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Joseph A. Pickett, Jr, 89, affectionately known as “PaJoe” respected member of the Crow Nation and Patriarch of the Bad War Deeds Clan, went to Other Side Camp on September 3, 2023, at the family home surrounded by his loved ones. Ishtáxxiate “Seizing Enemies Weapon”, was his Apsaalooke name given to him by Max Big Man.
Joe was born to Jospeh J. Pickett, Sr. and Winona Other Medicine on May 31, 1934 in Crow Agency, Montana. He was born into the Bad War Deeds clan and child of the Whistling Water. In his younger years he lived at the base of the Big Horn Mountains with his aunt, Maggie Pickett Yellowtail. After the passing of his aunt he returned to Garryowen area and attended Crow Agency public school and high school at Busby Boarding School. He was a ranch hand in Wyoming for many years and was a calf roper traveling with his brothers on the rodeo trail, Lloyd and Robert Pickett, Gilbert Birdinground, Sr., Sampson Birdinground, Jr. and Newton Old Crow. He often spoke about Sheridan rodeos. He owned and trained race horses. He was taught the traditional Crow way of life and practiced all his lifetime. He was a strong believer in the Native American Church and made many friends through the Peyote Road.
Joe was adopted into the Tobacco Society and was a song giver for several adoptions.
Joe married Rena Left Hand on May 7, 1973. The couple built their home in Garryowen.
He was employed by IHS, retiring after 30 years of service. He was elected Vice-Chairman of the Crow Nation for 5, 2 year terms under the Clara Nomee administration. He was part the executive in the establishment of the nursing home, Awe Kualawaache, the development of multi-purpose building, negotiated in the settlement of the 107 Meridian and construction of the IHS hospital facility. Joe served as Board of Trustees for the Hardin School District, was a member of the National Congress of American Indians and co-founder of the Chapter of Native American Church for the Crow Nation.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph Pickett and Winona Other Medicine, his wife Rena, his beloved son Emerson; brothers Robert Pickett, Blaine Falls Down, Gilbert, Sr., Andrew and Sampson, Jr. Birdinground, Newton Old Crow and Hartford Black Eagle, Jr.; sisters Louise Three Irons and Ernestine Birdinground; aunts Maggie Pickett Yelllowtail; uncles John, Bob and Richard Pickett and grandson Wolfy Real Bird.
Survivors, his sons J.D. (Jolauna) Pickett, Curtis (Lavonna) and Barry (Shirley) Real Bird, daughter Mimi Real Bird (Vernon Brien), sister Laura Pickett and brother Lloyd (Elvinna) Pickett; adopted children Billy Ray Eastman, Jarred Frank, Clay Spotted, former Governor of Montana Brian Switzer, Cedric (Audrey) and Tina Black Eagle, Travis (Willeena) Reed, Bradford (Billie Kaye), Hartford (Dinah) and LaGrant (Bertha) Black Eagle and C.W. (Rose) Wung; grandchildren Crystal, Cotton, Nolan, Rayma, Santee, Noah, Delcee, Beth, Jenafay, Chelsey, Emily, Savanna, Holly, Nina Sauders, Josiah, Vana, Emmerson, Kaydence, Zeruiah and Cervante; PaJoe had a special place in his heart for his great grandchildren: D’Neja, Brother, Zeandre, Army, Emersyn, Marlei, Milani, Kaos, Landon, Rocky, Emryn, Carlido Skyler, Maddz, Manziel, Amara Alenna, Tatum, Bailey, Skyler Blue, Hoshke, Madison, Rosey, Jorden, Jr. and great great grandson Tylen Rogers. Navajo relatives of Joe, adopted brothers Gilbert Geeshie, Samkee Benally, Lawerance Cleveland, David Clark, John Bitsue, Sam and Alvin Wagon, Phill Segey and Allan Begay, adopted sons and daughters Steven/Lucy, Tim/Lynn, Ambrose/Viola, Ronald/Charmain, Samual, Sandy, Luke and their sister Faye Benally, Ed Horse, Howard Horse, Edward, Eddie and Kelly Horse, Robert Cody and Julius Claw. Extended family, Birdinground, Other Medicine, Yellowtail, Walks Over Ice, Falls Down, Carpenter, Morrison, Black Eagle, Canada families Wads Worth, Weasel Fat, Good Stricker, Healy, Tall Man, No Runner, Bull Shields, Crop Eared Wolf, Bravo, Rock and Hindman.
A special thank you to the Stillwater Hospice care team.
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