In Memory of Beatrice Marie Stewart
November 24, 1921 - October 27, 2017
Beatrice M. Stewart, age 95, of Lac Courte Oreilles died Friday, October 27, 2017 at Waters Edge Care Center in Hayward.
Beatrice Marie was born on November 24, 1921 in Hayward, WI the eldest surviving daughter of Fred and Madge (Heenan) Smith. She was the oldest LCO resident on the reservation and a beloved member of the community. After graduating from Flandreau Indian School, Beatrice moved to Chicago and married Robert James Stewart, a member of the Bad River Band. She and her husband were an active part of the Chicago Indian community. After working in several jobs, Beatrice retired and was an important part of the life of her grandson, Robert “RJ” Smith.
Always active, she enrolled in NAES College and earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Community Studies while working in the NAES College Library. Beatrice was the oldest graduate of the college. During this period when she was in her sixties, she trained as a runner and competed in several marathons.
Beatrice and her husband retired once more and returned to live at LCO. Not content to stay at home, she became an active part of the Great Lakes Native American Elder Association. Two jobs she loved were as a hostess at the LCO Casino and library aide at the LCO Schools. In these positions,
Beatrice enjoyed the friends she made and particularly enjoyed the children at LCO. Beatrice grew up as a member of the Midewiwin and returned as a part of Three Fires after returning to LCO with her grandson, grand- daughter-in-law and grandchildren.
She is survived by her daughter, Faith; sisters Bertha Christensen, Marge O’Leary, Lorraine Smith and Sandy Bird; brother Richard Smith; grandson, Robert, her daughter-in-law Netawn; two cherished grandchildren, Miigwaans and Zhaawon; and many nieces and nephews. Beatrice also “adopted” Rick St. Germaine as her “son” and was a close friend of his mother, Saxon.
Beatrice was preceded in death by her parents Fred & Madge; husband Robert; brother, Leonard; sisters, Frieda, Jeanette & Geraldine.
Tribal Funeral Rites will be held 10:00 a.m., Monday, October 30, 2017 Big Drum Ceremonial Center in Lac Courte Oreilles. Edward Benton will officiate with assistance from members of Three Fires and her family. Burial will be in Greenwood Cemetery in Hayward where she will be laid to rest next to her husband Robert. Visitation will begin at 5:00 p.m. Sunday, October 29th at Big Drum.
Honorary casket bearers will be Christine Isham, Paula Jackson, Lorraine Ledbetter, Pat Miller, Bonnie Smith & Carol Smith.
Casket bearers will beDan Bird, Gregory Bird, Robert Bird Sr., Myron Cloud, Steven O’Leary, Gary Quaderer Sr., Morgan Smith, Robert Smith & Rick St. Germaine.