LODGE GRASS – Byron Dean Dawes, III, age 18, of Lodge Grass joined his father Byron and Kaale, “Aileen,” in Heaven on December 20, 2018. “Pony Boy,” as he was affectionately known, touched the lives of so many people in his community and beyond. He is known for his big heart and eagerness to help and encourage others.
Baaipxaaxee Daakash (Red Tail Hawk Boy) was born in Billings, Montana to Byron and Traci (Covers Up) Dawes, Jr. on February 7, 2000. He is a member of the Piegan Clan and a child of the Big Lodge Clan, Pentecostal Church and a direct descendant of Chief Pretty Eagle. He was raised and lived in Billings and Lodge Grass. He received his education in Billings, Wyola and Lodge Grass, graduating with the Class of 2018. He is currently a student at Little Big Horn College where he completed his first semester, serving as President of the Indian Club.
Pony Boy was fun-loving, outgoing, lovable and caring. He had a smile so bright it could light up a room wherever he went. Pony was his brothers’ keeper, always cooking for them, encouraging them and making them his famous macaroni and cheese.
Pony always greeted everyone who approached him with a bear hug, a huge wave or most importantly with his big cheesy smile that was nothing short of contagious. No matter where Pony Boy went he was loved by everyone, his personality was magnetic and welcoming to everyone from all walks of life.
Pony Boy was always ready to lend a helping hand, wherever he was needed. If that meant sharing his own home with others he didn’t hesitate, he wanted nothing but the best for anyone and everyone and he did everything in his power to help them.
He was always encouraging others to be the best they could be. During his senior year he would text several of his classmates to get to school to make sure they would graduate. When he decided to pursue higher education, he shared with his mom and on Facebook that he wanted everyone, no matter how old, to go college, encouraging his classmates and community members to register at LBHC. Pony Boy was always looking to share his positive experiences with everyone.
Pony Boy was the Lodge Grass Indians’ #1 fan, attending almost all of their games and sporting their colors every chance he got. He also supported the Denver Broncos and the Grizzlies of the University of Montana where he planned to attend. He planned to study the University of Montana’s Culinary Arts Program after he finished his general education at Little Big Horn College.
Pony enjoyed attending powwows, round dances, push dances and singing doorway songs. He spent his time cruising around his hometown of Lodge Grass, jamming to his favorite songs and singing at the top of his lungs without a care in the world of who watched or heard him. Pony also had an appreciation for both the Wolf and Big Horn Mountains, often taking short trips to get water or uuge. He loved riding horses and playing both handgames and stickgames, but most of all he treasured the time he spent with his best friends Sarah, Danyelle and Mikayla.
He traveled across the country for stickgames competing at places such as Fort Hall, ID, making many new friends in his travels. Pony Boy was honored to serve as the 2019 Crow Fair Powwow President where, because of his love for handgames and stickgames, he had planned on introducing the first annual Stickgame Tournament during the 101st Crow Fair, inviting stickgamers from all over Indian Country to the Teepee Capital of the World.
Pony Boy participated in the Sundance ceremony at the early age of 15 and every year he was eager to participate in another enduring, hot, and tough week. He made sure he prayed for everyone whom he loved and cherished. Pony completed his four-year commitment this past summer at the age of 18 and both he and his family were proud of his accomplishment. He always loved when summer was close as he got excited for Sundance. He loved his brothers who helped him, as well as his sisters and friends for bringing him gifts and for his family who camped nearby that gave him encouragement, all coming to support him.
Pony always fulfilled anything he set his heart to and staying committed to what he said. In everything Pony Boy did, he called upon God. God was first in Pony Boy’s life. He let Jesus into his heart at such a young age and with that, he had an automatic desire to pray for everyone in need.
Pony Boy had just begun a new chapter in his life of becoming an independent adult. He was excited to begin working towards his future through his education and eventually a job. He wanted to be on his own, paying his own bills and soon getting his own place.
Pony Boy is preceded in death by his father Byron Dean Dawes, Jr.; grandparents Virginia Covers Up, Frank Covers Up and Jennie Bad Horse; Lloyd and Shirley (Ten Bear) Dawes, Frank and Pearl (Deernose) Backbone, Paul J. Bad Horse, Sr., Arlo Dawes and Alonzo TenBear, Mildred Old Crow, Evelyn Covers Up, Marie Big Hair, Velma Gros Ventre, Theresa Yapuncich and Francine Camden; uncles Sonny, Benny and Frankie Old Bull, Woodson Far Away, Tuffy Boy Stops, Frank Paz, Jacob Big Hair, Jr., Donnie Wayne and Stephan LaForge; aunties Roseen Takes Gun, Nadine Old Bull, Donita LaForge and Felicia Dawes; brothers Lawrence, Myron, Greg and Elvis Old Bull, Marty Covers Up and Baby Donne LaForge; sisters Vanessa and Ursula Gardner, Malerie Covers Up, Edwina and Kathy Don’t Mix and Jenny Gros Ventre, nephews; Moraes Covers Up and David Bad Bear.
