Eldred “Sonny Brave Eagle Jr

Funeral services for 41-year old Eldred “Sonny” Brave Eagle Jr are  2:00 PM, Sun, Nov 6, 2022 at 2:00 at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church Hall in Kyle, SD, with traditional Lakota services by Mr Dave Swallow

Burial is at St Barnabas Episcopal Cemetery in Kyle 

Viewing services will be held from 5:30 PM – 10:00 PM, Friday, Nov 4, from 5:30-10:00 at the Cheyenne River Episcopal Mission in Eagle Butte, SD

Eldred Oscar “Sonny” Brave Eagle Jr “Wanbli Ohitika” was born on May 14, 1981, in Pine Ridge, SD, to Eldred O. Brave Eagle Sr and Carol L Emery. Eldred Jr made his journey to the Spirit World on October 26, 2022, at the Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD.

“Little Sonny” was a beautiful baby boy, a cute kid, and a nice young man. His aunt Dorothy and sister cousins Dawn and Dayna Brave Eagle babysat for him when he was a baby, changed his diapers. and dressed him in stylish clothes with a traditional Lakota motif. He attended Montessori School, where he thrived. He also attended Little Wound School.

When Sonny was 5, he was joined in the Brave Eagle-Emery household by Baby Michael Bush – Carol’s grandson from her daughter, Diane Van Norman. Sonny and Mike were soon a team of dancers – Traditional for Sonny, and Grass for Mike. They both loved the Denver Broncos and Championship Wrestling.

Sonny grew up in Denver, CO, as a diehard Denver Broncos fan and watched every game on television. Sonny  attended Munroe Middle School, where he learned how to play the cello. 

He helped his dad with performing in the Denver Public Schools, sharing our Lakota culture by singing and dancing. “Big Sonny” took him everywhere for powwows, ceremonies, and to visit relatives including Kyle, Pine Ridge, and Lower Brule, to name a few,. 

He graduated High School from Denver and the family moved back to the Cheyenne River Reservation at Green Grass, SD where they lived at Uncle Steve Emery’s house for several years.

Sonny spoke often of his time in Denver and all the good memories he had from his younger days. He spent his formative years in Eagle Butte to the remainder of his days.

Sonny valued his Lakota way of life, so when it came to ceremonies, powwows, or honorings, he would always sing for the people whenever needed. He loved his Lakota culture, singing, dancing, sundancing, and all ceremonies. 

Sonny helped his dad prepare for sundance in Wanblee, SD at Richard “Dicky” Moves Camp and later in Porcupine with Dave Swallow. Sonny also attended West Fest in Vale, CO, where he met Michael Martin Murphy.

Sonny was known for his comic relief and for bringing people together. He valued family and took being a Grandfather, brother, and being a true Lakota to heart. Every time you visited him, he would offer you coffee and share a humorous conversation.

When Sonny was 18, he fell in love with Sarah Nevitt from Denver, CO. When they were 20 and 21 respectively, Sonny and Sarah married in Timberlake, SD. From their marriage, they had 2 well-loved daughters: EldreAnna, 20, named for Sonny, and Lisa Brave Eagle, “Little Lisa”, 18.

In 2001, Sonny moved to the country in Green Grass, where he lived with his mother at his brother’s house. While there, he took care of horses, fixed fences, hauled hay and all that includes the upkeep of the horse. 

EldreAnna loved the dogs and cats and was known to pull their tails on occasion, which the pets put up with after a startled jump or quick escape. EldreAnna was quite a horseback rider, and Sonny loved to put her on the horses, after feeding oats. 

Lisa was a smiley little baby with a happy demeanor, tugging at EldreAnna’s sleeves. Sonny and Sarah and Kids lived with Grandpa Sonny and Grandma Carol. Sonny would put the girls on a horse called Big Mama. They loved riding and caring for their horses. They would ride horses with their cousin, Michael Bush. They were also grandpa’s little girls. Grandpa Sonny was a known traditional leader and singer.

In 2007, Sonny  married his cante skuya Jaimie Morrison in Cheyenne River Tribal Court. That same year, they adopted their grandchild, Kambria Tamayo, and would later take in her sister Kamilla Chips, brother Carlos “Bubba,” and baby Solei Chips. He was a proud grandpa to all his 23 grandchildren.

Sonny spent his final years in Swiftbird, SD, with his special grandson “Bubba”. He would do odd jobs for Jaimie Ducheneaux due to his severe health problems. He was very proud of being sober during his last year on Unci Maka.

Sonny had a dog named Snowball he raised as a puppy who turned out to be Sonny’s best friend. Snowball passed away a few years ago.

Sonny is survived by his mother Carol Emery of Rapid City, SD; daughters EldreeAnna and Lisa Brave Eagle, Ames, Iowa; brothers Mark Van Norman of Washington, DC; Tom Van Norman, and Michael Bush (his cousin, but raised as a brother) of Eagle Butte, SD; sisters Dayna Brave Eagle of Yellow Bear and Dawn Brave Eagle of Pine Ridge; aunts Ruby Brave Eagle of Denver, CO, and Imogene Roy of Kyle; hunka father Dr Allen “Chuck” Ross of Rapid City, SD; and special companion Jowetta Black Bear of Rosebud, SD.

Ancestors greeting Sonny in the Spirit World include his father Eldred Brave Eagle Sr.; brother Steven Emery Sr; sister Diane Bush; hunka mother Dorothy Brave Eagle; grandparents Isaac Brave Eagle and Matilda Nora Salway; great-grandparents Oscar Brave Eagle, Emma White Face, Charles Salway and Jesse LaDeau; uncles Douglas Forward and Isaac Brave Eagle Jr; and aunts Spyna Jessie, Elaine and Eldean Brave Eagle.

Pallbearers will be Julian Chips, Jeshua Estes, Jaime Ducheneaux, Casey Morrison, Steven Emery Jr, James Emery, Michael Bush, Dominick Emery, Max Emery, Terrance Roy and Gerald Roy.

Honorary pallbearers will be Wakinyan Pheta Drum, Jowetta Black Bear, High Bear Family Cook Family, Randy Emery, Krystal, Kelsey, and Kaitlyn Brave Eagle, Lonee Roy, All of his Koyalapi of Swiftbird, SD and All Friends & Relatives.

Arrangements entrusted with Sioux Funeral Home of Pine Ridge, SD

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