Delma Bernice Counting Widow
Itazipco Win San Arc Woman
Delma Bernice Counting Widow entered the world on September 11, 1935 at the old Cheyenne Agency Hospital. She was the daughter of Sarah Counting Brown Dog and Dennis Dog Eagle. She journeyed to the spirit world on October 2nd, 2012, at the Rapid City Regional Hospital.
Delma was blessed to have two fathers; she was raised by James Brown Dog and adored him as a stepfather. She was raised by her grandparents, Daniel and Mary (Elk Head) Counting, north of Bear Creek. Her mother, Sarah, had to work to support them. She loved her grandparents dearly and would speak of them often. She attended school in Bear Creek, Chamberlain, and Red Scaffold, ultimately receiving her GED certificate. One of her favorite subjects was music, where she joined the school band, playing the clarinet.
She met her future husband, Edward, while on furlough from the Army, and they began exchanging letters. Upon his return, he would ride horseback for several miles to see her and spend the day with her. Delma was united in marriage to Edward Widow on May 8, 1954 at the old Red Scaffold School by Father Lucian. From this union, eight children were born: Narcelle Charlene, Narcisse Edward (deceased), Norma Mary (deceased), Norris John, Nadine Addie, Edmund Charles, Edwin Douglas, Norvold Malcolm (deceased). She also raised and had a special bond with five of her grandchildren, Tonia ìRoxeeî, Paul, Jauron, Radawn and Duriel Widow.
She was given a Tribal proclamation for 26 years of service to the CHR program. She and Elverna Knife were the first CHRs for the reservation, east and west. She began working for the Maternal Child Health program, where she enjoyed working with the young mothers and babies. She was also a Health Educator, traveling all over the reservation conducting education classes. Her father, Dennis, would worry about her being on the road at night. Nonetheless, she continued on. It was her goal to strive to have every household be certified in CPR training. She was very dedicated to her job, and with her on-call status, would get up in the middle of the night to attend to an emergency. It was hard to see her push herself so hard, but she had little complaint, and would remind us it was her job. While attending a powwow in Little Eagle, she performed CPR on a gentleman, saving his life. His family honored her the next year.
Her remaining years of service were as a Community Health Representative in several communities. She was adamant about health promotion, and began a walking program in Bridger, bringing the community together, and taking them to the Passion Play in Spearfish at the end of the year incentive. She had the opportunity to become an EMT and an ambulance driver. She had many fond memories of the people she worked with. In addition, she was pleased to have had the opportunity to deliver some babies. She was a Fire Marshal for Cheyenne River and attended training to do this. She was an OSHA instructor, and went to various places to give presentations. She would practice her presentations by seating her children and friends to listen. The lessons learned then, are in full force today, thanks to her.
She joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and was baptized by Elder Francis Tíeo, who became her hunka son. From this time on, she was a mother to many of the missionaries, especially the ones who came from the Polynesian islands unprepared for the South Dakota winter. Many were saved with our familyís abundance of spare goose down coats. After a ten year period, all the members of her family were baptized as well as her grandchildren and one daughter-in-law. The LDS Chapel in Cherry Creek held many memories for her, where community events took place there before it was renovated so beautifully. She traveled to the churchís general conferences held in Salt Lake City, UT.
Three years ago she moved into the Golden Living Center, Prairie Hills, in Rapid City after needing kidney dialysis at the Black Hills Dialysis. She was not ambulatory and could not be served in Eagle Butte. Despite her many health challenges, she remained positive and continued to make decisions from there. She called her husband, children and grandchildren daily to check on everyone. It was difficult, but she accepted reality and informed her children she wouldnít be coming home until her passing.
She will be deeply missed by her husband of 58 years, Edward; eldest daughter, Narcelle; sons, Norris (Nancy) and twins, Edmund (Sarah) and Edwin and youngest daughter, Nadine (Tom) Shaving; 5 generations of 70 grandchildren; siblings, Gladys Turning Heart & Chuck (Shirley) Dog Eagle; Hunka sons, Harold Frazier, Forrest Spraw, Paki Moe & Wallace Imamura.
Delma was preceded in death by her grandparents, Daniel and Mary Counting; parents, Jim and Sarah Brown Dog & Dennis Dog Eagle; her favorite aunt, Rosalie Dog Eagle; siblings, Ervin Dog Eagle, Blaine Dog Eagle & Ramona Hill; sons, Norvold, Malcolm & Narcisse; a daughter, Norma along with four great grandchildren.
Casketbearers were: Nate Widow, Tate Widow, Keaton Cook, Kasten Carter, Duriel Widow, Paul Widow, Talon Shaving and Jauron Widow.