Tresita (Red Legs) Wilson

Funeral services for 68-year old Tresita Ann (Red Legs) Wilson are Friday, March 26, 2021 at 10:00 at the Makasan Presbyterian Church in Oglala, SD. with a second service Saturday, March 27, at 10:00 at the Community Center in Little Eagle, SD.

Pastor Karen Rupp, Father Kim Fonder, and the Standing Rock Lay Readers will officiate with traditional Lakota services by Mr Richard Broken Nose & Mr Wayne Weston

Burial is at the Good Shepherd Episcopal Cemetery in Little Eagle, SD. 

A two-night wake service starts Thursday, March 25, at 3:00 PM, also at the Makasan Presbyterian Church in Oglala, SD with evening services starting at 7:00 PM.

The second night starts at Friday, March 26, at 5:00 at the Community Center in Little Eagle with evening services starting at 7:00.

Tresita Ann (Red Legs) Wilson “Tasunka Ska Ota Wi” was born on April 23, 1952 in Fort Yates, ND to Henry Red Legs, Sr. and Magdalena (Red Door) Red Legs.  She went peacefully home to be with her Lord in the early morning hours of March 18, 2021 after fighting a long battle with end stage renal disease, she was 68 years old.  

“Tasunka Ska Ota Wi” was her Lakota name that was given to her by her grandfather when she was a little girl. The name means, “Woman with many white horses,” this was her grandmother’s Lakota name that she passed onto her, which she wore proudly.  

Tresita grew up in Little Oak Creek near Little Eagle, SD on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, she was the oldest of the family.  She had four sisters, Almira, Arlene, Patricia, & Henrietta and six brothers, Orlando, Elfredo, Terrance, Franklin, William, & Henry, Jr. all born after her.  

Her favorite brother she took care of was Henry Jr. since he was the baby of the family.  She was always holding him, changing his dirty diapers, and feeding him.  She was always close to him that some people thought that he was hers, but her parents would tell them no, that was her little baby brother.  

Since she was the oldest of the siblings, she had to learn to take care of her young siblings when her mom was unable to due to illnesses.  As a young girl, she learned how to cook, wash clothes, and make sure they were all fed and taken care of.  Though it was a lot of hard work, she didn’t mind doing this for them because she loved all of them just as if they were her own children.  

At the age of 6, she began her formal education by attending Little Eagle Day School and graduating from the 8th grade.  From there she went to attend various schools in the area.  Among the schools she attended were St. Elizabeth Episcopal Mission Boarding School, McLaughlin Public School, & Fort Yates High School. 

In high school, her and three other girls who were friends were very popular, every Saturday night the school would sponsor these “White Dances” so they were called back then.  Tresita and her friends would dance up a storm, they were so good at it that all the high school students would gather around them to watch them dance to wild rock and roll songs such as “Wooly Bully” and other crazy songs. 

 Her years in high school were average, she made a lot of friends and liked her classes.  In her Junior year of high school, she had to quit school to return home to help her dad take care of the younger children as their mom became ill and had to be hospitalized.  After her mom recovered, she did not return to school and did not get to graduate with her class but continued to stay at home taking care of her mom.  

As a young girl she grew up in the Episcopal Church Good Shepherd, where her dad was a lay reader for many years.  Her mom was also involved in the church as well, doing what she could to help her husband.  Tresita was confirmed as a church member at the age of 12 by the Episcopal Bishop.  

From there on, she began to help in the church and was elected to serve as the Sunday School Superintendent.  She enjoyed working in the church and working with the children by reading stories from the bible and doing activities with them.  

It wasn’t soon after that her priest, Rev. David Cochran saw in her potential of being a future church leader.  He asked her if she was interested in going to school, a bible school located in Tempe, AZ the Cook Christian Training School.  With his help, he sent for the admission papers and information about the school and helped her fill them out.  

