November 6, 2014
Ronald James Emery, age 50, of Arlington, VA and formerly of Eagle Butte, SD, entered the spirit World on Thursday, November 6, 2014 in the Black Hills. Ronald James Emery was born in Rapid City, South Dakota on October 5, 1964 to Charles Edward Emery (Old Agency, Cheyenne River Reservation, South Dakota) and Marie Janis Emery, (Kyle, Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota). Ronnie came at life straight on, with energy and dedication. When he was a little boy, he would run out of the house with just his shorts on to get outside and get to playing. When he was a young man, he earned his black belt in karate. He went to Haskell Indian Junior College and earned his B.A. at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. At Durango, he was on the BIA hotshot firefighting crew, and he learned to love the Rocky Mountains. He was best friends with the Wyatt brothers, Jeff, Lee, and Andy, and he played bass guitar in various bands, including Hoover’s G-String, and opened for bands such as Molly Hatchet. He was always bumping into famous people, and just enjoyed visiting, Patrick Swayze, Blues Traveller, and famous bass players. He was an avid Washington Redskins football fan and enjoyed going to games. He once said he wanted his headstone to read, “See you in the next life…don’t be late.” Ronnie married Deana Gipp in 1994, and she was the love of his life. (She was the princess of Haskell—her Dad, Jerry, was the Dean). They had four children, D. Max Emery, Veronica Emery, Dominic Emery, and Michael Reynolds, and though he and Deana later divorced, they stayed in close touch and love their children deeply and shared the issues that arise as children grow. Most recently, Ronnie adopted his grandson Tavian as his own very special son, on behalf of his daughter Veronica, who passed tragically on October 26, 2014 from natural causes. He is survived by two older brothers, Rick (Tonja) Emery and Randy Bernard Emery, three sisters, Roxane Gale Emery (Michael) Holmes, Robin Janis Emery, and Jamie Nicole Emery, his uncle, Tom (Michelle) Allen, numerous Janis and Emery cousins, nephews, nieces, and innumerable friends across the United States. “Ronnie” was his beautiful Momma’s baby. Ronnie spent his adult career working as a Tribal Historic Preservation Officer and NPS Tribal Government Liaison for the National Parks Service in Washington, D.C. He loved his work, especially returning Federal land to Indian tribes. For example, he worked on the Miccosukee Reserved Area Act, which recognized the Everglades Miccosukee Reservation lands that they owned from time immemorial. He worked on the Timbisha Shoshone Homeland Act, which recognized the Shoshone’s lands in Death Valley National Park and their uplands in California, which they owned from time immemorial. He helped restore Smokey Mountain lands to the Eastern Band of Cherokee from North Carolina. Ronnie awarded National Park Service grants of audio and video equipment to help them establish tribal preservation programs for native language, oral traditions, and cultural activities. He trained Tribal Historic Preservation Officers and gave grants for tribal historic preservation. For 28 years.He was working with the Oglala Sioux Tribe to make the Badlands South Unit into the first Tribal National Park. President Brewer said of his passing, “That’s tragic news. Ronnie was one of our own. He had a good heart and my deepest sympathy to his family.” Ronnie was well known in Washington. Kurt Luger, Great Plains Indian Gaming Association said, “Ronnie always had a genuine smile for everyone, his mind was full of native cultural lore, and I always admired his unique outlook and helpful ways.” Ronnie loved his children and grandchildren. He lived for them and he sought to teach them Lakota culture. On Thursday, he went to the Black Hills at Falling Rock just outside Rapid City to say prayers for his beloved daughter Veronica Rose Emery. He was with his boys, when he twisted his ankle, stumbled and fell to his death. Services: visitation at Rooks Funeral Home in Eagle Butte, SD at 5PM on Sunday, November 9, 2014. An all-night wake will be at the Catholic Hall in Kyle, SD starting at 1PM, on Monday, November 10, 2014. Catholic and Lakota Traditional Services will also be at the Catholic Hall at AM on Tuesday, November 11, 2014. After-which he will be taken back to Eagle Butte, SD for Burial and Graveside Services at Eagle Butte Cemetery. He will be buried next to his daughter Veronica.
Ronald James Emery, age 50, of Arlington, VA and formerly of Eagle Butte, SD, entered the spirit World on Thursday, November 6, 2014 in the Black Hills. Ronald James Emery was born in Rapid City, South Dakota on October 5, 1964 to Charles Edward... View Obituary & Service Information
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