Robert Thurlow Pickett,77, respected member of the Crow Nation, the patriarch of the Bad War Deed Clan passed away to the other side camp Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2017 at the Crow Northern Cheyenne Hospital surrounded by his many family and friends as he battled with cancer. Awachuka was his Crow Indian name “Land to the West”.
He was born to Joseph J. Pickett, Sr. and Winona Other Medicine on Sept. 12, 1940 in Crow Agency. He was a member of the Bad War Deed Clan of which he was very proud. He was a child of the Whistling Water Clan. He grew up with his parents and siblings at the family home in the Garryowen Valley surrounded by open country and the adventures on the Little Big Horn River. He was a champion swimmer and ice skater. Robert attended Crow Public School until an illness kept him out of school. Even when he stayed home he was always busy riding horses, ranching and farming around Garryowen. He worked as a ranch hand for Sam Denny, Scotts, Padlock Ranch, and Ervin Schnaud.
Robert was a member of the Crow Agency Baptist Church with his mother Winona and White Swan. He married Edith Ann Shirley Woodtick in Sheridan, Wyo. on Dec. 26, 1963 and she passed away Dec. 30, 2002. He wore his wedding ring to the day of his passing. The couple made their home in Garryowen, where he worked on ranches and farms. Later they moved into a new house in Crow Agency and he worked for several Crow Tribal Administrations as an advisor. He had many jobs and enjoyed each one. He was a self-made all-around carpenter and offered to assist with building houses for his family members including Laura’s, Louise’s, Sam Jr’s and Joe’s. He worked with Leland Wells and Melvin Three Irons building the first HUD houses on the Crow Indian Reservation.
He was taught the traditional Crow values and he carried forth this advice to all people. He was a quiet and humble man smiling and always helping where he was needed. He was elected Chairman of the Reno District. He helped the old-timer and race horseman, Oscar Other Medicine. Robert continued throughout his life time to take care of the racetrack and the rodeo arena. He made sure their playing field was properly maintained and the cowboys and horsemen respected him and appreciated that it was always in good shape. When the lights went out at Crow Fair in 2017, he was the one who changed the right fuse and brought the lights on. Robert was proud to be a Reno Cowboy. He and his brothers had a drum group Reno Cowboys. He was on the Championship hand game team as a guesser in 2014. He was a champion push dancer, hand drum and hand game guesser, singer and arrow thrower. He mostly participated in the Crow way of life. Awachuke, was a very valued Bad War Deed. Many children and families relied on his spiritual strength as they invited his devoted and faithful clanship. He was always asked to offer prayers and spiritual wishes for children, students, athletes and contestants to become outstanding. When they became champions, he sang their praise songs of achievement. He was requested to give Crow Indian names for his sisters’ families and their grandchildren. When he prayed at the edge of the ocean he named “One Who Prayed at Edge of Water and “One Who Love to Sing Prayers”.
He was a traveler going across the different states. He went to Florida and was selected among all that were there to pray at the edge of the ocean. He was asked to pray at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C and also prayed at the Pequot Powwow in Massachusetts. Many families respected him from North Dakota, Arizona, New Mexico and Oklahoma. He was requested to come because he had honor in his Native American Church in the Peyote way. He was the designated Native American Church Custodian giving him the right to receive the sacred peyote at the fields in Laredo, Texas on behalf of the Crow Tribe. He was always at the Sun dances offering help where he was needed. He was a mentor and took care of many Sundance way. Robert was the Prayer Person to go to the Crow Public School, Crow Head Start, Songbird Daycare of offer cedar and prayers for all children.
Robert enjoyed his Canadian heritage and as his brothers Joe and Lloyd would say, “Everyone would ask about and talked only of Robert”. He was the most liked of the Pickett brothers by the Canadian families. The Canadian extended families include the Wadsworth, Weasel Fat, Good Striker, Healy, Tall Man, No Runner, Bull Shields, Crop Eared Wolf, Brave Rock, Hind Man, First Charger, Morning Owl and Davis.
He was a good person, offering unending care for his family, adopting in the Crow way even for those he and Shirley cared for Karna Dawes, Lisa (Tyler) Left Hand, Amy Hanson, Nyla and Nalaina Blaine, Dave Peterson, Benjamin Ascencio and JD (Jolauna) Pickett. He even babysat his great granddaughter Fallon’s, goldfish. He had many friends including the Sam Benally Family from Sweetwater, AZ.
His parents, wife, sons Sheldon Pickett and Earl Rock, sister Louise Three Irons, adopted mother Ruth Alden, grandson Clarence Three Irons Jr., brothers Sampson Jr., Andrew and Gilbert Bird in Ground Sr. preceded Robert in death.
Survivors include his children, Robert Pickett Jr., Orin (Elena) Pickett, LeeAnn (Harold) Pretty on Top, Alexander (Judith) Pickett, LaChelle (Pedro) Hernandez Jr. and Corina Ann Pickett; sisters Laura Real Bird, Violet Other Medicine, Anita Moran, Elizabeth Trottier, Rita Stevens and Ernestine Bird in Ground; brothers Blaine Falls Down, Joseph (Rena) and Lloyd (Alvina)Pickett; special nieces Annie Real Bird, Lori Bird in Ground and Brenda Krammer; ten grandchildren; and 14 great grandchildren,
Funeral services will be held 10:00 am Monday in the Crow Agency Spirit of Life Foursquare Church. Interment will follow in the Crow Agency Cemetery. Bullis Mortuary has been entrusted with the arrangements.