Vida Muskrat, Wapaha Numpa Wiyan (Two Bonnet Woman) age 95 of Poplar, MT passed away September 7, 2018 at Roosevelt Medical Center in Culbertson after a long battle with cancer.
Vida was born July 30, 1923 to Vida High Backbone and Ralph Walking Eagle in Poplar. She was given her Indian name as a little girl by Grandpa White Hawk. Grandma lost both parents at an early age, her mother passed away when she was a year old. Her father later remarried and to this union her only sister Beverly Walking Eagle-Baker was born. After the passing of her father, when she was 12 years old she lived in the Riverside area with her Grandpa Jim Walking Eagle, whom she often spoke of. Other families with whom she lived with include, John and Grace (Stormy) Anderson, parents of Clarence Walker and Mercelline Drastz. She lived with the Andersons off and on for years, she used to help her cousin Clarence (Windy) Walker break horses. She stayed close to her cousin Mercelline and children. She also lived with an Aunt Fannie Redfox Lizotte in her teen years west of Poplar. She grew up with Betty, Myrna, and Alfred Lizotte, Mercy Knowlton, Mary Red Feather Iron Bear and Mamie Red Eagle. Vida married Daniel Russell in 1943, together they made their home northeast of the present day Badland celebration grounds in Brockton. Together they had 6 children, 3 of which passed away as infants. They later divorced. She later met Halle (Dave) Muskrat whom she married and together they had 3 sons. He preceded her in death.
Vida worked various jobs, including dishwasher and cook at the Shamrock Café in downtown Poplar in the early 70’s. She was also well known for her beautiful star quilts that she stitched by hand. Her grandchildren and great grandchildren played around her as she stitched.
In the early 1980’s, Vida met Clifford Young Bear, her lifelong companion. Together they raised grandchildren, Talissa Muskrat, Dorrance Comes Last and Desmond Muskrat Jr. They traveled to powwows throughout Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Canada. He preceded her in death in 2001.
Vida made her home in Poplar, she always offered her home and a hot meal to anyone that needed a place to go. She was a beautiful, joyous person with so much love to give. She was loved and cherished by so many people and will be greatly missed by all.
Vida is survived by daughters JoAnn Russell of Poplar, Montana, Bonnie Menz of Fort Kipp, Montana; grandchildren that she raised as her own Danette Scott, Talissa Muskrat, Dorrance Comes Last and Devyn Montclair all of Poplar, and Desmond Muskrat Jr. of Washington; 15 grandchildren; 39 great-grandchildren; 7 great-great-grandchildren. ; adopted children; nieces and nephews; all of Beverly Walking Eagle-Baker’s children and grandchildren; Tim Red Eagle Sr. whom she took as a son; special nephews and nieces, Jr., Maureen, Marie and Mavis Drastz, Adrian and Peggy Ireland and sons; Andrew and Aiden Ireland; Tony Ross; all of Williston, North Dakota; Peggy Cavanaugh of Devils Lake, North Dakota; many, many, other adopted children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews and friends too numerous to mention.
She was preceded in death by her parents Ralph and Vida; her children, Llewellyn, Ralph, Isabelle, and Catherine Russell, Davey, Desmond Sr. and John Muskrat; sister Beverly Walking Eagle-Baker; and Grandson Richard Russell.
A wake will be held 7:00 pm, Thursday, September 13, 2018 at the Poplar Cultural Center and a funeral will be held 11:00 am, Friday, September 14, 2018 at the Poplar Cultural Center. Interment will follow at Poplar City Cemetery.
Clayton Stevenson Memorial Chapel of Wolf Point has been entrusted with the arrangements. Condolences can be sent to the family by using the form below.