In the fall of 1971, at the age of 19, she boarded the plane that would take her to Phoenix, AZ.  At first, she was reluctant to go because she would have to leave her parents, brothers, and sisters behind, not knowing what to expect.  

She arrived at Phoenix and was met by two seasoned students from the school, Joe Bad Moccasin and his girlfriend, Sue.  They introduced themselves to her and helped her with her luggage and drove to the school.  When she arrived at the school, it wasn’t what she expected; to her it was a strange place with strange people, the strange people being other people from other tribes.  

This was the first time being far away from home in another state, she couldn’t get used to it and decided that this was not for her; but it wasn’t for the kind help from a member of the faculty, a Lakota Presbyterian Minister named Rev. Sidney Bird convinced her to stay.  After that, she met the love of her life, Asa Wilson.  

To make a long story short, they were married that summer on June 4, 1972 at the All Saints Episcopal Church north of Phoenix, AZ by one of their instructors, Rev. Dr. Remus Muray.  

(Asa writing) The wedding was attended by most of my relatives and family members, but none of her family and relatives were able to make it down. 

I felt bad for her because she was all alone, no one came from her home reservation, not even her parents.  Had I known how close she was to her family and relatives, I would have preferred to have the wedding close to her home in her home church by her pastor. 

 Our first home was on the campus of the Cook Christian Training School, we had our first child, Annette Rose born March 28, 1973 and later Thalia Amaryllis, born May 4, 1975 and Tanya Jolette, born June 21, 1978.  We were blessed with 11 grandchildren.  She loved all her grandchildren very much and very much wanted to see all of them grow up but was cut short due to her passing.  

Wherever we lived, she was always by my side helping me and taking care of our children.  She was eventually able to get her GED while we still lived in Arizona and she would later attend college and take courses for her degree.  

She graduated from Oglala Lakota College earning degrees in counseling, Lakota Language, and Lakota Studies.  She also enrolled in the master’s degree program and was on semester of completing it when she began to take ill and was forced to give it up.  She had thoughts of one day returning and finishing it up but that was not to be.  

She worked and was employed by OLC as a counselor for the students.  She also worked at Loneman School in the Gifted and Talented Department and later as a counselor to the students, her last job before she got sick.  She really enjoyed working with the students whether it be on the college level or elementary level.  

Tresita also enjoyed making star quilts, plastic canvases, beading, sewing, cake decorating, and quilting.  

In addition to her secular work, she was also involved in her church, the Makasan Presbyterian Church of Oglala, SD.  She served as a ruling elder for many years and as the church treasurer.  She loved her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and was willing to serve Him wherever we went and lived.  

She was a very friendly person and enjoyed working with people.  When we had our visiting church summer work camps, she would always be in the kitchen helping them fix their lunches and she would always make Indian Tacos for them.  

With our involvement with our summer work groups, we were invited to their home churches to visit them.  Our travels took us to places such as Baltimore, MD, Murfreesboro, TN, Nashville, TN, Washington D.C., and North Central Iowa.  We even had the privilege to meet country western singer, Marty Steward at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN.  

In the Spring of 2015, she was diagnosed with end-stage renal disease and would have to begin Dialysis treatments right away.  When she heard the bad news, she broke down and cried but I told her not to feel bad because we’ve overcome a good many storms in our lives and this will be another one of them.  

She began her treatments that same year at the Chadron Community Hospital Dialysis Unit.  At first, she did okay; but toward the end of last year, she began to show signs of wanting to give up.  She began to miss her days of treatments and as a result she began to get weaker, losing a lot of weight.  

They told us that because she missed so many treatments that it was impossible for her to go back on it, so they suggested we put in for hospice care. She was in hospice care for two and a half days.  On the morning of March 18, 2021 at 1:45 AM she slowly slipped away quietly and stopped breathing. 

The life that we knew as my wife, mother, and grandmother was gone.  It was like God was looking down on her and said to her that your time has come, you are not going to get well, it is time I take you home where you will not suffer anymore.  

