Our beloved mother, grandmother and big sister Matilda “Tilly” Ada Yellowrobe passed away on November 10, 2020 at the Forsyth Nursing Home. She was 66.
Tilly was the firstborn daughter of ten children to Moses & Madeline Yellowrobe, arriving Nov. 17, 1953 in Crow Agency, MT. She was proud of her heritage: Cheyenne on her father Moses Sr,’s side, and Kiowa-Apache on her mother “Shorty’s” side. At the time of her passing, Tilly was the proud and loving grandmother to 19 grandchildren from her four children Judith, Mandy, Norman, and Morgan.
Tilly grew up in the community of Busby, attending grade school there and spent her childhood days playing a lot of sports. Tilly really liked to bead, as taught to her by her father Moses. As the oldest among her siblings, Tilly quickly learned life skills of responsibility. Even as a young girl Tilly would often play the role of “little momma” to all her siblings. Tilly’s favorite pet when she young was her pet raccoon Judy that could unscrew the lid to jars of jelly.
When Tilly become a teenager, she attended Busby High School where she enjoyed cheerleading. Tilly also became a skilled “pool shark” playing at the local rec room and playing in competitive pool tournaments in Hardin with her sister Ida and their mother Shorty. Their team’s name was Mothers & Daughters. In the early 70’s Tilly, still a teenager, followed American Indian Movement to Washington DC and took part in their activities there.
Tilly graduated from Busby High School in 1972, and later attended college at Dull Knife Memorial College, Eastern Montana College, and Southwestern Indian Polytech Institute.
In the summer of 1973, Tilly lovingly welcomed her first child, Judith Fae, to the world.
Tilly having entered the workforce had many different employment experiences. She was a wildland firefighter camp crew member during the heyday of Northern Cheyenne Firefighters through the latter 70’s and 80’s. Tilly also was a clerk, book keeper, and secretary for different tribal departments, including the elderly program, Cheyenne Depot, tribal health. Her sister Ida recalled how Tilly knew shorthand – and laughed about how it would take hours for others to “decipher” the shorthand notes because no one else really knew how.
In circa 1978 Tilly met Norman Stewart Sr., who worked for ARCO exploring the N. Cheyenne Reservation for oil & gas. They would become married, and have three children: Mandy, Norman Jr, and Morgan. Tilly would later divorce Norman.
Tilly was an avid gambler and loved playing bingo. She loved many genres of music including gospel.
In 1995 Tilly suffered a debilitating stroke that left her partially paralyzed, requiring assisted care living. Despite her handicap, Tilly was resilient and was able to cope and settle into assisted living. She would learn universal sign language and remained upbeat through her final years: laughing, joking, teasing and even flirting. Tilly was able to regularly come to Lame Deer and visit her family, including her children and grandchildren. She loved each and every one of her family unconditionally and always will from above.
Tilly is preceded in death by her Father Moses Yellowrobe Sr, brothers Luther Yellowrobe Sr, Morgan and granddaughter who she will be laid to rest next to, Sopheira grandma Ida G. Johnson, Grandma Maggie Two Babies, Aunt Gladys Bigback and Aunt Nancy Yellowrobe. Tilly is survived by siblings brothers Moses, Jr (Mary), Jarvis, Sr (Esther) Maynard, Sr (Jenny) Sisters Ida (Mike), Jeannie, Gladys, Donelda. Tilly is also survived by her children Judith (Eugene), Mandy (Tony), Norman, Jr. (Antonia), and Morgan (Sharona); grandchildren, Elijah, Tepest, Michael, Dewey, Island, Antonio, Aaron, Julia, Adaleine, Joseph, Norman, Noah, Nora, Markis, Kevin, Arthur, and Karen; great grandchildren, ShaRaya, Elyssia, Sopheira, Axander, and Chey-Kotah.