Dana Lynn Lonehill was born on a leap day, February 29, 1972, because then she could pretend her birthday was both on February 28, March 1, and sometimes she would try for the 2nd, too. She was raised by powerful Lakota matriarchs, Grandma Dod (Darlene McLaughlin) and her mother, Jeaneen Lonehill. At age 5, she watched them fighting and screaming about a baseball game, Grandma Dod would kick Jeaneen out of the front door and Jeaneen would sneak in through the back door to watch the game. From there, Dana was hooked, she had no chance but to be unique, funny, brilliant, and a hardcore Yankees fan for the rest of her life.
Along with her little brother and heartbeat, Travis, Dana was rooted on the Pine Ridge reservation, where she learned the Lakota traditions and values that she would carry with her in all her work. At age 4, Dana started writing and her poetry was published at the age of 8. As an adult, she became an activist writer and cared deeply about the future of her people. In Dana’s words, “We have to know our history in order to move forward. Our Elders tell us all the time what happened to them. We can’t forget our history or get over it. It’s about going forward from it. We’re still here.” With her authentic voice, she was a freelance writer for The Guardian, Lakota Country Times, Last Real Indians, The Intersection of Madness and Reality, LA Progressive, and wrote for her blog JUSTAREZCHICK. In 2015, she published a book, Pointing with Lips; A week in the life of a rez chick.
Dana worked hard to preserve her traditional ways and was a true artist with many skills. She blessed many with her beautiful beadwork, quillwork, poetry, and paintings. She was a devoted mother, a doting grandmother, loving daughter, sister, aunt, and niece. Her family depended on her and her constant smile. She will be remembered for her creative spirit and beautiful writing, and also for her relentless teasing, chicken adobo, and wateca skills.
Dana, age 47, of Red Wing, Minn., passed away in Lake City, Minnesota, on November 15, 2019. Her last wish was for her kids to spread her ashes at Yankee Stadium, and for someone to bail them out.
Dana is survived by her father, Bob Lone Elk; brothers, Travis (Calais) Lone Elk, Jesse (Rita) Grey Eagle, Jaron Grey Eagle, Wakiya No Moccassin, and Keith Reynolds; sisters, Jaida Grey Eagle, Jenna (Liz) Grey Eagle, Jonna Grey Eagle, Kayla Gomez, and Shannon Lays Bad; sons, Ty (Maddie) Dixon, Jalen Dixon, Stephon Dixon; daughter, Justice Lonehill; two granddaughters, Amelia and Jorah Dixon; Grandmother Lucielle Lone Elk; and stepsisters, Leticia Fasthorse-Mesteh, Tashina Fasthorse, Zannita Fasthorse-Pongah, and Sheyota Fasthorse.
Dana is preceded in death by her mother, Jeaneen Lonehill-Grey Eagle; grandparents, Hobart and Poxy Lonehill, Gerald “Rusty” Mclaughlin Sr., Darlene “Dod” McLaughlin; maternal great grandparents, Levi Amiotte and Louis (Janis) Amiotte, Hobert Lonehill Sr. and Mary (Eagle Bull) Lonehill; and paternal great grandparents, Frank and Agnis Lone Elk.
Pallbearers will be Steven Shangreaux, Jr., Flint Tall, Carter Dixon, Joe Dixon, Sam Arcoren, and Casey McLaughlin.
Honorary pallbearers will be Joy Lynn Brewer, Lisa Bagola, Sarah Jumping Eagle, Samantha Tix, Jessica Wallowing Bull, Thil Weahkbe, Tobias Good Iron, Gregory Marto, Tonya Giago, Amy Dixon, and All Of Her Friends & Family That Adore Her.
Wake Services: One night wake service starting at 3:00 PM, Friday, November 22, 2019 at the Elderly Meals Building in Porcupine, SD with evening services starting at 7:00 PM
Funeral Services: 1:00 PM, Saturday, November 23, 2019 at the Elderly Meals Building in Porcupine, SD.
Traditional Lakota Services: Mr. David Swallow and Mr. Dick Marshall
Graveside Services: Cremation to follow services
Arrangements entrusted with Sioux Funeral Home of Pine Ridge, SD