Truman C. Jefferson, Good Rope, “Baalishiiche,” 69, made his journey home on Oct. 14, 2020, at Big Horn County Memorial Hospital. He was born May 22, 1951, to Pansy Hugs and Lester Jefferson, Jr.
Truman was raised by his grandmother, Winona Yellowtail Plentyhoops. He learned the ways of her life as she taught him how to help others, praying and helping with medicinal plants, keeping the Crow Culture, language and songs alive. Praying and believing in the best of people. Sharing the gifts from his ancestors.
In 1970, he graduated from Lodge Grass High School. As an athlete, he excelled in basketball, track and field, and football. He played three years of football, track and field and javelin. He was a two-time state champion – mile and 2-mile, holding the record for 46 years and was honored on the Lodge Grass High School Wall of Fame. In 1974, he graduated from MSU Billings, receiving his bachelor of science in Physical Education. In 1976, he taught at Pretty Eagle Schools as he mentored young men. They became lifelong friends as years went by. He taught at Lodge Grass High School and coached the Junior Varsity basketball and later was an athletic director. He also taught in Wyola Schools and was a major role in the team of building the bilingual program. He was an individual who brought excitement to any place he was. He would bring in reeled movies and popcorn for the students. In 1977, he moved his family to White Shield, ND, teaching and coaching the Boys and Girls Basketball teams. In 1977, he qualified to the INFR in Bulldogging at Salt Lake City, Utah. In 1982, he was elected for the Crow Fair All-Indian-Rodeo Manager.
In 1984-’88, he was elected as the Secretary of the Crow Tribe. He was on the board for the Intertribal Bison Association for eight years in Rapid City, SD. In 2001, he helped organized the Sheridan WYO Parade and Powwow for 18 successful years. His integrity has been handed down from his mother Winona Yellowtail-Plenty Hoops, great-grandfather Robert Summers and many others influencing him to be the great leader he was. Because of his strong ancestry and history of the family, friends and business associates of Sheridan honored the family, Yellowtail Drive in Sheridan, Wyoming. He was an influential and a motivating speaker, great storyteller with humor that everyone still remembers him. He was esteemed in the political arena. During the Chairmanship of the late Carl Venne, he requested Truman to design along with two artists, Butch Jellis and Kennard Real Bird, in the creation of the Veterans Park in Crow Agency for the Native Days Celebrations. He was instrumental and highly respected in the business community, education, past mayors, city council, state senators, as he was called upon to pray and bless in groundbreaking of new business in Sheridan, WY.
When Robert Yellowtail was a superintendent, he returned the buffalo from Yellowstone Park to the Crow Land. Since that time, he has always had the passion to protect the buffalo and caring for the land they graze, working with Alvin Oliver Yarlott and family to protect the Crow Tribe Buffalo Pasture.
He leaves behind three children: Kristi and Richard Old Coyote, Truman “Boogie” and Brittany Jefferson, Tasha and Shann Iron; grandchildren Taylor and Coty Real Bird, Hayley, Tyrell, Monica, Isiah, Tammy, Bodee, Trotter, Karver, Akias, Paige, Tashanna, Blake, and Hudson; great-grandchildren, Collyn, Ethan, Deisal, Cason; his siblings: Rueban Yellowtail, Susan Birdinground, Colleen, Ricky, Marvin Stops, Butch Jellis, Mary Whiteman, Theda, Ervin Jefferson, and Tina Alden. Adopted into the Tobacco Society by Sarah Pretty Paint. Siblings include Marlene Walking Bear, Stanley and Debbie Pretty Paint.
Preceded in death by his mothers, Pansy Hugs, Winona and Hugh Plenty Hoops, Joy Toineeta, Marjorie Yellowtail; father Lester Jefferson, Jr.; great-grandfather Robert Yellowtail; great-grandmother Clara Spotted Horse; granddaughter Tammy Faith Jefferson; brothers Poor Boy, Sebastian Stops, Franklin Plentyhoops, Oliver “Sonny” Hugs, Harold Jefferson, Lester Jefferson, III; sister Lois Jefferson; brother Giggs (Marie) Yellowtail, Ronnie Stewart; grandmother Chiiluxxtush; grandfather Oliver Hugs, Sr., Descendant of Fire Bear, Goes Ahead, Charges Strong, Bearbelow, Carpenter, Hunts the Arrow, Little Owl, Spotted Horse, Stewart, Yellowtail, Morrison, Iron, Hugs, and Frank Backbone family.