Erma Faye Wolftooth Spang (Aanetavveoh, Stands Different Woman), of Lame Deer, made her journey to the other camp, and reunited with the love of her life Wilmer D, on Tuesday, September 20, 2022.
A true child of Birney, Erma was born there, on May 16, 1946 to Mary Underwood-Wolftooth. She is a descendant of Wolfrobe, who was a Southern Cheyenne Chief.
Erma was raised by her Grandmother Josephine Wolfrobe and Grandfather John Youngbird in Birney, MT. She was a “True Birney Girl”, and this was home to her from birth to the end of her adolescents. Erma along with her siblings spent her summers swimming and fishing the Tongue River, riding horseback, and trying to keep up with her older brothers. Another advantage of being raised by her grandparents Erma was afforded the opportunity to learn and speak her Native Language which was the Cheyenne Language, and up until her passing, she continued to be a very fluent speaker.
Erma received her Kindergarten through Eighth Grade education at St. Labre Mission in Ashland, Montana. She then went on to High School at Haskell Institute in Lawrence, Kansas graduating with her high school diploma on May 24th, 1963. She later received an honorary degree from Chief Dull Knife College in 2016.
Erma met Wilmer D. Spang Sr., and they took each other as husband and wife on June 26, 1970. They spent the first three years of their marriage, enjoying the companionship of one another, as they started to build what would eventually become their family legacy. In July of 1973 Erma gave birth to a baby girl, the oldest of their three children, Julianne Marie (Joseph) Spang, followed by her son Kermit (Michelle) Spang; and the youngest son Wilmer Jr.(Kimberly) Spang. On June 26, 2020 Wilmer and Erma celebrated 50 wonderful years of marriage.
From a young age Erma always managed to find employment, she worked hard even if her employment was temporary. The various jobs she worked throughout the years enhanced her skills and knowledge and she secured herself a job at the St. Labre Mission, in the mailroom, she often times had to hand-write the addresses on the envelopes this is how we believe she came to perfect her beautiful handwriting. She worked in the mailroom for a few years at the St. Labre Mission and then took a job at Chief Dull Knife College for a short period. Erma secured a job with the Northern Cheyenne Tribe. This job would be the beginning of her career as an employee for the Northern Cheyenne Tribe. Erma started her job career at the tribe where she served as the tribal secretary under the Allen “Chuggy” Rowland administration. She transferred to a position under the Indian Health Service and then took her final job working as a receptionist for the Board of Health Behavior Health Program from where she retired in 2021 after forty-plus years of service.
Family was very important to Erma, she worked hard to provide for them, she was always there when one of them needed her, and she always tried to insure their home was a safe and happy place. She did make time for herself to enjoy the things she liked especially her bingo nights at the Charging Horse Casino, she enjoyed spending time with and supporting her kids and grandchildren, attending their individual activities. She was both of her son’s biggest fan, when competing in their bull riding events, she always worried about them getting injured when riding but that didn’t stop her from making four trips to the Indian National Finals Rodeo in Albuquerque, NM; Soboba, CA; and two trips to Las Vegas, NV. She loved to play cards, Read Suspense Novels by Nora Roberts an VC Andrew, working on puzzles and to watch her weekly television police dramas and the nightly news. She was a loyal Broncos football and UCONN Lady Huskies fan, never missing any of their televised games.
Erma is survived by her three children who are mentioned above, her adopted children: Chanda Rendon, Melissa Lonebear, Jonah (Jill) Redcherries; Grandchildren: Samantha (Ben Leedom) Pourier, Danielle Shotgunn, Dave Spang, Andrea (Joseph) Haugen, Terence Limberhand, Chauncey (Mary) Foote, Kobe Rockroads, Kacen (Janea) Spang, Evangeline Mary Spang, Terrence Limberhand, Gary (Rosalia), Jerry (Meagan), Marrisa and Allison, Tokahe, Jacoby, Okte, Kasey, Kori, Kaden, Karson, Kort Lee, Tori, Tayler, Shanaya, Shane Sandcrane.
Great GrandChildren: Novah and Kodah Leedom, Oakley & Aria Fox, Handsome & baby sister Haugen(coming soon), Spang baby “K”(coming soon),baby girl Foote, Taylor and Tyus Sandcrane, and her tail, Oscar Dude. Erma is also survived by her sisters: Josephine Sandcrane, Lynda Locher & Karen Locher, Georgia & Bonnie Burns
Brothers: Daniel(Delores)Fisher, Jackie, JD & Ronnie Burns Sr.
