Dorothy Sunchild-Small, 82, passed away on Friday, Aug. 26, 2011, in her room at Northern Montana Care Center. She died of natural causes surrounded by her family. Her wake service began Friday at the Rocky Boy Lutheran Church and continued untiul 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011, at the church, where traditional Native American services were held. Her burial took place immediately after at Rocky Boy Cemetery. Services and arrangements have been entrusted to Holland & Bonine Funeral Home.
Dorothy was born on Sept. 28, 1928, in Rocky Boy, Mont., to Pete Sunchild and Fannie Oats-Sunchild. She went to school in Rocky Boy, later got her GED and attended the University of South Dakota. She married Andrew Small. They built their home in Rocky Boy, and together they had three children, Robert, Delphine and Junior. She worked many jobs, picking rocks, shock and grain, potatoes, waitressing, topping sugar beets, she was a homemaker, enjoyed sewing, she was a mother to her sisters and brothers, but her favorite job of all was raising her children and grandchildren. She always carried around many items in her big black purse. She loved having family dinners, watching all her grandkids, nieces, nephews. She also loved to give her family members daily road and weather reports. Dorothy was instrumental in getting Rocky Boy its own school district. She served on the first Stone Child College Board of Regents, where she was a member for many years. She was also a member of the Rocky Boy School Board for years. She was involved in the National Indian Education Association, Northwest Regional Laboratory Educational Association and many community boards throughout her lifetime. She led the Lutheran Sewing Club for many years. She believed in education and always encouraged her children and grandchildren to continue with theirs. She was active and believed in the traditional ways of the Cree culture. She sundanced until she was physically unable to do so. Dorothy had a generous heart, and she was always helping those in need.
She was preceded in death by her father, Pete Sunchild; her mother, Fannie Oats-Sunchild; her husband, Andrew Small Sr.; her son, Robert “Bobby” Small; her brothers, John “Roddy” Sunchild and Ned Sunchild; her sister, Deliah Demontiney; her adopted daughter, Debbie St. Pierre; and her grandson, Ryan Small.
She is survived by her son, Andrew Small Jr.; her daughters, Delphine (Mike) Sangrey and Cindy Small; her adopted sons, Kenny Gopher and Mike Lamebull; her sisters, Irene Mitchell, Zellah Nault, Helen Parker and Joyce Four Souls; her brother, Bruce (Valerie) Sunchild; her grandchildren, Jennifer (Don) Small, Cory Sangrey (Cameron) Billy, Ashley Small, Michael Sangrey Jr., Todd, Kollie, Kordell, Kiera Small, Shana and Chelsea St. Pierre; her great-grandchildren, Kirsten Lamere, Brayden Lamere and Payson Billy, all of Rocky Boy; and long-time friend, Mick Fedullo from Hardin, Mont.