John Nils WhitemanRunsHim, Iilapaache A’hoosh, Has Many Friends, passed on Nov. 8, 2017 in his house south of Lodge Grass on Alligator Creek surrounded by his family.
He was born on April 13, 1954 to Arlis and Rosella Dillon WhitemanRunsHim in Crow Agency. He was a member of the Bad War Deed Clan and a child of the Whistling Water Clan. John was raised on the ranch at Alligator Creek and attended Lodge Grass Schools, graduating from Lodge Grass High School in 1973. He loved to play basketball and played in the State Class B tournament as a freshman where they took 3rd place. One of his greatest achievements as a player was his selection as part of the first Montana All-Star team in 1973. He graduated from Carroll College in Helena, in 1981 with a BA in Physical Education. In October 1975, he met his future wife, Mary Ann Davis while she was a student teacher at Lodge Grass. They were married in Sheridan, Wyoming on Feb. 11, 1977.
He began his long career as an educator in 1981 in Box Elder, where he also coached the varsity boy’s basketball team. In 1982, he began teaching and coaching boy’s basketball at St. Labre where he stayed for two years. Beginning in 1987, he taught and coached the varsity girl’s basketball team at Lodge Grass High School for three years. John then started teaching and coaching boy’s basketball at Hardin High School in 1991, where he started as the freshman team coach. After one year, he earned the varsity coaching job and led the Bulldog boys basketball team for the next 14 years. During his successful tenure, the team gathered lots of hardware, winning multiple divisional championships and two State titles in 1995 and 1997.
John had many hobbies, and most of them involved being in the great outdoors–branding, horseback-riding, fishing, hunting, farming, camping, picking berries, taking his girls powwowing and cross-country road trips. He also enjoyed braiding horse tack and leatherwork, using a Kaale belt that belonged to his mother to design and create similar belts for his own grand-daughters and grand-nieces. There were also the annual mountain trips to Teepee pole with the “boys”- Quentin, Edgar, Sean, Ardie and Norman, along with many camping trips in Black Canyon with his family. John also loved to collect miniature horses and figurines, along with farm animals, Cadillacs and vans. John also loved to grill for any occasion, and his dry meat soup was legendary. John accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior in 1985, and was baptized in the Little Horn River shortly thereafter. He was a devout member of the Wyola Baptist Church, where he enjoyed frying up freshly caught trout for the Easter Sunday Breakfast. He absolutely adored his grandchildren and great-grandchildren; they were his world. John delighted in family gatherings where he could catch up with and tease the relatives he cherished.
His parents Arlis and Rosella WhitemanRunsHim, his brother Arlen WhitemanRunsHim, and his sisters Estelle WhitemanRunsHim and Emma Guardipee preceded Jon in death.
Survivors include his wife, Mary Ann; his sons Eli (Cynthia) Whiteman, Barney (Lisa-Marie) Whiteman and daughter Eva (John) McCrary; his nephew Quentin (Valerie) Whiteman of whom he thought of as a son; grandchildren Emma and Camille Whiteman, Dylan (Shelly) Porter, Corrin Lamere, Cayla and Kira McCrary; and great-grandchildren Dustin and Magdalena Porter; brothers Charles “Bunny” (Janice) Wilson, Gary (Colleen) Gordon, Thomas “Butch” (Ann) WhitemanRunsHim, Vernon (Theresa) WhitemanRunsHim, Bruce (Patricia) Fritzler, Ronnie (Rosaline) Yellowmule and Harvey (Vicki) Stewart; his sisters Arlene (Randy) Carpenter, Joan Pipe (Benny Bell), Elizabeth (Keith) Reece, Judith Morrison, Karen WhitemanRunsHim and Lea (John) McCleary; and numerous nieces and nephews. John’s extended families are the Yellowtails, WhitemanRunsHim, Bull Chief, Medicine Crow, Bends, Frazier, Hogan, Takes the Gun, Fritzler, Bad Bear, Beads/Don’t Mix, Bull Over the Hill, Flatlip, Moccasin, Old Coyote, Old Horn, Pease, Pretty On Top, Russell, Small, Spotted Horse, Stewart, Walks Over Ice, Dillon, LaForge,Red Wolf, Big Shoulder, Little Nest, Sun Goes Slow and the Sioux Family from the Dakotas.
Funeral services will be held 10:00 am Monday in the Crow Agency Spirit of Life Foursquare Church. Interment will be held in the Alligator Creek Cemetery. Bullis Mortuary has been entrusted with the arrangements.