He is survived by his mother Traci; his mom Arbutus, uncle/dad; Terrance (Gwen) Covers Up, adopted parents; Salah and Catherine Buelinkx Haly and Byron and Rosie Bends, grandmothers; Noreen, Darlene, Donna and Wilma Backbone, Shirley Stewart, Arlene (Robert) Fitch, Sophie Pretty On Top, Margo Real Bird, Josie Stands, Walla and Connie Red Star, Henrietta Takes Horse, Maria Pease, Flavina Brombley, Aldean Dust, Valencia Crooked Arm, Veronica, Janice, Rosslyn, Lavonne and Joyce Good Luck, Lavonne Fitzpatrick, Carol Howe, Rose Helen Driftwood and Ardith (Clifford) Birdinground, grandfathers; Dale and Corky Old Horn, Louis Jr. (Alda), Clinton, Clayton (Angie) and JR (Aldean) Good Luck, Chuck, Henry (Alma Jane), Kennard (Diane), Richard, Jimmy Real Bird, Wallace Jr., Kevin, Aaron and Marlon Red Star, Robert and Chester (Sharolyn) Nomee, Henry Jr., Daryl and Larry Bright Wings, Garfield Little Light, Benito Brown, Brad Crooked Arm, Frank (Calley), Shawn (Dyanna), Harold (Debbie) Backbone, Marvin (Glenda), Larson (Bonnie), Max (Sophia), Greg (Connie) Dawes and Marlon (Debbie) Passes, great-grandmothers; Pansy Williamson, Mary (Gale) Three Irons, Dorcella Little Light, Worlene Comes Up and Irma Jean Bird Hat, great-grandfathers; John Pretty On Top and Woodrow ‘Shorty’ Plain Feather, sisters; Sarah Bends, Danyelle Takes Gun, Mikayla Plenty Buffalo, Sylvanna Covers Up, Tavia Torralba, Vonna Rose, Lauri Lynn, Terri Lynn, Delphina, Kazzi, Kari, Julia, Nova and JennieRose Covers Up, Mari and Bernadine Jefferson, Miriam, Roseen, Noranda Old Crow, Gwendolyn Pearl, Veriah and Emberlei Araya Dawes, Shonna Collins, Jordynn Paz, Yipper Stites, Renie Brown, Kenzie Pretty On Top, Andrea Stump, Janteesa Fisher, Annie Brown and Tessa Big Knife, brothers; Sport, Trindell, Terrell, Max and Sheydon Dawes, Jordell, Willie, Frank, Austin, Wasika Covers Up, Chesco Bloodman, Edmund and Skeeter Old Crow, Darrin and Jay Old Coyote, Paul, Buzzy, Joey, Sonny and Matt Covers Up, Bernard and William Paul Jefferson, Tyson and Taten Gros Ventre, and Milo Paz, grandparents; Dean and Nadine Dawes, Sr., nieces and nephews; Tamika, Tionna, Tia, Fallon, Aileena, Kazz, Carlena, Kaileigha, Tuffy Boy, Terrance, Dakota Rose, Lorissa, Alexia, Joshua, Taeyon, Jaedon, Cameron, Ethan, Jenna Skye, Eden, Cheryl, Tyon, Jaylee, Kailyn, Kyler, LeAndrew, Tationna, Vonna Rose, Teagan, Skeeter, Jr., Sponge Bob, Millie, Baby Arbutus, and Peyson, Jayce, Heaven, Makaylee and Olivia Old Coyote, TJ, Colton, Skylar and Rowdy Collins, aunts; Roxanne (Dexter) Falls Down, Billie Jean Old Bull, Alpha Birdinground, Clarice Kindness, Fatima Bad Horse, Clarise Medicine Crow, Saravene Jefferson, Regina Gros Ventre, Tina, Mavis Covers Up, Lauren Medicine Horse, Lark Real Bird Paz, Angie Bear Claw, Angie Gun Shows, Karla Real Bird, Nadine and Valoria WeaselBear, Antoinette (Zo Gopher) Arkinson, Dorcus Big Knife, Karen, Beulah and Mary Goes Ahead, Beldean Pease, Twyla Old Chief, Dr. Nicole (Ken) Gore, Pearl LaForge, Roberta (Norman) Other Medicine, Kitty and Hailey Backbone, Jaychelle (Terrence) and Jude Ten Bear, Michelle Big Hair, Tysha Manzanares, Arlene, Marci and Shanna Dawes, Mary Kelly, Vanessa Pretty On Top and Junetta Gardner, uncles; Buzzy, Manual and Jack Covers Up, Ben and John Gros Ventre, Craig Old Crow, Kendall Old Horn, Clay, Gary, Sheldon (Shellie), Marvin, Jr., Austin, Patrick, Joseph, Marshall, Seth and Terrance Dawes, Davin Camden, Shawn, Jr., Larin and Kellen Backbone, Jordon and Dan-Dan Brien, extended family includes the Backbone, Good Luck, Bright Wings, Little Owl, Real Bird, Moccasin, Nomee, Bull Chief, Bear Below, Old Crow, Left Hand, Not Afraid, Jefferson, Bird, Pretty On Top, Walks, Buffalo, Knows Gun, Sees The Ground, Pretty Paint, Ruth Alden Family, Medicine Tail, Anderson, Big Day, Bravo, Stray Calf, Big Ox, Comes Up, Ten Bear, Old Bear, Half, House, Big Medicine; Big Knife family of Rocky Boy, North Dakota, Charging, Hall, Fredericks, Perkins, Defender, Packineau, Dancing Bull and Jackson families. Please forgive us if we have forgotten anyone in our time of grief.
The funeral service will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, December 27 at Lodge Grass High School in Lodge Grass. Interment to follow in the Lodge Grass Cemetery. Bullis Mortuary has been entrusted with the arrangements.