Ivan G. Bettelyoun was born July 9, 1943, in Tuthill, S.D., to Earl and Mabel (Dunlop) Bettelyoun. Ivan, 75, of Oglala, made his journey to the Spirit World on July 1, 2019, at the Select Specialty Hospital in Sioux Falls. He was a veteran of the United States Army.
Ivan was courageous, kind-hearted, generous, honesty, hardworking, and a role model for many. He had a unique sense of humor that was always accompanied by the mischievous twinkle in his eyes. He was a firm believer in maintaining our reservations, and he was always looking for ways to improve life on the reservation.
After serving in the US Army, he returned home to earn his GED. His next goal was college; he enrolled in Black Hills State College and graduated three years later in 1971 with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration. He immediately went to work for the Oglala Sioux Tribe where he served the people in many capacities over the next 25 years, including two terms as Tribal Treasurer. He also worked for many years in the White Clay District as President of the District Council, President of the Local Law and Order Review Board, and he helped establish the White Clay District Ambulance Service. In 1986, he started Ivan’s HWY 18 Store in the Oglala district to help serve the needs of the people. He also worked as Business Manager for Loneman School, Wounded Knee District School, and as Federal Programs Accountant for Oglala Lakota County Schools. He worked in many positions in the area of Business and Finance. When there were no jobs available for him, he supported his family by farming and ranching.
The role he was the proudest of was host of the Sunday Morning Country Gospel Program on KILI Radio. Anyone who knew Ivan knew how much he loved old country music. He was a wonderful singer and guitar player. He would always be available to go “up to the butte” to play on most holidays. Unfortunately, the program was ended after his 15 years of service, but he continued to play at other events up until the time of his illness.
Ivan is survived by his wife, Margi Bettelyoun of Oglala, SD; sons, Chad Bettelyoun (Blu) of Rapid City, SD, and Todd Bettelyoun of Little Canada, MN; daughter, Kim Bettelyoun of Oglala, SD; grandchildren, Donna He Crow, Hayley He Crow, Cody He Crow, Andrew Bettelyoun, Darren Bettelyoun, Jeff Janis, Romey Janis, Daniel LaMont, and Cody Kemp; great granddaughter, Esmerelda He Crow; sister, and Kay Ferguson of Kyle, SD. Ivan loved his family very much and they were always his main concern.
Ivan was preceded in death by his parents, Earl and Mabel Bettelyoun; two brothers, Mike and Bob Bettelyoun; two sisters, Maxine Fowler and Pearl Herman; and one daughter, Pamela Rae Bettelyoun.
Wake Services: One night wake service starting at 3:00 PM, Monday, July 8, 2019 at the Brother Rene Hall in Oglala, SD with evening services starting at 7:00 PM.
Funeral Services: 10:00 AM, Tuesday, July 9, 2019 at the Brother Rene Hall in Oglala, SD
Officiating: Rev. Asa Wilson and Pastor Elton Yellow Boy
Traditional Lakota Services: Mr. Ivis Long Visitor
Graveside Services: 2:30 PM, Tuesday, July 9, 2019 at the Black Hills National Cemetery in Sturgis, SD.
Arrangements entrusted with Sioux Funeral Home of Pine Ridge, SD