Jennie Rita Gros Ventre Big Day 57 of Lodge Grass left this world to be with her maker on Monday, November 6, 2017 in the Billings Saint Vincent Hospital. She had fought a tough battle with cancer. In the end the Lord had decided it was her time to go home where she has no more pain.
Ammaaabaalii’ Ahuush (Plenty Things Growing) was born on August 5, 1960 in Dallas Texas, a daughter of William Gros Ventre and Velma Covers Up Gros Ventre. She was a descendant of Pretty Eagle, a member of the Piegan Clan, and a child of the Big Lodge. She was named after her grandmother Jennie Bad Horse Covers Up, her Indian name Ammaaabaalii’ Ahuush was also passed down from one of her grandmothers.
While her parents were on a relocation program in Dallas Texas, Jennie was born there and lived there until she was 2 years old. Her and her parents, along with her sisters returned back to Lodge Grass/Wyola area where they made their home. She attended Saint Xavier Mission School in her early years, then attended Lodge Grass School from 4th grade to 8th grade. She then attended St. Labre Indian School throughout her high school years until her senior year and graduated from Lodge Grass High School in 1978. After graduating from high school Jennie attended 1 year of Vocational School in Billings. She then worked for the Crow Tribe in various departments. Then moved back to Billings where she received her CNA certificate and worked at the Parkview Care Center. After some years she moved to Hardin where she met her husband Raymond Big Day Jr. in 1996. Jennie married Raymond on July 17th 1998 in Hardin, where they made their home. They lived in Hardin for 6 years and then eventually moved to Lodge Grass. She worked as a cook for the Lodge Grass School District for some years then later went back to work for the Crow Tribe.
Jennie was a member of the Our Lady of Loretto Catholic Church, Native American Church which includes Peyote, Sundance, and Sweat Lodge Ceremonies. Her parents were very much involved in these and so was she. Even with her health she enjoyed camping at the Sundance’s as her husband, nephews, and grandsons took part. She was always excited when it was Sundance season.
Among her many talents, Jennie was especially talented in sewing, beading, making frybread, and baking. She sewed and made many dresses for powwow, and handgames. People would have her make dresses because she was one of the best and would finish them in no time. Her bead work stayed closer to home. She beaded things for herself, and family. Baking was something she loved to do. Her favorite was making dinner rolls, and cinnamon rolls. Jennie was a strong believer in the Crow Traditional ways of life. Like any other, she enjoyed playing in handgames, and attending powwows, and arrow tournaments. She was an astonishing pool player and had won many tournament championships in her time. Jennie loved her children, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren. She spent a lot of time taking care of her grandchildren and helped in any way she could with all of them. She also helped raise two of the younger ones. She was loved by her children, nieces, nephews and all her grandchildren very much.
Jennie was preceded in death by her parents William and Velma Gros Ventre; adopted parents George and Marge Chandler of Fort Belknap; brother- Bernard Jefferson Sr.; sister- Nancy Gros Ventre; aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews from both sides of her parents family.
Survivors include her husband Raymond Big Day Jr.; daughters- Thomasa Blaine, and Mercedes Gros Ventre of Lodge Grass; son- Colby Gros Ventre of Lodge Grass; granddaughters- Tavia Torralba, Jaylee Deputy, Cheryl Deputy, Kashley Well Known, Shekinah Falls Down; grandsons- Tavian Torralba, Baby Colby Gros Ventre, Tyon Deputy; brothers- Ben Gros Ventre and John (Amanda) Gros Ventre of Lodge Grass, Billy Max (Carmen) Gros Ventre of CA, Bernard (Delilah) Covers Up of NV, Manuel (Linda) Covers Up, Bradford (Loretta) Crooked Arm, Terrence (Gwen) Covers Up, Jack (Sheila) Covers Up, Larry and Jackie Blacksmith of Lodge Grass; sisters- Regina Gros Ventre, Donna Gros Ventre Jefferson of Lodge Grass, Ida Gros Ventre of OK, Tina, Mavis, Arbutus, Traci Covers Up, Alpha (Calvin) Birdingroud, Roxanne (Dexter) Falls Down, Clarise (Ronnie) Medicine Crow, Billy Jean Old Bull, Lauren (Scott) Medicine Horse, Walla Red Star, Teresa and Mary Shaw of Lodge Grass, Victoria (Myron) Falls Down, Ann Horseman, Mary Snell; adopted mothers- Becky Granger of Hardin, Bonnie Hawk of Lodge Grass; adopted daughters- Mari (Arthur) Plenty Hawk Jr., Bernadine (Daryl) Grant, Nancy (Joe) Reed; adopted sons- Bernard Jefferson Jr., William Paul Jefferson, Tyson (Leah) Gros Ventre, Taten Gros Ventre, Josh Big Day, Tommy (Valerie) Whiteman, Tim (Tamara) Pease; numerous nieces, nephews and extended grandchildren that she was close to and loved dearly; as well as extended family including Bad Horse, Don’t Mix, Bright Wings, Old Bull, Real Bird, Moccasin, Red Star, Dust. If we have left anyone out please forgive us, we offer our sincerest apology.
Rosary Friday Nov. 10 at 4:00 PM Bullis Funeral Chapel. Funeral Mass will be Saturday at 10:00 AM at Our Lady of Loretto Catholic Church in Lodge Grass. Burial will follow in the Lodge Grass Cemetery.