Cover photo for Lorraine L. Grey Bear's Obituary
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Lorraine L. Grey Bear

April 2, 1941 — June 8, 2023

Lorraine L. Grey Bear

Lorraine GreyBear, “Wambdi Wayanhi Pi Win” (The Eagles Come to See Her) 82, was surrounded by her loving family when she left with the Wakinya’s that came during the storm on Thursday night June 8, 2023. Which is also the same day her baby Jewel left eight years ago.

The Wake and Prayer Service will be Friday, June 16, 2023 at Crow Hill Recreation Center at 5:00 p.m. The Funeral Service will be on Saturday, June 17, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. also at the Crow Hill Recreation Center with burial at St. Jerome’s Cemetery.

Lorraine was born on April 2, 1941, to Rosalie (Littlewind) Thomas and Michael Thomas. She was the last of her 6 siblings to make her journey home.

Lorraine graduated from Fort Totten school in May 1959, and married Melvin GreyBear, Sr., May 19, 1959.

She will always be remembered as one of the seven founders of the Chelsea Sundance started in 1980.

She worked at Brunswick Corporation for 7 ½ years, starting as a security guard and later promoted to security supervisor.

She was the cultural teacher at Four Winds High School from 1987 to 1994, and the elementary cultural teacher from 1989 to 1996. She was President of the elementary school board from 1989 to 2000.

She became the Dakota language instructor at Cankdeska Cikana Community College in 1997 to 2003. She then took some time off to care for her husband. In 2004, she was asked to return to CCCC until her retirement in 2020. During her time at the college, she created lessons for the Dakota language class I, II, and III. She recorded on CDs and made hard copies for each class and created a Dakota alphabet with diacritical marks for pronunciation along with recorded CDs for correct pronunciation. She also worked with the Headstart program to develop a curriculum to introduce and teach the Dakota language to Headstart children.

She received Tate Topa’s N.D. Indian School Board Member of the Year 1992-1993.

Received official recognition by the Tribal Council as a fluent speaker of the Dakota language and culturally knowledgeable in 1997.

She received CCCC’s American Indian Educator of the Year in 2010.

She received her Liberal Arts degree in 2013.

Honorary Master’s degree from the Spirit Lake Tribe in 2016.

Lorraine is survived by her children Melvin GreyBear, Jr., Bentley GreyBear, Sr., Loren GreyBear, Sr., Myron GreyBear, Sr., adopted daughter Cante Skuya GreyBear, special niece’s Luwonna Dolly Cavanaugh, Jeanne Cavanaugh, Rosie Mudgett, and many more nieces and nephews. She was given the name “Mama Bear” by her first grandchild, Areonna. She was then only known as Mama Bear by her 30 grandchildren, 85 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great grandchildren. She recently found out there is 1 more great-great grandchild on the way. Mama Bear adored and loved each one of them.

Mama Bear raised four of her grandchildren, Lyndon, Areonna, Cante, and Samantha GreyBear. She also helped Cante raise her three children whom she also named, Hoksina-Davian, Kimi-Davianna, and Iyotan-Jewel.

She was welcomed home by her parents, husband Melvin, daughters Colette GreyBear and Jewel GreyBear, grandchildren Shane GreyBear, David Tuttle Jr. and Galen GreyBear, brothers Richard “Boke” Thomas, Herbert Thomas and Arthur Thomas, sisters Laura Thomas, Lillian Mudgett and Christine Alex and many other precious relatives.

Mama Bear loved to go rummaging and stop every thrift store and garage sale that she came across while traveling. She especially enjoyed going to Grand Forks thrift stores and eating at the Olive Garden. She loved listening and singing Sundance songs. She enjoyed watching hummingbirds come to her bird feeders outside her house and windows. She also loved flowers and enjoyed creating center pieces.

Serving as Pallbearers: Bradley GreyBear, Tyler Comer, Michael Olson, Brady GreyBear, Delmer Youngbird, Jr., Davian Youngbird.

Honorary Pallbearers: Mildred Chase, Paulette Driver, Judy GreyBear, Shelly Lugar, Doug Yankton, Louie Garcia, Jan Meyer, Tracy (Buzz) Chase, Joanne Yankton, Velma Lambert, Ila McKay, and Marilyn Thompson. Tate Topa Indian School, Four Winds High School and Cankdeska Cikana Community College.

Thank You to the wonderful hospice team from Hospice of the Red River Valley for your kind, and compassionate care though this difficult time and also Spirit Lake EMS.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lorraine L. Grey Bear, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Wake And Prayer Service

Friday, June 16, 2023

Starts at 5:00 pm (Central time)

Crow Hill Recreation Center

North Dakota 57, ND

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

Crow Hill Recreation Center

North Dakota 57, ND

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Graveside Service

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Starts at 11:30 am (Central time)

St. Jerome's Catholic Cemetery

, Pittsburgh, PA

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