Top, Jennifer Flat Lip, Velma Fitzpatrick and Georgiann Bad Bear. Her uncles: Joe Pickett, Blaine Falls Down, Clifford BirdinGround. Aunts: Annette Couture, Myrtle Howe, Ruby Williamson, Rose Ann Reed, Laura Pickett Shirley Bad Bear. Grandmother: Violet Other Medicine. Grandchildren: Bo (Patty) Pretty On Top, Aleigha, Jacob, Kirsten, Braydon Pretty On Top, Benisha, Fawnshay, Adonnis, Maleah Rowland, Dakota (Marissa) Twinn, Kayjah Twinn, Brittney, Whitney, Jess Gervais, Jace and Emily Pease. Great-grandchildren: Sylan, Charlene, Chloe, Adilynn Tsoodle, Bessie, Zendaya Pretty On Top. As well as her extended family, which include the BirdinGround, Reed, Other Medicine, Pretty Paint, Medicine Horse, Hill, Pickett, Caplett, Hogan, Don’t Mix, Gun Shows, Chief Child, Lincoln, Hart, Fredericks, and Hall families. We have a large family; we apologize if we have forgotten anyone.
Funeral Mass is Friday, January 3, 2019 at 10:00 AM at the St. Dennis Catholic Church in Crow Agency. Burial is at the Crow Agency Cemetery. Rosary is Thursday, January 2, 2019 at 3:00 PM at the Bullis Funeral Chapel