Kerry was born to Marvin L. and Regina (Spotted Horse) Stewart of Lodge Grass on November 16, 1960. He was raised by Cerise (Hogan) and Francis Stewart. De’axkaashe Itchick, “Worthy Eagle”, his Indian name was given to him by his paternal grandfather, Francis. Kerry was a descendant of Little Nest, Medicine Crow and Chief Spotted Horse. Kerry believed in our traditional ways as he was taught by his grandfather, Francis and was a member of the Baptist Church. He gave his grandson, Hilario, his Indian name “Good Medicine”. Kerry was proud of his older grandsons Payden and Hilario and attended their football games and other activities. He took them hunting and fishing in the Big Horns and spent as much time as he could with them, he was extremely proud of all his grandchildren.
After graduation from Lodge Grass High School, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and did his basic training in 1984 at Fort McClellan. He obtained his Associate in Pre-Forestry at Little Big Horn College in 2006, then attended the University of Montana, receiving a Bachelor’s in Resource Conservation/Forestry in 2008. While attending University of Montana, he was admired for the amount of knowledge he possessed concerning Indian and Environmental Law. His professors referred him to law school which he delayed and instead came home. After a few years, he attended the University of Mary and received his Master’s in Business Administration in 2011, within a six month period, his professors were amazed. He was acknowledged for his outstanding achievements and the knowledge he had while pursuing his Master’s Degree. Kerry recently was employed by the Northern Hotel, he worked at the Yellowtail Market in Fort Smith and the IGA in Lodge Grass as a manager. He was an instructor, OASDFR Program Assistant and STEM Honors Camp staff at Little Big Horn College, while tutoring in math part-time as well. He worked with the BIA Forestry as a Wildland Fire Fighter, Burn Crew/Fire Fighter, Engine Crewman, Engine Boss, Crew Boss and Sawyer. He worked for Lamb Engineering as a Lineman/Equipment Operator and as a Correctional Officer for Big Horn County.
Kerry, along with his mother, Regina, wrote and submitted to the Crow Tribal Legislation, a law for approval of the Crow Language, to be recognized as a second language in the state of Montana and other legislation for the Sale of Timber. This legislation would help landowners receive the same option (timeline/amount) as the Crow Tribe’s timber sales, this was passed and signed through the Crow Tribe. Kerry, wrote many grants for the Crow Tribe bringing in funding for several programs. His passion was to help in the Natural Resources Department with their buffalo and forestry program. He loved working with the forestry interns he hired, he took pride in passing his talents and knowledge down. Kerry was always helping his dad, Marvin, surveying the land throughout the Crow Reservation. He had knowledge of the land and knew the traditional ways as well as stories told to him by Francis, a value and knowledge very few obtain.
Kerry had a kind gentle soul, compassionate and friendly to everyone he came across, he made many friends throughout his life. Kerry’s spirit and kind soul were nourished by his faith in God, this was instilled in him from his mother, Regina, and his grandfather, Francis, continually praying for everyone. He will be remembered for his determination and perseverance to ranching, while pursuing an education. Ranching was his way of life while growing up helping his grandfather, Francis. Kerry’s family and friends will remember him for his generosity, knowledge and teaching. This includes all his children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews on how to fish and hunt, which he loved to do. He would tell them stories of the Crow way of life and passed this knowledge on to his children and great-grandchildren. Kerry was an expert hunter and knew where the best hunting was on the Big Horn Mountains as well as any other hunting places on the reservation. Kerry had this witty intelligence about him, when he would say, “I beg to defer”, then that meant he had facts to go along with his argument, he loved to argue to get his facts straight. He always had another saying, “Listen here young lady” when talking to female relative/friends with his uplifting can-do spirit.
He is preceded in death by his mother, Regina (Spotted Horse) Stewart; his paternal grandparents Cerise (Hogan) and Francis Stewart; maternal grandparents, Martin (Sr) and Phyllis (Plenty Hoops) Spotted Horse, his sister, Marilyn Stewart, his uncles/aunts, Walter (Meta) “Mickey” Stewart, David (Theresa) “Pistol” Plenty Hoops Jr, Martin (Phyllis) Jr, Paul (Charlotte) Sr, Willard (Adella), Stanley and Reuben Spotted Horse, grandchildren Chezrae and Rashawnna (Shi) He Does It, great-aunts/uncles, Alice Mae Tobacco, Eloise & Peggy White Clay, Hugh & David Plenty Hoops, cousins, Asa Driftwood, Phyllis & Paul (Jr) Spotted Horse adopted brother, Randy Not Afraid and son, Michael.
He is survived by his son, Joshua Francis (India) Stewart, life partner, Janice Knows the Ground; adopted children Jewels (Logan) Greenwald and Joey (Darwina) Knows the Ground; his siblings Leroy and Robin (Tonya) Stewart and Natalie (Kim) Colliflower; his grandchildren Joshua Jr., Makiah, Hilario and Payden Stewart, Madison Greenwald, Joseph, Braylee, Tanner and Jessi Knows the Ground, adopted sister Shannon (Les) Howe, step-sister, Stephanie (TR) Little Light, his maternal grandmother Carol White Clay; his adopted brothers Johnny Stewart, Oliver (Lorna) Spotted Horse; his friends that he recognized as his brothers for life Joey Pretty On Top, Robert “Hoss” and Harold Rides Horse, George Little Wolf and William Paul Driftwood to name a few, if we have missed anyone, we apologize as he had many friends.
His extended family include the Little Nest, Hogan, Plenty Hoops, Spotted Horse, Bull Horse, Bright Wings, Dawes, Takes Quick Enemy, Pease, Small, White Clay, Whiteman Runs Him, White Fox, Walking Bear and Stewart families, please forgive us if we have missed anyone as we have large families.
Graveside service Thursday July 23, 2020 at 11:00 AM at the Lodge Grass Cemetery.