Eva Theresa Medicinebull Brown Bearchum, (Otseemehe’e) began her journey to the Next Camp on October 8, 2020 after a brief illness. On October 1, 1932 she was the first born, of girl twins, to Willis and Annie Swallow Medicinebull. Eva was born at home with the assistance of a mid-wife, on the Birney Divide, and then the twins were taken to the Crow Hospital. As a child and young woman she learned the traditions and protocols expected of a Cheyenne and a chief’s child, which she adhered to throughout her life. She was a humble, quiet Cheyenne woman of virtue from a generation that is quickly coming to pass. Often, especially in later years, Eva “set the record straight” and reminded family and community members of behavior, speech and tradition that was rapidly changing. Eva gave much of herself and her time and energy to maintain traditional beliefs and values. She was a ceremonial woman of prayer through Sundance, fasting, peyote and Catholic Church involvement and ritual, which many times meant traveling to Wind River to pick cedar and attend ceremonies. Eva had a very strong relationship with Maheo’ and shared her faith with those who requested her assistance. She was close to her siblings, especially her twin sister who proceeded her in death and to her youngest brother Wayne.
Eva attended Birney Day School and St. Labre Indian School, boarding during the week and returning to the Birney Divide on weekends and summers. She was athletic and enjoyed riding horses and playing softball and volleyball with classmates, friends and family. Her father had relatives at Wind River and there were several wagon trips to Wyoming as he searched for appropriate husbands for his twin daughters, as arranged marriages were a part of traditional practices.
Eva married Anthony Brown of Wind River and to this union were born Angela Ann, Patrick Joseph, June Marie, Mary Lou, Joan and Bertha. Eva was a hard worker, spending much of her time in the home, gardening, caring for children, and cooking traditional foods of which she was a connoisseur. Eva chose to raise her children alone after her divorce and until she met her love in Ben Bearchum. She became a teacher’s aide at the HeadStart and later in the kindergarten and retired from St. Labre as a member of the cook staff. Eva had high expectations for all whom she knew, but was also quite hilarious. She loved to tease and had a very witty sense of humor which she enjoyed using on her nephews, uncles and in-laws, some of whom were not the teasing type.
On July 12, 1976 Eva married Benjamin Bearchum Sr. in Toppenish, Washington and together they made their home in Lame Deer, finding a way to blend their families and remain steadfast in their dedication to one another. Together they worked, travelled, attended ceremonies, guided their children and many others, assisted in the raising of grandchildren, gardened, attended powwows, visited, prayed and engaged in community activities. They loved everyone that came into their lives and gave no special attention and played no favorites regardless of relationship. They were happy together and have now been reunited. Eva remained strong and vigilant after losing Ben in 1991 as she continued to provide for and raise several of her grandchildren.
Eva will be met on her journey by Ben and those who have proceeded her including her parents; brothers Burt and Fred Medicinebull; sisters Elva Shotgun (twin) and Agnes Killsnight Brady (adopted by her parents); daughters Angela and Mary Lou Brown, Brenda Littlecoyote and Francis Bearchum; sons Patrick Brown and Bruce Bearchum and adopted sons Clifford Foote and Vance Littlebird; granddaughter Johanna Young and great grandson Christopher Killsontop; special friends and relatives Jane Warren and Mr. and Mrs. Dan Brown.
Eva is survived by her daughters Bertha Brown, June Marie Brown, Joan Ironshield, Sophia Enos and Eleanor Parker; brothers Mr. & Mrs. Wayne Headswift, Fr. Jim, Mr. & Mrs. John Russell Jr., Mr. & Mrs. Myron Littlebird and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Littlewhiteman and Hugh Clubfoot; grandchildren Renita Brown, Elise Starr Jefferson, Mary Lou Jefferson, Brian Lee Blackwolf, Briana Blackwolf-Strangeowl, Rolanda Eagle, Wallis Headswift, and Anthony Phillip John Young; great grandchildren Floyd Killsontop, Angelei Young, Garrett Young, Kimimila Killsontop, Warrior Eagle, Thereslyn Jefferson, Cianna, Tharyn, Hayden, Maddie, Rynleigh Russell, Celestine Patrick Young, Ethan Young, Benny Roosevelt Blackwolf, Charlize Blackwolf and Laila Strangeowl, Mikee and Rikee Willard, Cadance Blackwolf, Anastyn Killsontop, Cevana Killsontop, Kingslee Rocker, and Valeo Buccelli, adopted grandchildren Hazel Killsnight, Hakala Skye Harding, Elkshoulder baby boys and Justin Whiteman; sons Benjamin Jr. and Curtis Bearchum; adopted sister Henrietta Whiteman; adopted children Amanda Linder, Sarah Murray, Erica Prussing, Julianne Lore, Phillip Franquelyn and Carrie Braine; nieces and nephews Alaina Buffalo Spirit, Burt, Kenneth, Charles, and Willis Medicinebull, Lew, Frank and Langdon Headswift, Robert and Roberta Shotgun, Larry Medicine Bull, Burt Medicine Bull Jr., Sally McCloud, Christa Medicine Bull, and all of the children of her relatives that have gone before.
Eva’s family was large and she was related to many people on the Northern Cheyenne and Wind River Reservations through blood or adoption. Please accept out apologies if we have mistakenly forgotten or omitted anyone.