2010-05-04 / The Holy Road

Gerald D. "Buzz" Bettelyoun ~

RAPID CITY - Gerald D. "Buzz" Bettelyoun, "Wanbli Tokahe", 70, Rapid City, long time Indian educator who was currently teaching welding at Pine Ridge High School, passed away Wednesday, April 28, 2010, at Rapid City Regional Hospital.

Buzz was born March 31, 1940, to Lorenzo and Alma (Maple) Bettelyoun at Pine Ridge Hospital. He graduated from Provo High School in 1958, where he was class vice-president. He joined the U.S. Army and after his discharge, earned a degree from Black Hills State College in Industrial Arts. He spent the rest of his life teaching Native American youth at high schools in Todd County, St Labre, Mont., Kyle, Allen and Pine Ridge. On Nov. 26, 1973, he married Maxine McCall in Box Elder. Buzz was an active outdoorsman who loved hunting, fishing and his dogs. He was loved dearly by his family and friends. His heart was always with his Tiospaye.

He is survived by his wife, Maxine K. Bettelyoun, Rapid City; a son, Joe Bettelyoun, Spearfish; three daughters, Cindy Madsen, and her husband, Kenny, Box Elder, Kim Bettelyoun, Deadwood, and Christine Etzrodt, Rapid City; five sisters, Maxine Boekhout, and her husband Corney, Rapid City, Wanda Wilson, Rapid City, Lila Harrington, Hot Springs, Pauline Harrington and her husband, Don, Hill City, and Robin Madsen, Rapid City; two brothers, Lorenzo "Jr." Bettelyoun, Rapid City, and Mike Wagner and his wife, Terry, Rapid City; eight grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins and his huaka. He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother and an infant great-grandson.

Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. today at Edstrom & Rooks Funeral Services at Serenity Springs, Chapel of Tranquility. A second visitation will begin at 12:30 p.m. Monday, May 3, at Pine Ridge High School in Pine Ridge.

Funeral Services will be at 2 p.m. at the school, with Marei Kingi officiating.

Interment will be at LaCreek Cemetery, with military honors provided by the American Legion. Friends may sign his online guest book and offer condolences at

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