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Greeting Spears Jr.
July 21, 1939 ~ October 3, 2023 (age 84) 84 Years Old
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Hereditary Chief Greeting Gus Spears Jr, age 84, Ojibwe name Waabi-Makoons-Bullhead Clan of Ponemah, Minnesota began his journey to the spirit world on Tuesday, October 3, 2023 at Red Lake, Minnesota. He was born on July 21, 1939 to John Greeting Spears Sr and Maude Wind.
Greeting was raised in Ponemah and went to school in Northome up to 9th grade. He was a hard worker and a very giving person. As a young boy, he worked at a maple sugar camp and a fish camp, he was a gardener for his grandparents, he was a fire keeper for a logging camp when he was 5 years old, and he would walk for miles to point and maquambay just to hear the beat of the drum as a young man. He worked at the mill in Redby, he was a bus driver, a logger, a janitor, a fisherman and he belonged to the Tribal Council as a Hereditary Chief for many years. Greeting was a drum keeper, language keeper, healer, and spiritual leader. Greeting would coordinate games for youth in our community. He would send his fish and logs on a steamboat to Redby long ago. He would always talk about his childhood. He liked to travel to Canada for Pow-wows. He loved his smokes, was a great teacher, a great man and we learned a lot from him. He loved watching wrestling shows! He was well-known throughout Indian Country. Many people traveled to see him. A man peddled on his bicycle all the way to Ponemah from New York to meet him! He went to many pow-wows and met a lot of people. He always told people in his teachings to believe in the drum and to be strong and help the people, no matter who they are. Chief Greeting would say “I love my people, I love everyone! My people are beautiful, my people are strong!”
Greeting leaves behind to cherish his memory are his sons Ole Spears, Mike (Debbie) Spears, David Jones Jr and Gary (Bev) Nelson Sr; daughters Janice (Darrell) Iceman, Gretchen Spears, Ramona Spears, Sharon (Kevin) Rosebear and Karen Jones; 19 grandchildren; numerous great and great-great grandchildren; sister Doris Strong; and brother-in-law Richard “Biddy” Thomas.
Awaiting Greeting Gus Spears Jr in the spirit world are his wife Judith May Spears; his parents Maude and John Spears; grandparents Nodin & Myrtle Wind and Alfred Wind; brothers Gordon, Norman, Alec and Alvin; twin sisters, Gloria, and Liza; In-laws Alfred Thomas Sr and Gloria Thomas; Brother in-law Petie Thomas; Sister in-law Beverly Thomas Black; grandchildren Marvin Spears, Josh Perkins, December and Branigan, Son in laws Donald Dow and Mitchell Johnson; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
The wake will begin at 1:00 PM on Saturday, October 7, 2023 at the Ponemah Boys & Girls Club and continue until the service at 10:00 AM on Monday, October 9, 2023. Active Pallbearers will be Dewayne French, Arlen Johnson, Vincent Johnson, Terrell Iceman, Derrick Spears, Wendell Spears, Kevin Rosebear Jr, Logan Beaulieu, Mason Jones, Preston Spears, Rory Spears, Bryson White, Arthur “Booman” Tessendorf. Honorary Pallbearers will be all the nurses and doctors at the Red Lake IHS Inpatient, Tribal Council and Chiefs Council.
Arrangements provided by Whispering Pines Funeral & Cremation Service of Walker & Hackensack, Minnesota.