Clara High Elk

  • BORN: February 23, 1922
  • DIED: March 6, 2013
  • LOCATION: Thunder Butte, South Dakota

Funeral services for Clara High Elk, 91, of Thunder Butte, SD, will be Tuesday, Mar. 12th at 10:00AM at the Dupree Multi-purpose Building. Burial will follow at the AY Bar Cemetery, Thunder Butte. Meet at the 2-mile Jct. at 5:00PM Monday to process to the multipurpose building for wake services beginning at 7:00PM. Clara entered the spirit world March 6, 2013 in Rapid City.

Clara Evelyn Stricker High Elk was born February 23, 1922 to Henry Stricker and Maggie Pretty Buffalo Red Bird at their homestead on Irish Creek in Thunder Butte, SD. Clara grew up around the Irish Creek area. She attended the Thunder Butte Day School through the 4th grade, then attending St. Joseph's Catholic School till 8th grade. She then attended Stephan Indian School for 1 year and then Bismarck School for Girls for 2 years.

In 1944, she married Gabriel Red Legs and 2 children were born to this marriage: Carlos Gabriel and Ruby Y'von.

In 1949, she married Paul High Elk, and to this union 5 daughters were born: Mildred, Paulette, Lois, LaVae & Codi. The family resided in Isabel until 1959 when they moved to Eagle Butte where they became CRST Old Age Caretakers, also managing the tribal laundromat. They then moved back to Thunder Butte where they began their ranch life 10 miles north of Dupree.

Clara was a Community Health Rep for 18 years. After retiring in 1985, she worked at various jobs as a Green Thumb worker. She also became active in revitalizing our Lakota language and was a Lakota language instructor at Cheyenne Eagle Butte Middle School till 2007.

During her lifetime she not only raised her own children, but helped her mother Maggie raise James, Lyle & Carol Elk Nation. She also kept her nephews, Elgin and Duane Stricker, when they started high school in Eagle Butte. Clara and Paul also raised their grandchildren, Rhea Tom-Bear Comes Out, A'Reta Tom, Charles, Jayme, Terri, Delano White Eagle, Philip Nordvold, Skeets Dolphus, Brady & Justin Knife whom they also adopted. They also intermittently cared for Lynnea Swan-Ross, Todd Johns and kept Paul Garreaux till she left for the spirit world.

Clara received an Honorary Doctorate from Cheyenne River Community College and Northern State College. She was also a GED instructor for the Thunder Butte community. Clara was also the Native American Indian Women's Association's Woman of the Year. She was very proud of her Lakota way of life and taught her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to honor the Lakota language and traditions.

She enjoyed sewing, and made over 1000 star quilts and approximately 800 baby star quilts. Clara also made barrel racing shirts for her daughters, regalia for her daughter, Codi, and her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She enjoyed riding horses and owned a herd of Palomino horses that she called the Cornflakes herd. In her younger years she was a jockey for her brother, Narcisse Stricker, and later on in life made the shirts for his jockeys. Clara loved watching the NBA; the Lakers were her favorite team.

Clara lived a fulfilling 91 years.

Grateful for having shared her life are her daughters, Mildred (Tommy) Carpenter, Lodge Grass, MT, Paulette High Elk, Lois High Elk, LaVae (Hermus) Red Horse and Codi High Elk of Thunder Butte, SD, Rhea (Tony) Bear Comes Out, A'reta Tom, Justin Knife; great granddaughter, Jailynn Rose Marie Knife; nephews, Tony Stricker, Lyle Elk Nation; niece, Carol Elk Nation; grandchildren, Charles & Delano White Eagle, Mary Grass, Kenny Fights the Thunder, Donna Red Legs, Rikki Red Legs, Melissa Carpenter, Tiara Cordova, Lynnea Ross, Karlys Swan, MJ Swan II, Miriam Swan, Todd Johns & Paul Garreaux, Jalen Knife, JT Red Tomahawk, Troy Eagle Chasing, Sr., Ashley Elk Nation, Charlie Marshall, CL Archambault, Lorraine Archambault, Philip Nordvold & Skeets Dolphus; 27 grandchildren, 55 great grandchildren and 12 great great grandchildren; Hunka family: sister, Mabel Blue Thunder, nephew, Henry Takes The Gun; daughters, Judy (Husky) Houston & Consuelo (Jeff) Guillory; sons, Floyd Hand, George (Gloria) Old Elk, John (Rita) Birkeland; grandchildren, Tiffany (Darrell) Boyd, Kanaan Houston, Raphael (Gloria) Guiillory, Justin (Sunni) Guillory, Veniece (Chris) Lacey, Jongary Old Elk & Riggin Mortenson.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Paul; son, Carlos; daughter, Ruby; parents, Henry and Maggie; 5 Elk Nation brothers, Narcisse, Vetel, Levi, Sylvester & Kenneth; sisters, Alphonsine & Basilisa; nephews; Elgin, Howard, Duane, Dean Stricker & James Elk Nation; nieces, Alva, Della & Ruby Darlene Stricker; grandsons, Brady Paul Knife, Gerald White Eagle & Avery Red Legs; granddaughters, Jayme & Terri White Eagle, Darla, Janet & Shelley Stricker and great granddaughters, Angel Rose, Laila Bird & LaVae Marie Johns.

Funeral Service
  • March 12, 2013
    10:00 AM
  • Multi-Purpose Building
  • Dupree, SD 57623
  • Get Directions


“ Sorry for your loss - she is with A'te now - stay strong ”

Posted by: Courtney Two Lance

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