Samuel Paul Hoops, Sr., Indian name, Iikiaxxilee Itchish, “righteous supporter, someone you can you lean on,” of Lodge Grass left peacefully in his sleep on January 5, 2019, at the Awe Kualawaache Care Center in Crow Agency, MT.
“Sammy,” as he was affectionately called by many, was born on November 11, 1938 in Crow Agency. He received his education by attending the Crow Public School and the Crow Adult Education Program. He married Ernestine Birdinground and was later divorced, out of this union are daughters Cathy, Georgiann and Tina.
He married Marjorie Nomee on December 17, 1965. The couple moved to Fort Worth, TX in 1966 participating in a relocation program, and later returned to Lodge Grass. After 54 years of union, his wife Marjorie went home to be with her Lord, and now Sammy joins his beloved and many loved ones that have passed on.
Sammy was a minister, musician, singer-song writer, member of the Pentecostal faith, the Foursquare Church, Miracle Church, member of the Big Lodge Clan and child of the Greasy Mouth Clan. Sammy was a humble man who loved Jesus with all his heart, soul and strength. He loved and had much respect for all people. He always had words of encouragement to those who needed it. He was a man who loved to laugh and made others around him laugh. Being lighthearted and at times comical, he was a man of laughter but in a moments time, he could come to tears sharing the love of God.
He was gifted to skillfully play the guitar and write and sing songs that could touch and change lives. He dedicated those gifts to the calling of God and the Gospel. He was a man of prayer, rising early before the sun came up every day to pray for his family, friends and whomever the Holy Spirit would lead him to pray for. After his time in prayer, he would open his Bible and begin studying the Word. His love for the Word was phenomenal. The Love of God that changed his life and filled his life with praise and thanksgiving was reflected in his sermons.
Nearly 60 years ago, as a young man, playing guitar and singing gospel songs, he traveled with the late Evangelist Harold Carpenter. Ministering in Indian Country from Canada to Arizona, singing and preaching in remote villages, camp meetings, revivals, house meetings, always willing to go when a door opened. Along with evangelizing, he inspired multitudes of people (many who had never seen or heard gospel songs with a guitar) and many started doing the same. He blazed a trail which rewarded him with many, ‘brother and sisters in the Lord,’ from many different nations. Ten years ago, he was honored in Arizona by hundreds of gospel singers and musicians for his pioneering ministry and became affectionally known as, ‘the Legend’. At home, we are blessed to call him one of our own whom he graced with his gifts, from the first day til now….and all our tomorrows.
He was preceded in death by his grandfather, Howell Hooponforehead, son of Bull Chief; mother Dorothy Hoops; father Wallace Iron, Alice And Tex Good Luck; uncle Ivan Hoops; great grandmother Bird Child Jefferson; sisters Mary and Irma Jean Hoops, Lorena Morning Half, Darlene Morning Bixby, Monte Ann Morning, Zelda “Star” Stops, Judith Jefferson, Florine Hoops Taylor, Alice Hoops Rising Sun, Betty Caufield, Belva Tushka, and Jacqueline Bravo; brothers Victor, Robert and Benny Morning, Warren, Calvin, Ben, Charles, Raymond and Lester “Junior” Jefferson, and adopted brother Stanley Kills; daughters Evelyn Hoops and Kelsey Bird in Ground; son Melton Hoops; grandsons Champ Nomee, Ryder White Hip, Jr. and Nehemiah Howell Broken Rope; granddaughters Courtney Little Nest, Christian Lee Hoops and Angel Jefferson LaFrance.
