Joseph Big Medicine Jr.
Joseph Big Medicine, Jr., was born May 16, 1950 at Clinton, Oklahoma to Joseph and Imogene (Blackbear) Big Medicine. He departed this life surrounded by his loving family on Wednesday, June 10, 2020 at Enid, Oklahoma.
Joe attended Riverside Indian School in Anadarko, Oklahoma and spent his early years in the Watonga area. Joe was a Cheyenne elder, U.S. Marine Corp. Viet Nam veteran and Purple Heart Recipient, Sand Creek massacre descendant, and former Southern Cheyenne Nagpra Tribal Representative for the Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes for many years. He worked at Roman Nose State Park near Watonga. He had been involved with the Sand Creek Massacre since before the site location study and the founding of the park. Joe was the constant comrade and chaperone to Chief Laird Cometsevah in the beginning. After Chief Cometsevah’s passing, Joe stepped up to be the voice for Southern Cheyenne descendants. He was a headsman in the Cheyenne Bowstring Society where he was affectionately known as “Father Bowstring”. His Cheyenne name was Holy Bird.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents; his daughter Melissa Big Medicine; Survivors include his wife Eva (Red Hat) Big Medicine of the home in Hennessey, Oklahoma; sons Joseph Big Medicine, III and wife Melaine, Steve Big Medicine and wife Leann, Benjamin Big Medicine and wife Lila, Horace Big Medicine and Jordan Big Medicine; daughters Shannon Reyes and husband Danny and Tabitha Big Medicine; sister Rita Big Medicine and aunt Merle Lopez; many grandchildren and extended family.
Wake services were held Monday evening, June 15 at Lucky Star Casino Pow-wow grounds at Canton, Oklahoma with Eldon St. Clair and Merlin Little Thunder officiating. Graveside services were held Tuesday, June 16 at Canton Reinterment (Chief’s) Cemetery under the direction of Pierce Funeral Home, Canton, Oklahoma. Condolences may be made online at www.piercefuneralhomes. com.