In memory of

June Stafne, age 77, of Wolf Point, MT

June 8, 1936 – July 12, 2013

On July 12, 2013 our beloved wife, mother, sister, aunt, and grandmother, June Cecelia Shields Stafne, age 77, of Wolf Point, MT, went back to where the other angels came from.

She was born on June 8, 1936 to Fred Shields, Sr., and Francis Smith. She attended boarding schools in Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Kansas; graduating from Flandreau in 1954 and Haskell College in 1956.

In 1956, she was the Oil Celebration Princess and represented the Fort Peck Reservation at the Miss Indian America contest in Sheridan, WY. It was here that she caught the eye of her future husband, Rusty Stafne. Mom went to work at Browning, MT and Rusty went to Haskell for school. They corresponded through letters and after 3 attempts they were married on October 10, 1959. Due to the Indian Relocation Act, they moved to San Jose, CA where they made their home from January 1960 until 1968. This is where their 3 children were born. They then moved back to Wolf Point where they have resided since. Mom was a secretary, politician, and community health worker. Above all, she was an activist at heart; she was always working for the people. She also helped her husband establish their farming and ranch business, working side by side. Although times were tough at first, she never gave up. She always supported her husband in everything.  June was always smiling and was a grandmother to many by blood or by choice.

June was a devout Catholic, but also a woman of many faiths. She believed in Christian ways as well as her Native American traditions coming from the Bad Temper Bear clan. Her grandfather Andrew Red Boy Shields was the last chief of the Fort Kipp community.

June is survived by her husband of 54  years, Rusty Stafne of Wolf Point; 3 children, Twilia (Vincent) Bear Cub, Tom Stafne, and Grant (Mary) Stafne all of Wolf Point; 15 grandchildren; and 9 great-grandchildren.

 A prayer service will be held 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 16 at the Blue Sky Ministries in Wolf Point. A funeral service will be held 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 17 at the Blue Sky Ministries in Wolf Point. Interment will follow at the Stafne Family Cemetery, west of Wolf Point.

Clayton Stevenson Memorial Chapel of Wolf Point has been entrusted with the arrangements. Condolences can be sent to the family using the form below.


Read the thoughts and memories, then feel free to add your own.

  1. Larrry and Donna French says:

    Dear Family, Our deepest symathy to you and all your family. June was a great Lady to know over the years.

  2. Marilyn Hudson says:

    June was my roommate at Haskell nearly 60 years ago and we’ve been friends since that time. . Our condolences to Rusty and the kids. The world seems to have lost some of its glow with her passing. We will miss her greatly. Walk in beauty, my dear friend.

  3. Peggy & Darcie Doney says:

    Rusty, Twilia, Grant & Tom,
    Mom and I offer our sincere condolences to your family in your time of sorrow. God Bless everyone.

  4. maryann spottedwolf says:


  5. Shelly Gonzales Campbell says:

    Rusty and family, so sorry for your loss. June was a wonderful lady and will be missed by many. Our prayers are with you all. God bless.
    Shelly and Skip

  6. Karen Landsrud Samuels says:

    June was an amazing woman who loved with every fiber of her being, she did not judge anyone and always had a smile on her face. June gave me my first Star Quilt, which I still have, holes in it and worn out but I will keep it til the day I die because she gave it to me. She loved me like a mother would and I will never ever forget her! The world lost a genuinely good person and those are very hard to come by anymore. I will look forward to seeing her in heaven and hopefully get lucky enough to get a visit from her angel. I Love You June Stafne. Karen

  7. al cross says:

    dear rusty, i was lucky and fortunate to have june and you as friends and neighbors here in san jose, she and maclovia cooked a turkey for our first apartment and first thanksgiving in the city, we also did some trips to reno to ‘double’ our money, attended many softball games in the spring street area (columbus park), and many, many fond memories of the friendship will always make june special in my life. my fondest thoughts and love to you and family.

  8. John & Linda Atchico says:

    Our family’s condolences to the Stafne family. We have always liked June, she was such a nice lady. Rest in peace, June. Great respect for the family. The Atchico family, John & Linda, children – Leslie & Darrell, Jennifer & Nissan, Lee & Tiffany.

  9. David E. Boyd Sr and Chong Ae Boyd says:

    Rusty our prayers are with you and the rest of the family.

  10. Janet Erickson says:

    Rusty and Family-
    Sending my deepest sympathies and prayers to you….that you may feel God’s grace during this time, handing over your sorrow, that you will find peace knowing that June is free from pain,illness and suffering. She is now rejoicing in the heavens! She will be missed dearly on this earth…..
    Janet Erickson

  11. Ardey Boxer says:

    Fort Peck has lost one of our former “First Ladies”……May she rest in peace…… condolences to Chairman Stafne and his children……..She was a wonderful woman who will be greatly missed by her family and all those that knew her……

  12. Terri Peters Schlicht says:

    Grant and Family,
    I have always admired your mother. I was saw her as a strong, beautiful, independent woman to look up to. My prayers are with you during your time of sorrow.

  13. Carol Juneau says:

    Rusty and Family — Stan and I send our sincere sympathies. June was a great lady. Always had a smile for us. She was a role model for other Indian women who want to serve in leadership roles in their tribal communities. She will be missed.
    Stan and Carol Juneau

  14. Charles "Chuck" Hudson says:

    June was, and will forever remain, my Godmother. Though time and distance worked against us over the years June taught me that one’s faith is a lifelong journey accompanied by family, community and service. As a young child I remember spending time at the Stafne home in San Jose. During holidays we kids (,Twila, Tommy, my sister Sonya and I) would huddle under a blanket watching The Wizard of Oz during thanksgiving and the Christmas shows. We always hid our heads in fear when the Wicked Witch and the flying monkeys appeared. We were relocation families in those days. Where my parents and June/Rusty were most alike was that they made a thoughtful decision to return home to live good lives in the places they loved. June and Rusty moved home a few years before my parents di to Fort Berthold. I remember traveling from Calif to ND through eastern montana at night destined to overnight in Wolf Point. The lightining in the distance was magical to us and only enhanced the power of the places we called home. I’ve always been proud to speak of June as my Godmother. My deepest condolences to Rusty, Twila, Grant and Tommy.

  15. Dale Buckles says:

    To the entire Stafne Family,

    I was so sorry to hear about June’s passing. My sincerest condolences to the entire family. I will always remember growing up and seeing June with a smile on her face whenever we would see each other. From my mother (Yvonne) and the entire Buckles’ familly, you have our sympathy.


  16. Bud Brown says:

    Hi Rusty: Its been MANY years since those Poplar days; I was browsing and found your name and saw the article on the loss of your wife. She was a lovely lady and I know exactly what you are feeling – I lost my wife 11 years ago in January. A few weeks ago I was in Jerry Hines’ place and your name came up. He said you were now a leader there — I had no idea just how much of a leader you have become. The next time I visit my wife’s grave site (Sioux Pass) I’ll try and give you a call. My deepest condolences and may God comfort, strengthen and bless you and your family.


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