Francis Elmer “Gus” Harris, Indian name Birds Trail, was born September 01, 1929 to Bryan Harris Sr. and Ruth Medicinebird. He passed over the other side camp on June 16, 2014.
He married Ataloa “Addie” Hogan on September 12th, 1952.
Gus was a member of the Kit Fox Society and a faithful member of the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Lame Deer, Montana. No matter how busy his day was, he always made time to read his bible – he loved the Lord. He leaves behind a legacy of faith and commitment for his children and grandchildren to follow. Gus was a devoted husband to his darling Addie. They celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in 2012.
Gus left school during 9th grade to help his dad and family. He worked on ranches along Rosebud for the Baileys, Egans, and Smalls. When Korean War broke out he enlisted in the US Air Force in 1950–1954. He attained status of Staff Sergeant. He was honorably discharged in 1954.
Gus was an area rancher. A rodeo cowboy who participated in Canada, Montana, Wyoming, North and South Dakota. In his younger years he rode bareback, saddle bronc and occasionally bulls. Gus was a tough ole cowboy on the outside, if he liked you he would do anything for you; he had a heart of gold. Gus and Addie loved to attend family celebrations and community functions to visit their grandchildren and friends. They were both very proud of their children and grandchildren’s achievements and hardly missed any activities they participated in.
In 1985, one of Gus’s highlights was participating in the National Old Timers Rodeo Association in Amarillo, Texas with partner Bernadine “Bigfish” Fisher. During his rodeo days he calf and team roped and steer wrestled. He was honored to team up with his brother, the late Chuck Harris in team roping and steer wrestling; he was very proud to represent the Northern Cheyenne Tribe. He was an avid PBR fan and loved raising cattle and horses throughout his life.
Gus worked as a Foreman for the BIA roads in Crow Agency, Montana for many years. He was a Maintenance Man for I.H.S. for 15 years and a Heavy Equipment Operator at WECO for five years. Retirement didn’t sit well with Gus, so he went back to work as a Tribal Councilman for two terms.
Survivors include two daughters, Kathy Harris and Lori Onebear, Lame Deer, three sons: Lynn (Roberta) Harris, Colstrip, Ryne (Barbara) Harris, Lame Deer, Joel (Vicky) Harris, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and one adopted son, he took as his own, Joe (Charlene) Alden, Lame Deer, Montana. Special niece, Ataloa Ruth (Ron) Burman, Lame Deer, Montana. One brother, Kenneth (Dorothy) Harris, Colstrip, one sister, Venita (Connie) Brien, Ashland, Montana. 14 grandchildren and 24 great grandchildren.
Gus is preceded in death by his loving wife, parents and brothers: Carl Harris, Chuck Harris, Gilbert Harris, Dale Harris, Bryan Harris, Jr.; Sister Marlene Anderson; Adopted son Donnie Bill Pease.
A Traditional Wake will be 7:00 p.m., Thursday, June 19, 2014 at the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Parish, in Lame Deer, Montana.
A funeral service will be 11:00 a.m., Friday, June 20, 2014 at the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Parish in Lame Deer, Montana.
Stevenson and Sons Funeral Home of Forsyth is assisting the family with these arrangements and condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.stevensonandsons.