Survivors include his sons Samuel Hoops, Jr., Victor (Fray) and Brendon Nomee, Elroy (Kitty) Nomee, Scott (Lauren) Medicine Horse, Patrick Amyotte, Benjamin (Rebecca) Bright Wings, Gerald (Arlene) Black Bear, Clarence (Joselyn) Three Irons and Harrison Mann; daughters Cathy (Wayne) Not Afraid, Georgiann (Paul Matt Jr.) Tina (Robert) Stewart, CasiRae Nomee (Dion LaFrance) Samantha Hoops, Verena (JR.) Dust, Lucy Lynn Broken Rope, Geraldine Schenderline, Mary (Henry) Little Light, Althea (Aaron) Yarlott, Prudence Alden (Jeff) Yellow Owl and Linda Hinton; sisters Carol (John) Bullinsight, Sharon Stands, Angela Russell, Veda Iron Rodriquez, Aretha Hoops, Etheline Hoops Killsnight, Avis, Lana, Rachel, Daisy, Darla and Valerie Three Irons; Joyce, LaVonne, Anita Good Luck, Rhea Goes Ahead, Marilyn (Jay) Simpson, Margo Real Bird; Veda, Nellie, Loretta, Lana and Connie Moccasin, Colleen Caplette, Sharon Peregoy, Melissa (Wesley) Falls Down, Iva (Rudolph) Shane, Mary Jane Birdinground, Carlotta Half, Colleen Wellknown, Michelle (JW) Wilson, Sharon (Roger) Roehl, Tana Quelette, Leda Falls Down, Verena, Rebecca, Lydia and Jennifer Jefferson, Birdie Real Bird, Mary (Gayle) Three Irons, Josie (Ben) Stands, Veronica (Brewster) Pretty on Top, and Ruthie Roper (Carl) Brown; brothers Gerry Hoops Wilson, Slyvester Iron, Raphael (Melva) Iron, Bruce (Faith) Iron, Carlson (Ginger) Goes Ahead, Louis, Clinton and John Good Luck, Arnold (Coretta) Jefferson, Hiram Upham, Art Alden, Adlai (Norma) Falls Down, Dexter (Roxanne) Falls Down, William (Donna) Falls Down, Paul Roper, Steve (Dee) Roper, Wayne (Jane) Moccasin, Frances Bear Claw, Larson (Patty) Medicine Horse, Marvin (Glenda) Dawes, AJ (Samantha ) Broken Rope, Cheyenne (Jolene) Bixby, Jon Sight, Donovan Bullinsight, Ivan Morning, Keith Three Irons, the Real Bird brothers Richard, Kennard, Henry and Jimmy, Ben (Josie) Stands, Robert Nomee, Chester (Sharolyn) Nomee, Henry Bright Wings Sr., Nate and TJ Wald; grandchildren Sunshine (Geoffrey) Eastman, Stephen, AJ (Deneen), JrWayne, Stephen Jr. and Ivan Not Afraid, Andrew and Tony Little Nest, Pierre Matt, Jeanette (Mandale) Spotted Horse, Lucrecia and Marcelline Little Nest, Eva Hoops, Robert and Jennifer Gun Shows, Adrain Broken Rope, Wahmbli (Starla) Nomee, Lillian (Satch) Peters, Renita (Morgan) White, Tia and Josiah Pickett, Rynalle (Larry) Flying, Dorcas (Clement) Janis, Leah (Tyson) Gros Ventre, Henrilynn Little Light, Rhea, Isaiah (Kylie) and Trey (Hope) Dust, Nehemiah Nomee, Chanel and Champ LaFrance, Layla, Labron and Lola Nomee, Thomas, Tracy, Tommie, Tawny and Tomcho Jefferson, Evan Hoops Mountain Sheep, Marcel Alden, Cowboy Hoops, Samuel Kills, Jackson Wald and numerous nieces and nephews and numerous great grandchildren. His extended families include Charges Strong, Jefferson, Hooponforehead, Bull Chief, Medicine Tail, Real Bird, Moccasin, Stewart, White Clay, Iron, Goes Ahead, Big Man, Not Afraid, Plenty Hawk, Whiteman Runs Him, the Belva Tushka family and Phyliss Wellknown Jefferson family and the James Roper family.
Please bear with us in our time of grief if we have forgotten any family members. Sammy was blessed with a large and extended family. The family would like to send a special thank you to the Staff of Awe Kualawaache Care Center and Billings Clinic as well as CNA’s that took care of him. The family appreciates the love, support, and prayers sent our way.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, Jan 9th at 11:00 am at the Spirit of Life Foursquare Church and burial will follow in the Lodge Grass Cemetery. Bullis Mortuary has been entrusted with the arrangements.