Fr. Les Campbell “Tah`ca Hus`te”, 79, of Waubay, died Tues., Dec. 19, 2017, at Ave’s Hospice House, Sioux Falls.
Fr. Leslie R. Campbell was born on Aug. 10, 1938, to Alice M. Robertson Campbell and Adelord Mathias Campbell. He was born in Sisseton and was raised on the shores of Campbell Slough. Les attended Flandreau Indian School and graduated from high school there. He attended college at Dakota Leadership program on the Standing Rock Reservation. Then he went to Sota House Seminary in Wisconsin.
He was ordained a priest on June 26, 1976, and served as a priest at Cheyenne River, Sisseton Mission, Leech Lake, Rosebud Mission, and again at Sisseton Mission before going to Standing Rock Mission. He was loved and known by many. Even in retirement, he still served as a priest on the Sisseton Mission.
He was born into a spiritual family and was taught at a very young age to pray and sing. He started to write a book that he dedicated to his sons. Sadly enough, he only finished the first chapter. He shared this with us and I would like to add a story that he told.
“When he was about 4 years old, he was playing with a cardboard box. That box was his car. His mom was at the kitchen sink and she heard him playing and talking to someone. So, she listened to what he was saying. He was talking to Jesus and he told Jesus, ‘Get in the back seat, Jesus, for we are going to Waubay.’”
He received his Dakota name from a spiritual leader, known as Charlie Hayes. He was hitchhiking one time and Charlie picked him up. He asked Charlie, “How do you get an Indian name?” Charlie told him, “There are many ways, but if you want one I can give you one right now.” And he named him Tah`ca Hus`te (Lame Deer). In reflecting back on Les’s life, we have come to realize that he had a special gift to make everyone feel as though they were his favorite and because of this he had a special bond with them.
Fr. Les was preceded in death by his mother and father; many aunts and uncles; his first-cousin, The Right Rev. Bishop Creighton Robertson; siblings, Rev. Ron Campbell, Angela Lee, Daniel Campbell, and Roger Campbell; his first wife, Marjorie Iyarpeya, one grandson, Riley Stonehouse.
He is survived by two sons, Leland LaFromboise (Jade) and Leslie Raymond Campbell, Jr. (L-Ray); his wife, Mary Campbell of 22 years; his stepchildren, Steven (Darla) Stonehouse (Ashley, Maddie, Zoe), Susie Stonehouse (Shoniya), Sarah Stonehouse (DeShonne, Jimarah) and Melessa Stonehouse (Darias, Kiana, Aubree).
Funeral services were held on Dec. 28, 2017, at Enemy Swim Community Center in Waubay.
Pallbearers were Zachary Bowen, Robert Campbell, Darias Stickney, Steven Stonehouse, Ray Rouillard, Justin Kongi, Steve Kongi, Vern Rouillard.
“Cante mitawa ekta waksuye” (I will remember you in my heart).