Mary Roslyn Three Irons, 70 was born on September 15, 1949 to Joseph Max and Gladys Stray Calf Ten Bear, Sr. in Crow Agency. She is a member of the Sore Lip Clan and a child of the Piegan Clan. Her first Indian name was given to one of her sister’s children so her Aunt Annie Big Man had her carry the name of her Great, Great, Great Grandmother from the Hidasta family, Diili Itchish, (Walks Pretty).
She was an active member of the Native American Church; living that belief daily as a child and into adulthood. She was also raised in the home of Fred and Mary Stewart, John and Mrytle Smart Enemy and Simpson Sings Good. She attended schools her entire life in the Hardin School District. Mary was a member of the Hardin Bulldogs Majorettes during her high school years. This is where she met the love of her life Gale Three Irons. Mary graduated from Hardin High School in 1967 then attended Western Montana College in Dillon and Eastern Montana College in Billings. She would tell her kids and grandkids she came home from college on the Greyhound Bus one December day, and Gale was waiting to take her to Dunmore. This is how the love story began. She married Gale in March of 1969 in Sheridan Wyoming. Mary would talk about how Gale’s mom Louise, his sister Jacqueline, aunts and grandmothers would do anything for her; she never had to lift a finger or take care of her first two children because they did everything for her. She was paraded by them and her sister-in-laws many times. Every year for all 50 years, she had some sort of new outfit, clothing, dishware, or household item. She always said not only did they respect and treat her like a queen but Gale did everyday as well; making sure her morning coffee was ready and that she had the best of clothes to wear. When Buster was born her mother said this one is ours. She started working for Law Enforcement under the 638 contract as a dispatcher. After that, she went to work for the Bureau of Indian Affairs as a clerk and secretary and the Indian Health Services as a Public Health Nurse Department CNA. She eventually returned to work for the BIA as an Administrative Assistant, finally retiring after 34 years. Mary was the biggest fan of her children, watching her son play football and basketball while he was in High School. She would wait in line for hours just so she could have the best seat in the house to cheer him on. She loved to picnic at rodeos and Indian Relay Races as her husband and the children participated. She was the proud mother of two college graduates and both them taught other people for a living. This made her swell with pride daily. When Mary became a grandmother her whole life became amazing; now she had more little girls to love and adore. She would go on trips and take them all over the United States. She followed both Alanya and Josie in high school and college basketball games all across Montana and Wyoming. Little did she know when Dorci had her son, that no matter what was going on around her, she had a little boy all to her own whom she loved unconditionally. She would sit all day and night around a rodeo arena to watch her baby boy rope. Also, she would call secretaries over the phone with her credit card just so Sonny could rope. When Andrea started swimming she would sit in the humid pool area all day no matter how she felt to watch. She adored and loved those four, but when she was blessed with great grandkids her heart was overwhelmed with pride. Everyone she talked to knew she had herself a Gia Rose, then a William Gale and now an Ayden Joseph. Her great grandchildren were her most precious jewels. She would joke and say Sonny was still her baby boy because he just owned puppies and cats and she was fine with that. When Gale became ill, Mary put her life aside to make sure he was taken care of. Mary was a very traditional Crow Woman. She practiced the respect ways of the Apsaalooke. One would not see Mary in clothing that showed any part of her body except her face and she did not speak to her son in laws or her husbands bashii’s. She was adopted into the Tobacco Society by Henry and Stella Old Coyote; this summer she was released from the hospital and two days later she participated in the dance, not once complaining of any pain or hurt. She danced throughout the night proud of her Tobacco Children. She was blessed to have two children through this, Levi and Cheryl Yellowmule. They became her children not only in Tobacco Society, but in life as well. Mary knew her family genealogy, expressing it many times to her children and grandchildren. She used the Apsaalooke ways when referring to her relatives. If a relative had a party or giveaway Mary was known to always have giveaway stuff ready and she loved to attend parties and events to help out as she could. Her vast knowledge of Apsaalooke ways, relations, beliefs, and customs will be missed. We could call her up and ask her a question and without hesitation she knew the answer.
She is preceded in death by her parents; adopted parents; Tobacco Society parents; her nephews Carl Venne, Jr. and Arlo Dawes; her grandchildren Baby Dean and Felicia Dawes, Heather Eastman, True Ann Old Horn and Tanisha Watson; her great-grandson Pony Boy Covers Up; her siblings Shirley and her husband Lloyd Dawes, Tyrone and his wife Linda Ten Bear, Carl Venne, Sr., Joseph and Clara Smells.
She is survived by her husband of 50 years Gale, Sr.; her children Alan Cue and Gale (Buster) Jr., Dorci (Edward) Eastman, Dean (Nadine) Dawes, Jolene Ten Bear and Eden Old Crow; her grandchildren Alanya Louise (Antone Lopez), Gladys Josephine, Andrea Christine and D. Regineld “Sonny”, Clay, Gary Holland and Sheldon Dawes, Hannah and Anna Ten Bear, Nathanial (Lisa) WhitemanRunsHim, Jae Hugs, Beau Venne, Haylee Jo Pretty Weasel, Bodee Jefferson, Jeremey, Teffany, and Amberly Eastman, Mikayla and Bryce Three Irons; her precious jewels Gia Rose Three Irons, William Gale Lopez and Ayden Joseph Whiteman; her children because of her siblings Marvin (Glenda), Larson (Bonnie), and Greg Dawes, Tylynn (Shanna), Thomas, Terrance (Jaychelle) and Larsena (Miles) Burshia. April Kim (Mike) He Crow and Mallory Venne, Mary Rochelle, Vanessa and TyWayne Pretty On Top and Shawn (Dyanna) Backbone; her Tobacco Society Siblings, Marty (Faylene) He Does It and her Tobacco Society Children Levi and Cheryl Yellowmule; along with their children Clayvin, Adree, Brenner, Brenna and Larry; her children because of her best friend Alberta (Hoss) Rides Horse, Helen and Misty Reynard, Jr. Caplett Santana and Wahelah Castro; her siblings Sophie Pretty On Top, Dorcella Little Light, Sandra Grant, Patsy Little Light, Nellie Spoonhunter, Clarine DeGroot, Iris Jackson, Jackie Morsette, Royce, Zigg, and Byran Jackson, Jerome Dancing Bull, Bonnie Blake, Beatrice Fettig; her aunts Carol Bullinsight, Leda Falls Down, Iva Shane, Carlotta Half, Tana Quelette; her uncles Art “Sonny” Alden, Adali (Norma), Dexter (Roxanne), William (Donna) Falls Down; her brother-in-law Clarence (Joselyn) Three Irons; sister-in-law Stacie Three Irons; her mother-in-laws Laura Pickett, Ernestine Birdinground and Hannah Pretty On Top; her father in law Joseph Pickett and Clifford Birdinground; extended families, including the Big Ox, Ten Bear, Stray Calf, Big Man, Half, Hogan, Morning, Stewart, Jackson and Dancing Bull of North Dakota families.
Funeral Service is Wednesday, October 2, 2019 at 11:00 AM at the Spirit of Life Foursquare Church in Crow Agency, Montana. Burial to follow at the Fairview Cemetery in Hardin, Montana.
Bullis Mortuary has been entrusted with the arrangements.