Fernando was born on a cold winter night February 8th, 1960 to Harry and Annie Joyce Littlebird in Ashland, MT on the banks of the mighty Tongue River. Our Husband, Dad, Grandpa, Papa, Brother, and Uncle went to heaven the afternoon of October 5th, 2020 at age 60. He was the seventh born of thirteen children.
Fernando began his education at Lame Deer Public School and later went on to the LDS Placement Program for school in Idaho. He then attended Brainerd Indian School in Hot Springs, SD where he met the love of his life. When first laying eyes on her, he said he knew he was going to marry Iylene Jo, and they did on August 26th, 1977 at 17 years old. From this union they had four children: Heather, Winona, Fernando Jr., and David. He also loved his South Dakota Family and visited them as much as he could throughout the years. Once in the winter of 1985, he walked to South Dakota in a blizzard to spend Thanksgiving with his girls. Farmers in Newell had been on the lookout for him to be picked up by his father-in-law.
In 1980, he joined the U.S. Army and attended boot camp at Fort Jackson, South Carolina where he was training to become a radio operator. Though he fought to stay in the Army as he wanted to make a career of it, he was medically discharged.
Fernando was undeniably a family man and never failed to mention how grateful he was to be rich in family. Each of his children graduating from highschool and some even going onto college was something he was incredibly proud of as a father. He was even able to see his first grandson, Judas, graduate in May. He took on the role as father to raise Isabella, his “baby girl”. Fernando also had an exceedingly special bond with his sister, Emma King, whom he always tried to lend a hand and do what he could to help as well as with Rynalea Pena. To his nieces and nephews he was known as a father figure and “Grandpa Fernando” to all of his siblings’ grandchildren and a “favorite” to many of them. As a diehard New England Patriots fan, Fernando enjoyed watching football and sharing this passion with his family.
As a hard-working man, he held many occupations throughout his life which he enjoyed performing to the best of his abilities and never ceased to go above and beyond his required duties. Fernando was exceptional in his independent beadwork as well as, with Cheyenne-O-Designs. Because of how precise and beautifully articulated his work was particularly on belt buckles with porcupine quillwork accenting the beauty of his star designs, this was something he enjoyed. He also made bolo ties, barrettes, and other fine pieces of beaded jewelry that would sell quickly and was known worldwide. In addition he spent fourteen years as a maintenance worker at NCUC where he taught himself to operate the backhoe, time as a gas attendant at Cady’s, years as a custodian at NCTS; and was on the TERO board from 2012-2016.
As much as we would love to have him here with us longer, we know he has been called home by those who have preceded his death: his parents Harry Sr. and Annie Joyce; sisters: Aurelia, Ginger, Serena, Limona; nieces: Juanita and Denise; granddaughter: Taneisha; Nephew: Charlie; Father & Mother in law: Henry & Freda, Violet; in-laws: David and Darlene; adopted father: Louis Sr.; adopted son: Clyde.
Ferenando is survived by his life’s love: Iylene; daughters: Heather, Winona (Shandon), Shannon, Cheryl, Shyanne; sons: Fernando Jr., David, Drey; “his princess:” Isabella; grandchildren: Judas, Joycee, Samara, Landen, Shaiden; siblings: Glenn (Lillian), Steve, Theresa, Ruth (Mark), Harry, Richard (Claudine), Rosie (Sam), Leo (Berta), Roland; adopted mother: Rosella; adopted siblings: Reginald Sr. (Marcel), Louis Jr., Reynard, Darrell Sr., Samantha (Darla), Lois(Thomas),Ferland; adopted brother: Charles; adopted children: Jay Jay, Zachary, Tristan, Cree; His foster parents Virgil and Jeanetta Taylor; friends: Coolidge, Loy, Mathew, Scharlmaine, Cordelia, Jennifer, Jimmy SW, Freddy, Frankie, Darren, Jimmy S. We acknowledge Fernando had an abundant circle of family and friends who were close and hope we did not leave anyone out.