Jun 8, 2017 - From staff reportsElizabeth "Betty" Ridgely of Ethete died Saturday, June 3, 2017, as a result of extensive trauma from a car accident. She was 67 years old.
A rosary will be recited at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 8, 2017, at Davis Funeral Home. A second rosary will be recited at 7 p.m. Friday, June 9, 2017, at Blue Sky Hall with the wake to follow at 799 Ethete Road. The funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 10, 2017, at Blue Sky Hall with Father Dave Matzko officiating the funeral mass. Burial will follow at Ridgely Family Cemetery.
Elizabeth Jean Ridgely was born Sept. 10, 1949, in Thermopolis to Eugene Ridgely Sr. and Lucille Mae (Goggles) Ridgely. She grew up on the Wind River Reservation attending schools at Millcreek, St. Stephen's High School and graduated from Fremont County Vocational High School in 1968. She attended Central Wyoming College and later transferred to Haskell Indian Nations University.
She was baptized into the Catholic faith and attended St. Stephen's Catholic Church. She was also a member of the Native American Church and was very respectful of the Northern Arapaho ceremonies. Her Arapaho name was Bee3einooonesei or "Cedar Tree Woman."
She was married to John "Big John" P. Smith at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Ethete. He preceded her in death.
She was a crime victims advocate for the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes for more than 20 years. Before she took that position she worked as a para for Wyoming Indian High School.
She loved the casinos, and her family said that "Reno was her paradise." She was a talented artist of Native American crafts, and she had her paintings displayed at the Wind River Casino.
She was a collector of Elvis memorabilia and loved both rock and roll and country music. She was also involved with 4-H and was a seamstress and a homemaker. Above all her family and friends were her top priority and she "enjoyed life."
She is survived by her son, Bryce (Joanna) Smith; daughter, Johnna (Melvin) Arthur; adopted sons Isaac Bell (Whitebull), Stephen Headly and Dawson Smith; godson, Brandon Brown; goddaughter, Kari Topuam; companion, Mike Beavers; grandchildren Shawn Dorrell "Moose," Baby Ouray Smith and Ty and Lovell Arthur; brothers Gail (Kathryn) Ridgely, Eugene (Rowena) Ridgely Jr. and Ben (Rita Brown) Ridgely and George Warren and Brian Enos; sister, Eugenie (Steve) Hvizdak; adopted sisters Lenou Underwood, Connie Underwood, Rickina Armour, Aleta Moss, Mavna Moss, Debbie Antelope, Sandi Iron Cloud, Alvalene Glenmore, Aldene Underwood, Cheryl, Gina, and Vickie Enos, Elizabeth Willow, Sheryl Arthur, Nola Weeks and Linda Munnell; uncles Hugh Ridgley, Mike Toahty, Arnold Littlecreek, Bobby
Shakespeare, George Enos, Cletus Yellow Plume, Douglas Goggles, Eugene Goggles, John
Goggles and Owen Goggles; aunts Ruth Mary Goggles, Shirlie Enos, Marylou Stevens, Gloria Uranga, Joyce Martinez, Janice Goggles, Frances Merle Hass, Cordillia Yellow Plume, Ruth Big Lake, Catherine Red Cloud and Marilyn Wanstall; the Shakespeare family, Warren family, Brown family, Goggles family, Harris family, Whiteplume family, Moss family, Miller family, Friday Family, Wanstall Family and Soldier Wolf family; extended families HeCrow and Amiots of Pine Ridge, S.D., Little Whiteman, Ridge Bear and Red Birds of Lame Deer, Montana, Pratts, Stevens, Uranga and Toahty of Oklahoma and Tom (Beverly) Meier of Boulder, Colorado; and numerous nieces, nephews and grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Eugene and Lucille Ridgely Sr.; uncles Bobby Jo Goggles, Richard "Big Rock" Shakespaere, Chris Goggles, Alonzo Moss Sr. and Norman Moss; Thelma Hungry, Gladys Moss and Zona Moss; grandmother, Frances C'Hair; grandfather, Benjamin Goggles; and grandparents, Scott and Blanche Ridgely..
Services are under the direction of Davis Funeral Home.
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