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Murphy Thomas Jr.

April 28, 1951 ~ August 8, 2020 (age 69)


Murphy Alfred Thomas Jr., whose Indian name was Makadewigaabo, which means Blackman Standing, and his doodem was Awaazisii (Bullhead Clan), age 69, of Ponemah, MN passed away on Saturday, August 8, 2020, at Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, ND.

Murphy was born on April 28, 1951 in Red Lake, MN to Murphy and Katherine (Cloud) Thomas Sr. He graduated from Red Lake High School and went on to attend BSU. Murphy was fluent in Ojibwe and worked as a language and cultural teacher in various schools in Northern Minnesota, most recently at the COLA School in White Earth before retiring.  He also worked as a counselor at the Red Lake School and Northern Winds Treatment Center in Red Lake.

Murphy was involved in his community.  He was a youth basketball coach for many years and was always willing to volunteer his time. He was a well-known and respected MC throughout Turtle Island and was a Men’s Traditional Dancer for many years.  He had a great personality, was quick to laugh and enjoyed telling jokes.

He will be lovingly remembered by his sons:  Christopher Thomas, Mikwam Thomas, Makoons Thomas and Allen Hardy; grandchildren:  Talia Whitefeather, Tyus Whitefeather; family he considered as grandchildren:  Korbin, Mikaila, Timmy, Kyrell, Tyrell, Tyren, Rydell ,Naleina, Tristan, Kaitlyn and Jack; adopted grandchildren: Rolando, Arianna and Brynn;  siblings: Frannie Miller, Barb Thomas, Arnold Pelly and Melvin Goodman; his special friend, Sophia Bissonette; special cousins:  Marylou Stillday, Rita Johnson, Richard Thomas and Petie Thomas; nieces and nephews: Amanda (Andrew Letander) Johnson; Wayne “Moose” Johnson Jr., Tom Hardy and Cameron Hardy; special friends: Gary “Twisty” Lee, Mike and Becky Fairbanks, and Doug Fuhrman, as well as other relatives and friends.

Murphy was preceded in death by his parents; his son, Murphy Thomas III; siblings:  Richard Cloud, Robert “Bozo” Thomas, Ronald M. Cloud and Janet Thomas.

The Wake will begin at 1:00 PM on Tuesday, August 11, 2020 at the Ponemah Community Center in Ponemah, MN and will continue until the service at 11:00 AM on Thursday, August 13, 2020. Casketbearers will be:  Wes Jourdain, Dan Jourdain, Mike Needham, Wayne “Moose” Johnson, Gary Lee “Hank” Johnson and Gary M. “Scruff” Johnson.  Alternates are: Kip Perkins and Allen Cloud. Honorary casketbearers will be: Mike “Big Stink” Fairbanks, Darrell Seki Sr., Rudy Johnson, Wayne Johnson Sr., Char Ellis, Royce Kingird, Cheryl Byers, Terry Skead, Anita Skead, Leslie “Waasaay” Copenace, White Bay, Ontario,   Kevin “Catch the Hawk” Locke, Ricky White, Ken Fox, Jeff Coleman, Sam Mason, Lew Murray, his Drumming and Pow Wow friends and the Stoney Park Singers from Morley, Alberta, Canada. Burial will be at the Thomas Family Burial Grounds in Ponemah.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Murphy Thomas Jr., please visit our floral store.


August 11, 2020

1:00 PM
Ponemah Community Center
Ponemah Road
Ponemah, MN 56666

Funeral Service
August 13, 2020

11:00 AM
Ponemah Community Center
Ponemah Road
Ponemah, MN 56666

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