Robert Lee Lonebear, (Nahko‘oxho‘oxeoo’estse) “Lonebear” was born in Glasgow, MT on February 21, 1966 to LaForce Lee Lonebear and Sandrea Grandchamp. He was affectionately known as Bobby.
He attended Glasgow Public Schools and St. Labre Indian School. In his younger years, he played hockey and was a member of the diving team. He was a member of the Dull Knife Boxing Club in Lame Deer. Coached by his father, he competed in boxing smokers throughout the area. Growing up, he learned a variety of trades which led to his extensive work experience. He trained to be a Montana Indian Fire Fighter and was a member of the Ft. Howe Helitack Crew. In winter months, he thinned timber on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. He also worked for Lame Deer School as a maintenance man. Robert loved to work on cars. Acquiring this skill, helped him develop lifelong friendships with several backyard mechanics. He then moved to Bismarck, ND for a number of years to work with his brother, Jon Williams. While in North Dakota, Robert also worked on a seismograph crew, and worked for construction companies. He returned to Montana, and continued his mechanic and construction work, assisting in the completion of the Missoula First National Bank. In 1999, Robert was injured in a motor vehicle accident which left him paralyzed from the waist down. After months of hard work, he was able to live independently. He then moved to Billings, where he continued assisting friends with mechanic work. From there, he moved to Glasgow where he wheeled around town with his dog, “Guy”. Health issues took him back to his home in Lame Deer where he lived at the time of his passing. He was a direct descendent of Sand Creek.
Robert was totally at home in the outdoors. He loved to hunt, ride horseback and competed in rodeos as a bareback rider. Prior to his accident he ran 10 miles daily, regardless of his personal health or environmental conditions. Bobby assisted his Dad with innumerable ceremonial commitments and loved our Cheyenne Way of Life.
His firefighting, hunting and fishing escapades were the subject of many, many stories and sources of laughter and enjoyment. He continued his backyard “mechanic-ing” until a few short years ago by using a body sling designed and constructed by his bros.
Robert was strong in his Faith. He would share scriptures with anyone who he thought needed to hear the word of God. His faith helped him through his toughest times. Before his passing he said “God has a plan for me, but it isn’t here on earth.” He accepted that he would make his journey.
If you ever had a conversation with Robert you learned about his conspiracy theories, the government listening to his phone conversations, and UFO’s.
He was preceded in death by his birth parents; Lee Lonebear & Sandy Grandchamp, his adopted parents; John & Regina Whiteman, brothers; Jeff Robinson, Barry Fraser, Kenny Merrick Jr., and Jon Williams; paternal grandparents; Robert & Jean Lonebear; maternal grandparents; Joseph & Betty Grandchamp, and numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews, friends and relatives.
On March 13, 1992 the most monumental event of his life occurred, his daughter Kaysha was born. Robert was also blessed with a granddaughter Keirah. Although their relationship had its difficulties, Robert loved his daughter and his granddaughter with all his heart.
He is also survived by mothers; Juanita Lonebear and Betty Jo Williams, sisters; Faithe Merrick, Bridgette (Jim) Lapke, Melissa Lonebear (Dale Campbell), Dixie Garfield, Yolanda Fraser, and Chasity Robinson (Fonz LaFranier), brothers; Rielly (Deborah) Lane, Jay Fraser, and Kevin (Desi) Lonebear, Richard “Rabbit” Lonebear; Aunts; Laura and Leah Lonebear, Carol Sienknecht, Cheryl Packineau and Tina Freese; Uncles; George Scalpcane, Nelson Grandchamp and Benjamin Grandchamp. Numerous nieces and nephews whom he loved to discipline, encourage and give advice to. Robert had special relationships with all of his Lonebear, and Grandchamp cousins, he considered them his brothers and sisters. Special Friends; Bobbi Jo Limberhand, Lonnie Littlebird, Carrie Lou Braine, Daniel Big Man, James (Slick) Francis, Sanford DeBray, Lari Beartusk, Lydina & Mitchelene Big Man, Cleone Hiwalking and Kevin Big Man.
A special “Thank You” to the medical personnel that cared for Bobby through his injuries, his countless bouts with infection, and his hard fought battle with cancer. We appreciate your patience with our, most times brutal, Bobby.
Nea’ese to everyone at the Shoulderblade Center, and those that ran errands for him, or gave him rides. You were all very special to him.
Robert was a proud enrolled member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe. The family ancestry generates from the Northern and Southern Cheyenne, GrosVentre/Hidatsa, and Ft. Peck Assiniboine and we acknowledge all of those families. We apologize if we have left anyone out.
Robert had numerous aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, children, and grandchildren, far too many names to mention, and none to be forgotten.