Michael Thomas Not Afraid, 20 of Lodge Grass, passed away on July 5th, 2019 and joined his family in Heaven. He was born on August 9th, 1998 in Crow Agency to Sharon Louise Laforge and Randy Not Afraid. Chiisdeaxxaxxish (Grey Painted horse) given to him by his great grandmother, Danetta Falls Down. He spent most of his life on the family ranch on Sioux Pass, as well as in Billings with his Grandma Dolly. He attended schools in Lodge Grass, Hardin, Independent School and Castle Rock Middle School in Billings. He completed high school after being home schooled by his grandma Dolly. He was offered a rodeo scholarship by Western Texas College but withdrew due to injuries. He then attended Murray State College in Tishomingo, Oklahoma until he decided that team roping was what he wanted to do. This was a natural path for him as he came from a long line of outstanding ropers.
Life presented Michael with multiple physical challenges, but he never gave in or gave up; his positive attitude overtook everything else. He was a slick heeler and practiced on anything and everything. As a little kid, he put fear into the heart of any dog or goat who became his practice animal. He had such a quick throw and even when his target animal ran as fast as they could, they seldom outran Michael’s throw. He qualified for the Indian National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas at the age of 19. In this year’s rodeo season he was leading the Northern Plains Rodeo Association as a header by a substantial margin. While competing in rodeos and team ropings, he won many saddles, buckles, jackets and rifles. His plan was to be a world champion, Michael ran out of time before attaining this goal. He will always be our champion.
Faith and trust in God sustained Michael as he faced obstacles and health issues throughout his young life. He attended First Baptist Church in Billings when he was in town. During one of the most difficult times in his life, Jesus reached down and took him by the hand. He was assured that God stood with him in all of his trials. He was an overcomer and a believer in God’s love for him.
Michael will be happy to reunite with his old pony skipper, crow-hopping to the tune of SpongeBob SquarePants, as he did running the barrels as a tiny tot cowboy. He will be missed dearly by his sidekick Rex, that was always waiting for him at the door.
Michael is preceded in death by his great grandparents Cedric and Julia Not Afraid, John and Georgianna Moore, Danetta Falls Down, Louise Dawes and great grandfather James Laforge; his grandmother Karna Falls Down and grandfather Gary Not Afraid and cousin Echo Laforge.
He is survived by his mother Sharon Laforge, his father Randy (Valyn) Not Afraid; his brothers Roddy and Tanner Not Afraid; his sisters Vernice Hugs, Bailey and Baby Julie Not Afraid and Charmayne Bearclaw; his maternal grandfather, Michael Laforge; his paternal grandmother, Georgia “Dolly” Not Afraid; his great grandfather Blaine Falls Down; his uncles Mike (Lorri) Not Afraid, Charles (Marilyn) Salway, Dusty Howe, Clarence (Kristen) Little Wolf, George Little Wolf; his aunts Danelle (Rick) Hyatt, Michelle (Alfred) Armajo, Julie (George) Cummins, April (Cameron) Not Afraid-Tobacco and Christie Medicine Tail,. Other extended family grandparents Marlene (George Stienmetz) Falls Down, Patsy Yellowtail, Clara (Julian) Joe, Rachel (Joe) Wallace, Beldean Laforge, Janice Laforge, Tom and Gloria Moore of Ada, Oklahoma, Lloyd and Elvenia Pickett, Chuck (Ramona) Real Bird, Margo and Laura Real Bird, David Yarlott Sr., Ronnie Stewart, Mervin Haven, Sara Young, Clayton (Harriet) Badbear and Theresa Plentyhoops; additional aunts and uncles include Marty Not Afraid, Jeremy (Roxanne) Not Afraid, Kimberly Not Afraid, Michelle (Neil) White Hip, Taryn Laforge, AnnieBeth and Gary Real Bird, Mark Real Bird, Endawnis (Cassius) Spears and John (Erma) Moore. He is survived by many, many cousins and friends. His very special friends Bruce and Jackie Hill of Billings and his adopted mom, Polly Chase.
Michael undoubtedly left us when he was on top.
Funeral services will be held at 1:00 P.M. on Wednesday, July 10th, 2019 at the Crow Multi-Purpose Building in Crow Agency with interment at the Lodge Grass Cemetery. Bullis Mortuary is entrusted with the arrangements.