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Farewell, Walter Blackwolf. See you again.

January 24, 2017

Walter Blackwolf

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

My heart was broken when I read that my friend Walter Blackwolf has died.  In the Cheyenne way, Walter was at once the son and the brother of the great Medicine Hat keeper, James Blackwolf.  Also, he was the brother of Jamie Whiteman, longtime Northern Cheyenne ambulance driver and paramedic.  And friend.

I first remember meeting Walter in the pharmacy when he was a tribal health community health representative.  I took Walter’s picture.  Walter told me some about his life.  He was a star basketball player.  He had me make photographic copies of newspaper clippings from his teenage years.  Walter was my age, almost to the day.  We were both born in March, 1949.  I think he had about a week’s seniority, and he never let me forget it.

Walter worked a career as a heavy equipment operator until the early 2000s, when he worked, as I mentioned, for tribal health.

After I retired from the Lame Deer Clinic pharmacy in 2005, Walter continued as a CHR until he became too ill to continue.  He had diabetes and eventually needed to go on dialysis in Billings.  I don’t know how many times he was hospitalized, but every now and then he’d phone me.  We never had actual adventures the way I had with other people, but we did sit in a variety of hospital rooms and Walter, mostly, would tell me stories about his father, mostly.

We gave each other gifts.  Walter made knives from animal horn that probably still have a place of honor on the wall of the pharmacy in Lame Deer.

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