Funeral service for Shirley B. Hunter, 69, will be 10:00 a.m., CT, Tuesday, August 9, 2022 at Twin Buttes Memorial Hall in Twin Buttes, ND. Burial will follow at Beaver Creek Cemetery.
Visitation will begin at 3:00 p.m., Monday, August 8, 2022 at Twin Buttes Memorial Hall.
Shirley Hunter, 69, made her journey peacefully on August 3, 2022 at Ft. Meade VA Hospital in Sturgis, SD, surrounded by her children, grandchildren, family, and friends.
She was born May 15, 1953, in Garrison, ND to John Hunter and Thelma (Duckett) Hunter, and was affectionately called “Bit-C,” a nickname given to her by her oldest brother, Aaron. She was a great-granddaughter of Spotted Wolf (Cheyenne), Standing Elk (Cheyenne), Bear Ghost (Mandan), and Little Sioux (Arikara).
Shirley was raised in the Twin Buttes district on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation and attended Wahpeton Indian School, Flandreau Indian School, and Busby Boarding School. During the summer months, she would spend time along the Tongue River in Birney, MT on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation. She made her home in Rapid City, SD.
In the seventies, Shirley worked as a switchboard operator at United Tribes Technical College while also attending as a student. She enlisted in the United States Navy, serving as a Yeoman Third Class Petty Officer, stationed at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, MD. After her honorable discharge from the U.S. Navy, she returned to Twin Buttes, ND to raise her 6 children and work on her education. While residing in Busby, MT she attended Chief Dull Knife College. Her academic pursuits led her to earn Associate Degrees in General Studies, and Tribal Management Business Administration; a B.S. in Business Administration at Oglala Lakota College; and a M.B.S. program in Leadership and Management from University of Phoenix.
In a career spanning two decades, Shirley worked at the Indian Health Service at Rapid City IHS (Sioux San), Rapid City, SD, Parker Indian Health Center, Parker, AZ, and Northern Cheyenne IHS, Lame Deer, MT; finally retiring in 2013 to spend more time with her family and grandchildren.
Shirley will be remembered for the handmade star blankets she made for every occasion, a skill handed down to her from her grandmother Irene and mother Thelma. Her sentiments were; “Quilting is connected to our Native traditions, especially generosity. I’ve given away many quilts.” Shirley’s spirituality was the foundation of strength that provided stability, fortitude, and a positive lifestyle for herself, her children, grandchildren and the many lives she’s touched throughout her life. Excellent at every sport she tried, she had a strong passion for basketball and she excelled at it. She also enjoyed watching horse racing, Indian relay, and spending time at celebrations and ceremonies with her family.
Welcoming her home are her parents John and Thelma Spotted Wolf Hunter; maternal grandparents Rueben and Irene (Bear Ghost) Duckett, paternal grandparents Charles and Lena (Standing Elk) Spotted Wolf; brothers Aaron, Roy, John Jr., C. Wayne Hunter; Scott and Charles Chase; sisters Veronica and Truby Hunter; Rena, Delores “Way-C” and Doris “Coosie” Duckett. Adopted brother Joe Coming Hay and many uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces, and relatives.
She is survived by her children Jake (Anecita) Miller of San Jose, CA; J. Waylon Porcupine of Rapid City; Tate’ Miller of Rapid City; Miyo One Arrow of Rabbit Town, Ashland, MT; Willena (Elliott) Bad Wound of Rapid City; Marilee Spotted Wolf of Rapid City, SD. Lawrence Miller, Martina (Jon) Eagle, William Miller III, Steve Miller, adopted sons Kevin Murphy, Jason James, Ramon Bear Runner Jr., Sam Lopez, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, Shirley has requested to be memorialized by donations to the FisherHouse.org.