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Jonah Wade Morsette, Ishbitáataxpua baaáatchile, an exceptionally gifted singer, song writer, and educator passed unexpectedly February 3, 2024. Jonah, was born to Annie Jane Stops and James Morsette on April 18,1983 at the Crow Hospital IHS, Crow Agency, MT. “Our Chippewa Crow Creation” - James Morsette. He is a member of the Crow Nation and the Chippewa Cree Tribe. He was a member of the Whistling Water Clan and a child of Greasy Mouth, as well as a member of the Night Hawk Society. Jonah grew up with a very traditional Crow way of life with grandparents Hartford and Sylvia Stops in Garryowen, MT. He attended Crow Public School, graduating from Hardin High School in 2001. In high school he participated in basketball, football, choir, drama, and band.
Being soft spoken, Jonah had a natural talent for music. He began playing the trumpet in sixth grade and played various music instruments including the acoustic and electric guitars. His music is described as a blend of Rock and Pop with strong influences of Country, Folk, R&B, Soul, Gospel, and Native American Music. This exceptional musical talent earned him a Jazz-Trumpet scholarship in music to MSU-B. Billings MT. He graduated from Little Big Horn College (LBHC) in 2004 with an Associates of Science in Natural Resources/Environmental Science degree. Furthering his education at Montana State University he was a research assistant for the Geology Department while earning a Bachelor’s degree in Geohydrology in 2008. In the fall of 2009 thru 2015, he returned to LBHC as a math and science instructor. During these years Jonah coordinated the Algae Science Project, Water Education Outreach Program, Accelerated Math Program and in 2015 served as the American Indian Research and Education Initiative Budget Director (AIREI).
In 2002, Jonah met the love of his life, his soulmate, Jennifer WhitemanRunsHim. In 2012 they picked a random date and were fortunate to be married by one of Jonah’s mentors, Pastor David Lopez, at the Crown Plaza on Oct. 11, 2012 in Billings, MT. Unbeknownst to Jonah and Jenn, the random date they chose was his best friend Jason Baldes’ birthdate.
He honed his singing skills by singing karaoke with Jenni, family, and friends. Wherever he traveled, he would find a good karaoke spot. As we all know, he was very good, winning a few competitions here and there.
He was also an excellent bowler. Winning several championships while being a member of the Stops Brother’s team, Shake and Burger and Intertribal Bowling League. In 2015 Jonah focused on his music writing and playing the music scene while living in Red Lodge, MT with his family. He was a member of the band Scare Crow and the Murder and lead guitar with his drummer and bassist in the Jonah Morsette Band.
With an emphasis on education and the Apsáalooke People, Jonah and Jenn established their home in Hardin, MT. Jonah returned to LBHC in 2019 to present as the Math and Science Instructor. Having went the academic route he recently focused on his music and felt he was on the right path. He enjoyed his Acoustic and electric guitar riffs playing gigs at local venues.
Being a talented musician and through his passion for music, he possessed the ability to express his thoughts and feelings through music he composed. Often, he learned a song overnight. He possessed a unique ability to connect with just about anyone and became friends to many. His impact on those around him was undeniable. He humbly accepted when he was called upon to sing at funerals or bugle Taps for Military Services.
Foremost for Jonah was his family, his pride and joy were his boys who share the musical talent, singing and playing instruments, bowling, camping, and fishing and of late, watching them participate in football and basketball.
He is preceded in death by his grandparents, Hartford and Sylvia (Caplette) Stops, Nadine Iron Maker and John the Baptist Morsette. Jonah is survived by his wife Jennifer, sons Jaren Wade and Jacen Todd who were the lights of his life, his mother Annie Jane Stops (Edwin Tsosie), father James (Kathy) Morsette, brother Tyson Courchane, sisters Dalena Jo and Sylvia Paige Kindness, mother in law Karen WhitemanRunsHim, and father in law Kevin Red Star, with many nieces, nephews, aunties, uncles, cousins, many, many friends. Jonah’s extended families are the Morsette and Iron Makers (Rocky Boy), The Stops, Plain Feather, Dawes, Reed, Old Crow, Red Star, WhitemanRunsHim families (Crow) and the Baldes family from Wyoming.
Jonah had an infectious spirit and made many friends wherever he went. His untimely departure has left us all in disbelief, as we grapple with the realization that we must bid farewell far too soon. His impact on the lives of those he touched, both musically and personally, cannot be overstated.
Our family is large and we apologize if we have forgotten anyone.
In lieu of flowers donations for the family may be made at First Interstate Bank, Hardin MT-Jennifer Morsette.
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