We were married for 48 years, this June would be our 49th year and next year would have been our 50th and we were both looking forward to it; but now it is not going to happen.  Now she is at peace and in the presence of her Lord, Toksha Ake, Tasunka Ska Ota Wi, we will see you again.  

Tresita is survived by her spouse, Rev. Asa Wilson of Chadron, NE; daughters, Annette Peter of Scottsdale, AZ, and Thalia Wilson and Tanya Wilson both of Chadron, NE; siblings, Henry Red Legs, Jr. and Frank Red Legs both of Little Eagle, SD, Arlene Loafer of McLaughlin, SD, and Almira Gerry of Selfridge, ND; and grandchildren, Matyas Bellu, Makai Bellu, Noelani Bellu, Laniah Bellu, Akkina Peter, Jonen Peter, Tellianne Peter, Teja Peter, Anessa Two Bulls, Carlos Santiago, and Zaiden Wilson.

Tresita was preceded in death by her parents, Henry Red Legs, Sr. and Magdalena (Red Door) Red Legs; sisters, Henrietta Red Legs and Patricia Dedman; brothers, Orlando, Alfredo, Terrance & William Red Legs; grandparents, Benedict and Ida Julia Red Legs, Mary Black Tongue & Eli Red Door, and James Martinez; nieces, Tiffany Crow Necklace and JayAnn Baylon; brother-in-law, Bernard Crow Necklace; aunts, Marletta Looking Horse, Arlene Benson, Kwang Red Legs, & Laverra Pay Pay; and uncles, James “Jimmy Boy” Martinez and Carlos Martinez.

Pallbearers will be Jerrod Weston, Grant Weston, Matyas Bellu, Makai Bellu, Jason Lopez, Patrick Killer, Alan Santiago, Isaac Weston, Darnell Kills Small, Henry Red Legs, Jr., Frank Red Legs, Frank Jamerson, Jr, Francis Jamerson, Derek Dedman, Bernerd “check” Crow Necklace, Jr., Damien Red Legs, and Darrell Loafer.  

Honorary pallbearers will be Shirley Blackstone & Family, Gilma Stands & Family, Ingrid One Feather & Family, Georgene Short Bull, Shannon Long, Ruby Schlueter, Rev. Karen & Paul Rupp, Rev. Robert Two Bulls & Family, Venus Rodriguez, Doug & Christie Adams, Pat Walter, Robin Mechado & Family, Alicia Coon-Carpenter, Ashley Simon, Dave Baughman, Rev. George DeMass, Pastor Patrick & Lauren Ashley, Judy White Dress & Family, Rev. Jennifer Swier, Bruce & Gloria Pipe On Head & Family, Diane Pipe On Head, Darlene Helper & Family, Marilyn Sits Poor & Family, Franklin Sits Poor, Genevie Ribitsch & Family, Harmony Straub, Jackie Mousseau & Family, Cherish Janis & Family, Priscilla & Beet Tobacco & Family, Pastor Eric Sutton, Pastor Leon Schwartz, Pastor Eliott & Crystal Morales, Pastor Anthony Watak & Family, Rev. Dan Johnson, Toni Red Cloud & Family, Roxie Whirlwind Horse & Family, Marty Stewart & Connie Smith, All O.L.C. Staff, Instructors, & Students, Pine Ridge I.H.S. Nursing Staff & Doctors, Dr. Brandt, Dr. Raymond, Chadron Community Hospital Dialysis Unit, Loneman School Staff & Teachers, Makasan Presbyterian Church Members, Nason Backs, Richard Broken Nose, Cedric Broken Nose, Regina Brave & Family, Steve & Peggy Carley, Rev. Jodi Matthews, Leona Broken Nose & Family, and All Friends & Relatives.  

Arrangements entrusted with Sioux Funeral Home of Pine Ridge, SD