John Snell

John Joseph Snell, 53, of Crow Agency formerly of St. Xavier passed away Nov. 28, 2017, at St. Vincent Hospital.  He was a member of the Bad War Deeds clan and was also a Bad War Deeds child.

Oolittuash, “One Who Is Envied”, a name given to him by his grandfather, John Half, grew up in St. Xavier during his younger days, where he attended the St. Xavier Mission School and then went on to St. Labre Indian School, where he graduated in 1982.  While in high school, he excelled in cross-country and basketball.  During his senior year he enlisted in the United States Marine Corp. when he was only 17 and could not go to boot camp until he turned 18 in September.  He received his honorable discharge in1986, then three years later he enlisted in the United States Army and received his honorable discharge after three years of service.  While in the military John received many awards.

While in the marines, his unit was selected to be in the movie Purple Hearts starring Cheryl Ladd and Richard Gere.  He was selected as one of the 10 marines to travel the world for one year in the USS Coral Sea, during this deployment he traveled to Spain, India, Tunisia, as well as other European countries. A devout catholic, he once attended Christmas Mass at St. Peters Basilica in Rome.  In his spare time on the ship he mastered the board game Trivial Pursuit and was often a champion player.

His employment history included the Crow Hospital where he worked as a housekeeper for several years, worked as a security guard and for the Transportation Department for the Crow Tribe.  He also worked as a caretaker under the Crow Tribe where he took care of his parents during the day.  He was a member of the Apsaalooke Color Guards and took great pride in representing the Crow Tribe at various venues throughout the State of Montana.  His dad raced horses and he assisted him in the training of GoGypsy, Safe Habit and Robin.

His parents Owen and Rita Snell, his maternal and paternal grandparents, sister Johnann Yarlott, and brothers Robert Snell and George Reed III preceded John in death.

Survivors include his daughter Johnna; his longtime companion Tana Robinson; grandchildren Aubrielle and Brooks Pryor; his adopted son Josh Dumont; stepson Wally Three Irons Jr.; his sisters Beverly (Ron) Gramling, Roberta (Paul) Spotted Horse, Mary (Tom) Wartenslaben, Alfredine (Mike) Takes Enemy, Arnetta Walks, Beldean Small, Annie, Janice and Victoria Snell; brothers Gene Bullinsight, Robert Flatlip, Edwin Tsosie, John and Artie Smells; aunts Edith Reed and Pansy Williamson. His longtime friends whom he considered his brothers, Randy Three Irons, Dave Spencer, Thomas Onion, Stanford Rides Horse, Cory Russell and Robert Fitch; numerous nieces and nephews who he was very proud of and shared his humor and time with them. His extended family include the Half, Reed, Plainfeather, Bell Rock, Flatlip, Bird Hat, Little Owl, Dawes, Blackhawk and Smells families.  Please accept our apology, if we have forgotten anyone in our time of grieve.

Rosary will be recited 4:00 pm Friday in the Bullis Funeral Chapel.  Funeral mass will be celebrated 10:00 am Saturday in the St. Xavier Catholic Mission Church.  Interment with military honors in the Mission Cemetery.  Bullis Mortuary has been entrusted with the arrangements.



One thought on “John Snell

  • December 7, 2017 at 8:00 am

    When your away living in another state as I am you expect to come back home to the reservation with everyone and everything still intact as you left it. John is going to be one face one person that im truly going to miss, him and I had some good and fun times together. We often teased each other so much I’d try to sneak by him, so many memories… I’m sorry for your loss, my condolences and prayers I know you were all so close….

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