Natalie Cokabeya

Funeral services for 43-year old Natalie Cokabeya are Tuesday, November 23, 2021 at 10:00 at St Isaac Jogue’s Catholic Church Hall in Rapid City, SD, with Fr Ed Witt, S.J., officiating and traditional Lakota services by Mr Michael Catches Enemy

Cremation will follow the services with burial at a later date

A one-night wake service starts Monday, Nov 22, at 4:00, also at St. Isaac Jogue’s Catholic Church Hall.

Natalie Jolene Cokabeya “Tashiyagamunka Win” was born on January 7, 1978 in Loveland, CO, to John Goes In Center and Kate (Warnecke) Goes In Center. Natalie made her journey to the Spirit World on November 6, 2021 in Lafayette, CO.

Born to the Pute Tiospaye, Natalie was a fourth-generation descendant of the Wazaze Chief, Pute’/William Lip.  

As a young child, Natalie was blessed with the presence of a Meadowlark who walked with her as she played in the field near her grandparents’ home.  

Tashiyagamunka Win would become her given Lakota name by her Grandmother Eva. This was the beginning of her love for the natural world. Her curiosity and creativity would ever after always be about animals of every kind, birds, especially Hawks, people, places, plants, flowers and Rainbows.

As a young scholar, Natalie attended several American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) Summer Programs, winning awards for her researched projects.  It was not beyond her to desire a higher education that would take her further. 

Having been awarded a scholarship, she attended and graduated from the prestigious college preparatory school St George’s of Middletown, RI. 

With a fearless quest for competition, Natalie excelled in Basketball, Hockey, Lacrosse and Tennis. That same spirit led Natalie to race car driving in the Colorado Region of the Sports Car Club of America, earning her the title of “Rookie of the Year”. 

Natalie grew up with horses and participated in horse show competitions. One vivid memory was when she slept on hay bales in the barn, waiting for her mare to foal.

Natalie contributed her many talents to help others. She provided counseling services for AISES students with encouragement and praise. 

Volunteer work with several Humane Societies was a passion; among other jobs she took on was as a Cat Enrichment provider, which helped the adoption of many cats. 

In the realm of Art and Music, Natalie was accomplished at an early age, playing the piano and later the guitar. In adulthood, she volunteered at the Denver Art Museum as part of the Children’s Backpack program. 

In all aspects, Natalie’s spirit was all about sharing and caring. Many other contributions portrayed her intellect. To say the least, she was an avid reader; she held several library cards from all the places she lived. She was a newspaper stringer for the Rapid City Journal, an accomplished accountant, and managed a plumbing business. 

Natalie also earned a Degree in Nutritional Science, which led her to become an advocate for good health awareness and fitness. She also entered and finished half-marathon runs in California and Colorado. Always following a curiosity and searching for meaning, Natalie traveled to many countries including France, Germany, Holland, Canada, Mexico and several in South American.  In Peru, she visited the ancient Incan Citadel of Machu Picchu. 

Such interests and wonderment deepened her spirituality, which led her back to her Lakota Spiritual roots. She read and talked about the Lakota Holy Man, Nicholas Black Elk, and his vision for the world; it became hers also.  

Natalie’s spirit was always aligned with Spirituality and Culture. She joined with other Lakota and attended the Lakota/ Catholic enculturated Canku Wakan experience at the Sioux Spiritual Center.  

She said she loved Jesus and it was His attributes she wanted to live by; always saying she loves you.  She loved her relatives very much, especially her family.

Natalie is survived by her father, John (Cynthia Ross) Goes In Center; mother, Kate (David Julie) Goes In Center; brother, William John (Linzee)Goes In Center; nephews, Oliver A. Goes In Center and Charles W. Goes In Center; paternal aunts & uncles, Deborah (Christopher) Bordeaux, Angela Stover, Geraldine Lucille Goes In Center, Margaret Ann Witt, Christopher Witt (Lillian), Mary Agnes Witt, Nancy Witt, Agnes Goes In Center/ Picotte, and Virginia Goes In Center /Queen; maternal aunts and uncles, Donna Fluegal (Billy Gilroy), Don (Julie) Fluegel, Dale (Diane) Fluegel, Dan Fluegel, Claire (Rick) Gennett, Tom Youngblood, Robert Youngblood, and Ray Youngblood; Hunka aunts, Gloria Runs-Close-To- Lodge/ Goggles (Gary) and Norma Tibbitts; paternal cousins, Bordeaux Cousins: Eva, Mary, Nathaniel, and Clementine, Stover Cousins: Robert, Johnnie and Edward,  Witt Cousins, Santee Luke, Mozelle, Seth, Joe, Sage and Dayna, Chretien Cousins: Tanya, Frances, Jessica and Roshanna, Miller Cousins: Christopher, Joshua and Elizabeth, Merrival Cousins: Leonard, Victor, Joannie, Susan, Barton, and Carla, Standing Bear Cousins: Alvina, Melvin Jr., Doreen, Lisa, Donald, Leroy, Myron, Susan and Sandra, Bad Wound Cousins, Kim, Annette, Diana, Donna and Michael,  Mable Grace Picotte, Alberta Bowers, Gail Garrison, Summer Peann, Marla and Ellen Day Boy; maternal cousins, David Gannett, Lauren Gannett/ Lewis and Fluegel family cousins; and Hunka cousins, Jenny Runs-Close to Lodge and Elaina Goggles.

Preceding her in death were great-grandparents John and Kate Goes In Center; paternal grandparents Nathaniel Witt Jr and Eva Veronica Goes In Center Witt; maternal grandmothers Jane Fluegel and Betty Youngblood; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins of the Goes In Center, Witt, Standing Bear, Merrival, Bad Wound, Picotte, Fluegel and Youngblood families.

Pallbearers will be Clementine Bordeaux, Mary Bordeaux, Nathaniel Bordeaux, Santee Witt, Robert Stover, Johnnie Stover, and Ed Stover.

Honorary pallbearers will be All Cousins and St. George’s School Classmates.

Arrangements entrusted with Sioux Funeral Home of Pine Ridge, SD

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