Germaine Means was humble, kind ranch woman
Funeral services for Germaine Means, 80, of Eagle Butte, where held Wednesday, April 2, 2014, at the Tiospaye Topa School Gym in LaPlant.
Burial was in St. Paul’s Episcopal Cemetery, LaPlant, under the direction of Kesling Funeral Home of Mobridge.
Germaine passed away Thursday, March 27, 2014, at Rapid City Regional Hospital.
Germaine Elizabeth (White Eyes) Means was born on April 13, 1933, at Old Cheyenne Agency to Delaine and Christine (Dupris) White Eyes. Upon birth she was given the Lakota name Waste La Ka Pi Win “Everybody Likes Her Good Woman” by Chief Francis White Bull in Cherry Creek. In later years she passed on the first Lakota name and became Maka-Obla-Win “Woman of the Prairie” given by her son Richard “Bucky” Means after returning from Desert Storm. Germaine was raised on Cottonwood Creek, north of Ridgeview, by her parents and grandmothers Elizabeth and Rose White Eyes. She was very proud of the Dupris heritage and the legacy of the great-great-grandfather, Fred Dupris Sr.
Some of Germaine’s fondest memories were of her father, Delaine, who saved sardine cans and could attach them to the trees down by Cottonwood Creek. He would give her pieces of breadcrumbs to put in the cans, to make bird feeders for the snowbirds. Also at Easter time they would go to the creek bank and build rabbit nests for the Easter Bunny so he could place his eggs for them to find on Easter morning. Another memory was grandpa Louis White Eyes taking down his hand drum and singing Lakota songs at night and ending with an evening prayer.
Germaine attended school in Eagle Butte, Timber Lake and Old Cheyenne Agency. During her school years at Old Cheyenne Agency, she participated in basketball, band, cheerleading, agriculture, glee club and worked in the school’s vegetable garden. Through basketball she met the love of her life and future husband, Cecil Means.
She married Cecil on Sept. 15, 1958, in Pierre. They raised seven children on the ranch in Old Armstrong County. In the beginning Germaine and Cecil raised Hereford cattle. They eventually transitioned to a Black Angus cattle herd. In the mid-1960s, Germaine and Cecil were 4-H leaders and developed the Armstrong Rattlers 4-H Club. The colors were purple, white and gold.
Her many careers included Swift Bird Job Corp, Center Office Manager, IHS Medical Records Clerk at Old Cheyenne River Agency and at the Eagle Butte hospitals and Rehab Office Manager.
She was elected to serve as District 6 Tribal Council Representative for three consecutive terms. She went on to serve for 26 years and retired as the Central Records Director. She has always been referenced as a true Tribal historian, “Let’s ask Germaine.” She was appointed and served as the Vice Chairman of the “Wisdom Keeper’s Board,” which she served under three CRST Tribal Chairman terms.
As a strong Republican, she believed in position relationships of both political and social groups. She was on the first South Dakota State and Tribal Reconciliation Board, and the honoree for the Spirit of the Prairie Award. As a true humanitarian, it was her endeavor to promote reconciliation for all people to get along in today’s society.
She helped establish the CRST Desert Storm Circle Support Group, which grew into a group that welcomed home all returning soldiers from war/conflicts. She also was a strong supporter of veterans. She often provided food for them at memorial services in LaPlant.
Humbleness and kindness along with respect for nature were attributes of Germaine. She lived these up to the last days of her very special life. Germaine was a very spiritual woman with deep roots in the Episcopal Church and attending convocation. She was her children’s catechism teacher and loved receiving her holy communion.
German is survived by seven children, Donna Rae (James) Petersen of Ridgeview, Connie Kae Means of Mound City, Galen (Sharon) Means of Armstrong County, Cecil II “C.J.” Means (C. Samuel) of Eagle Butte, Richard “Bucky” (Malinda) Means of Laramie, Wyo., Carmen (Don) Marshalek of Stafford, Va., and Shawn Means of Eagle Butte; adopted daughter, Tammy Lafferty of Rocky Ford; sisters, Mona Demery of Eagle Butte, Arbana Thompson of Eagle Butte and Eldora Black Eagle of Dupree. She had 53 grandchildren and great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild, along with numerous nieces, nephews and godchildren.
Unci Means was very proud of each and every one of her grandchildren, who she loved unconditionally.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Cecil; her parents; brothers, Richard White Eyes and Arnold Cloud Eagle; and numerous in-laws.