Juanita “Teetee” Robinson Lonebear was born February 25, 1938, the youngest child of James “Major” Robinson and Nellie Pearl Spang Robinson. Her Cheyenne name was Mókéé’e, “Little Woman.” She was an enrolled member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe and a descendant of the Oglala Lakota. Teetee was a change of life baby, the last of 6 children, and she was more of a sister to many of her nephews and nieces who were just a few years younger than her. Her brother James couldn’t say her name Juanita so he called her “Teetee” and the name stuck with her throughout her life. Teetee is the last of the original Robinsons. She loved all the Robinson children and grandchildren as her own after her siblings passed.
Growing up on the family ranch at Muddy Creek, she was surrounded by a large family of siblings: Dave, Bee, Dolly, Buell, and James. She and her siblings would ride horseback for 3 miles one-way to attend grade school at the little schoolhouse on the forks of Muddy Creek. It was a beautiful childhood filled with fun, adventure, and hard work. Like many young ladies of her generation, she left school before graduating high school and later obtained her G.E.D.—a decision that influenced her career helping others to do the same.
Mom was a very strong woman. She married Emil Fraser in 1952. That union dissolved after 8 years and she went on to raise her four children single handedly for 10 more years: Dixie, Barry, Jay, and Yolanda. She was still very young, only 22 years old, but managed to put food on the table, keep a home, and a running vehicle. Later, she had two more sons: Bob and Jeff. In 1967, she met LaForce Lee Lonebear and with that union came Faithe, Bridgette, Robert, and Rielly. Teetee and Lee began a long life together and they had two more children, Melissa and Kevin. She lost her 17-year old son Jeff in a terrible car accident, but she was blessed to raise Jeff’s infant daughter, Chasity, as her own. Mom always made sure her children had the important things in life: love and guidance.
Mom’s heart was huge and her capacity to love was endless. Not only did she love all her children, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren deeply, she also loved many other children during her life. Teetee opened her home to all. She enjoyed hosting Lee’s friends and guests from all over Indian Country, even international guests. She was an amazing cook and delighted in preparing huge quantities of food. Her pancakes, goulash, shepherd’s pie, noodles, cherry salad, and carrot cake, were some of the many favorites.
In 1979, she began a very long career as the Adult Education Director at Chief Dull Knife College (CDKC). Throughout her many years at CDKC, she helped hundreds of Northern Cheyenne community members obtain their high school diploma. Many of them went on to finish their degrees at CDKC, and several continued to complete bachelors and even graduate degrees. Her legacy in the community spans generations, but she was always humble. Teetee was a mentor to many and a colleague loved by all.
Her other “job” was being the wife of Lee Lonebear, a powwow man, spiritual leader, tribal councilman, and coach. That in itself was nearly a full-time job. The two traveled for 20+ years with their many basketball and boxing teams. Teetee was in charge of the fundraising, and for 11 years they took teams to the All West Native American Classics in Denver, CO. She was always able to secure enough money to take a full entourage and create life-long memories. No matter how Teetee came into your life, you felt her love and caring spirit. She will be deeply missed.
Teetee was preceded in death by her Father: Major, Mother: Nellie, Brothers: David, Buell, Bee & James, Sister: Dolly, Sons: Barry, Jeff, Robert & Wilbur, Grandsons: Caleb, Taryn & Tyrel, and Great Granddaughters: Lola & Kaysera. Teetee is survived by her Sons: Jay, Bob, Kevin & Richard, Daughters: Dixie, Yolanda, Faithe, Bridgette, Melissa, & Chasity. She has 34 grandchildren: Landon, Joel, Anya, QJ, Andrea, Tala, Kyle, Phillip, Clay, Dari, Chani, Janea, Alethea, Alan, Justin, Craig, Lauren, Royce, Timmy, Anthony, Kaysha, Jordan, Shontee, Nota, Kasey, Kori, Kaden, Karson, Kort, Tye, Amaya, Brett, Ajay & Travis; 75 great-grandchildren; and 16 great-great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her in-laws: Laura Lonebear, Leah Lonebear & George Scalpcane; her special niece Sara Young & her children Wendell, Frederica and the late Heather Lefthand, a special adopted son and daughter, David Wilson and Carol Ward; and her numerous adopted sons, daughters, grandchildren, nephews and nieces. The family would like to thank her caregivers: Martha Burton, Sable Kerzmann, Brandi Robinson, Boola Spang, Paula Castro, and Barbara Harris. Our family is very large, and we apologize we were not able to list everyone by name who was dear to her.