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Pauline Merrick

Pauline Merrick

December 14, 1933 - February 22, 2024

Pauline C. Merrick; Mahpiya Tokah Win "She's a leader in heaven", the Matriarch of the MatoCatka Tiwahe 90, of St. Michael ND began her wanagi ta'canku to the Star nation on Thursday, February 22, 2024, with her loving family at her side. She was a widow of a World War II Veteran.

Pauline began her earthly journey on December 14, 1933, to Sarah Hopkins and Simon Leftbear at the hospital in Fort Totten ND, the youngest of two (2) children. She was the granddaughter of Chief MatoCatka of the Wahpeton band. She was raised by her aunt Martha Glazer in Tokio, ND and was educated at boarding schools in St. Michael's Indian Mission and Stephan, SD. During school she enjoyed playing basketball with her classmate Lilly Owlboy and dancing at the local pow wows.

On July 14, 1953, she was untied in marriage to Frank Merrick and to this union was born four (4) children Deborah, Brenda, Fulton and Catherine. The family relocated to Los Angeles, California for several years and then to Chicago, Illinois, where they would gainfully work and raise their children. In 1969, the family returned back home to Spirit Lake due to her aunt Martha's car accident. At this time, Pauline cared for her sister, brothers and aunt until she recovered. Her aunt Martha was the President of the Lone Buffalo Club and also organized the fundraising efforts. Pauline was an active member of the Lone Buffalo Club and appreciated helping her aunt.

Pauline and Frank established their home in St. Michael, ND. They were foster parents and opened their home to many children including raising Dennis Johnson. Every year, they took pride in their garden and attending to the yard. She enjoyed traveling to pow wows, and could always pick a winner for the drum and dance contests. She bowled and participated in many bowling leagues locally and in Chicago. Pauline pitched and played softball until she was 51 years old. She had a very active social life.

Pauline was a stay at home mother who was devoted to her family. During the fall season, she treasured watching the takoza's pick from the apple tree. She was very fluent in her Dakota language and loved listening to pow wow and prayer songs.

Her recent favorite memory was when the Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara (MHA) 2022 Little Shell Celebration honored and flown her husband Frank's US Army flag. Frank was a World War II Veteran who served two (2) terms and as a Military Police Officer (MP).

Although Kunsi Pauline may no longer walk beside us, her spirit and strength will be with us always. She was a blessing to us all.

She is survived by her loving family: Her daughter Catherine (James) Yankton; sister: Mona Leftbear; God Daughter: Melissa Merrick-Brady, aunt: Cora Rose Sherman; nieces: Trudy Laroque, Bonnie Leftbear, Mary Rose Lebeau, Julie Brathovde, Cora Whiteman, Catalina Herman, Larissa, Danielle, and Tanisha Leftbear, Nephews: Wesley Young, Austin and Nathan Smith, Bruce and John Whiteman and 21 Takoza's, and 30 great Takoza's. Special hunka daughter: Arlene Keahna and families, Tama, Iowa, and hunka sisters: Helena Littleghost and Clara Begay, Tempe, Arizona. Extended Leftbear families in Sioux Valley, Manitoba; Dianne Taylor and families.

She is reunited in the star nation with her parents, husband Frank, children: Deborah, Brenda and Fulton, granddaughter: Deborah Yankton, sister: Evelyn Young, brothers: Miles and Jonah Leftbear, Aunt: Martha, Uncle: John Leftbear, Sister in law: Mary Rose and (John) Brathvode, Brother in law: Gabe Young, and Nephews: Dean and Jay Young and other nieces and nephews.

Casket Bearers will be Jason LaRock, Scott Jetty, Joe Yankton, Derrick Jackson Jr., Brady Walford, Dahlen Leftbear, Clarence Morin Jr. and Fulton Merrick Jr.

Honorary Pallbearers are Catherine Howard, Darlene Wadsworth, Astel Cavanaugh, Mary Greene -Trottier, ReNa Lohnes, Barbara and Joe Jackson, Clarice and Josie Lawrence, Helena Littleghost, Roberta Littleghost, Renita and Bud Shaw, Marva Tollefson, Jeneane Littleghost, Frances Greyhorn, Belle Lawrence, Rose Lebeau, Marty Jackson, Bonnie Leftbear and families, Valarie and Lawrence Bull, Richard and Lonna Street, Evelyn Kimberly Young, Tracy "Buzz" Charboneau-Chase, Renita Delorme, Oliver Gourd Sr., John and Mona Chaske, Annette Lenoir, Jeanetta Jackson, Mathais Jackson, Mary Thompson, Roger Yankton, Audrey Belgarde, Crystal Thompson, Meada Jetty, Sarah Cavanaugh, Phyllis Dubois, Spirit Lake Dakota Transportation Program. Special thank you to Lois and Keith Leben and families, Fred Longie Jr., and Pete Dauphinais Jr. for helping with the firewood and to everyone who prayed and shared expressed their condolences. If we left anyone out it was unintentional.

Music will be provided by the White Horse hill singers. All drum groups are welcome to share their songs in memory of Pauline.

Visitation will be on Wednesday, February 28, 2024, at the St. Michael's Church from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. with Rosary at 7:00 p.m. The procession to St. Michael will leave at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday from City Plaza in Devils Lake.

Mass of Christian Burial will be on Thursday, February 29, 2024, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Michael's Church with Reverend Paul Schuster celebrating the Mass. Burial will be in the St. Michael's Catholic Cemetery next to her husband Frank in the spring.


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