Sister In Laws: Maggie Alby, Suellen Shotgunn, Hansa Faye Burns, Bonnie (Orville) Belt.
Brother In Laws: Leroy (Pam) Spang, Jule Spang Sr., Terry (June) Spang
Adopted siblings: Theda Foote, Bucky(Charlene)Glenmore, Nakia (Virgil) Weaselbear & Christy Bearchum.
Neices; Kateri(Zac, Shotaya, JD, Kaylie)Foote, Lavonda (Alex, Brittany, Thunder) Foote, Vicki(Troy)Cady, Clementine(Ambrose)Seminole. Starla(Larry)Flying, Crystal(Terry)Spang, Cheryl Fisher, Danette Fisher, Bobbi Limberhand, Kelly Limberhand, Megan Lone Fight, Danielle Reed, Debra Reed, Rose Big Hair, Ariel Fisher, Kylie Rowland, Brooks Rowland, Anhella Rowland, Beatrice Rowland, Lilly Schilf, Circe Clunie, Rusteya Limberhand, Deana Spottedelk, Sidney Harris, Faith Spottedelk, Stacibeth Seestheground, Maria Spottedelk Harris, Shaylin Shotgunn, Tarryn Shotgunn, Korslin Shotgunn, Laila One Feather, Hayley Burns, Presley Shotgunn, Kira Shotgunn, Scarlett Shotgunn.
Nephews: Dewey(CJ, Kyrel, Kyli, SaRaya Foote, Layva Elkshoulder)Foote, Huey(Jennifer)Foote, Marlow Littleboy, Jesse(Shawna)Shotgunn, Francis Robert(Michelle)Shotgunn, Mosiah Shotgunn, Daniel Fisher Jr, Lance Fisher, Darren SpottedElk, Marlin “Sunshine, SpottedElk, Mario SpottedElk, Rusty Limberhand,
Kenny(Sheryl) Harris, Aljay Bighair, Blaine Shotgunn, Cody Sooktis George Harris, Emerson Harris, Mitchell Ontiveros, Mario Harris, Damon Spottedelk, Trey Spottedelk, Jason Fisher Jr., Jayden Fisher, Cody Ziler, Antonio Rodriguez, Emilo Nava-Limberhand, Armondo Nava-Limberhand, Rusty Limberhand Jr, Michael Limberhand, Bennylee Limberhand, Ben Bowers, Dayne Bowers, Lance Bowers, Zeus Schilf.
Proceeded in death by her beloved husband and best friend of 50 yrs Wilmer D. Spang, grandson Kash Angus Spang. Her grandmother Josephine Wolftooth & grandfather John Youngbird. Her mother Mary Underwood-Wolftooth & father Harold Underwood. Aunt Delores Wolftooth and uncles Norman Wolftooth and Charles LittleOldMan. Brothers Marvin Spotted Elk, Walter “Rusty” Locher, Francis Robert Shotgunn II, Timmy Littleboy, Michael Bowers, Rayetta Jordan, Melissa Locher, Connie Fisher, Michelle Limberhand, Hyda Littleboy, Matthew Shotgunn, Leslie Spottedelk, J’Shon Sandcrane, Reuben Shotgunn, Jimmy Foote, Robbie Burns, and Alfred Braine.
Wilmer and Erma befriended and took in numerous people. Many of those individuals have since stayed lifelong friends, these friends were not only people that they had encountered, but they were also individuals who had an impact on the life of one of their three children, their daughter-in-law, or their eight older grandchildren. We regret that we are not able to list every single friend individually, but there were those that had a special spot in her heart, first being her co-workers: The late John Paul Flying Dennis Lange, Sandy and John Bradley, Mary Ann Farris, and Brenda Hamilton. Her bingo compadres Linda Freeman, Ruth Costillo, Juan Castro, Fred Whitewolf, Bucky Glenmore, and Charlene Robinson. The Braine family: Carrie, Terry, Roxanne, Dean, Ruby and Sky Harding, Erma was always very fond of them.
Our mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother bravely fought to stay with us for many months after being diagnosed with cancer. Throughout our lives and especially last six months she has shown and taught each and every one of us courage, strength, faith, and especially love. We the family would like to give a special thank you to Dr. Fiddler and his staff and Frontier Cancer Center and to her nurse Ashley Rice for never leaving her side in her passing. Her special words to all of her family were to “Go forward and get along”!
Extended Family includes: Wolfblack, Blackwolf, Ironhand, Rowland, Medicine Top, Littleoldman, Medicine Bull, Ant, Yellowfox, Whiteman family. Our family is very large, and we apologize if we forgot anyone.