BERNICE JOAN FOX (Singing in the Water - “Iitsooyainihkii”), beloved wife of the late Floyd Charles Fox (“Kayiihtsipikkimaan” – Spotted Eagle Feather) from Kainai, passed away peacefully at the Edith Cavell Care Centre on Monday, October 7, 2019 at the age of 86 years old. Bernice will be called home to her parents, Isabel and Jim Big Throat; husband, Floyd Fox; eldest son, Clement Fox and her youngest daughter and baby, Melody Fox; grandsons, Jamie Robin Fox and Kendall Charles Fox; and her brother Roland Big Throat, also Roland Jr. Big Throat, Jim Big Throat, Jimmy Shot Both Sides and all her relations who have gone home to Creator before her.
Bernice was born on March 31, 1933 at the Blood Indian Hospital, to her parents the late Isabel (Berry Child) and Jim Big Throat. Bernice grew up in Browning, Montana where her mother Isabel was born. Bernice also grew up on her father’s reservation – the Blood Indian Reserve. Bernice received her education from the St. Albert Convent as well as the Mount Royal College, where she studied Early Childhood Education. Excelling in her studies, Bernice was often called upon to assist her college instructors with teaching the program. Bernice was a certified florist, creating beautiful floral arrangements for many people in the various Southern Alberta communities. Bernice was a very skilled seamstress, meanwhile teaching others various skills such as sewing, crocheting, knitting and baking. Bernice loved taking care of her family as a homemaker, sewing for her children and cooking for everyone. Bernice also had a deep love for music, as she played several instruments including: violin, organ, piano, guitar and accordion; thereby, ensuring her three sons followed in her footsteps attaining their own musical and artistic abilities. In another area of her career pathway, Bernice maintained a position with Indian Affairs as a Native Liaison Case Worker, supporting families and children, in addition to working as a reporter for Kainai News. Bernice was close with her siblings and had many wonderful memories raising their children together and socializing with her sisters. The matriarchal bond Bernice shared with her sisters, she carried forward with many cherished moments, and time spent visiting with her daughters and granddaughters.
As a child, Bernice was involved in athletics as a fast cross country runner and accomplished horsewoman. Bernice loved competing in many rodeos as a champion barrel racer, winning two I.R.C.A. Championship titles in 1964 and 1967 with her horse, Buttons. Bernice was also a skilled racehorse trainer in Fort Benton, Montana, alongside her husband, Floyd and her father Jim. One of Bernice’s most memorable trips was traveling with her family into California through to the Redwood Forest and further on to see the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Bernice had a very friendly and sociable personality, making many friends wherever she travelled. She loved to laugh and tell jokes with her family and friends, and always had a twinkle in her eyes and a kind smile to everyone she met. Bernice was a confident, creative, gifted, smart and strong Blackfeet/Blackfoot woman – who always worked hard throughout her lifetime taking care of her children/grandchildren and spending time with her many grandchildren. She was a devout Catholic who dedicated her faith and prayers especially to the Rosary and the Blessed Virgin Mother Mary. Bernice was a fluent Blackfoot speaker and proud of her Blackfoot culture and heritage.
Bernice is survived by sons: Gordon Alex Fox (Mary), Eugene Fox; daughters Anna-Joyce Frank (Randy Frank), Marsha Fox, Carmen Fox (Mike Low), and Cheryle Fox. Grandchildren: Shane Little Bear (Sherry), Corey Fox, Jan Fox, Alex Fox-North Peigan; Lennie Fox, Shaneen Fox (Neal Thunder Chief), Andrea True Joy Fox; Shayla Shot Both Sides; Kristian Frank (Tyler Goodstriker), Karmen Frank; Logan Fox, Dylan Fox, Rory Fox, Zachariah Fox, Noah Fox; Terrelle Fox-Grey, Elizabeth Fox-Grey, Eden Fox-Grey; Jobe Fox, Julienn Fox-King. Siblings: Verna Fox, Joanne Davis-Spearson, Frisco Little Light, Eugene Creighton, Randy Bottle, and Carrie First Rider; sister in-law, Peggy Big Throat, also Fabian (Trish) Shot Both Sides, LeeAnne (Darcy) Russelle, Lorand (Kelly Marie) Big Throat, Desi (Julie) Big Throat, Rolanda Big Throat.*We would like to make special mention of one of her best friends throughout her lifetime, Lena Russell.
We would also like to acknowledge the love Bernice had for her many great-grand children, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends from the Blood Tribe and Browning, Montana.
A Family Service will be held at Legacy Funeral Home, Cardston on Friday, October 11, from 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. followed by the Wake Service at Legacy Funeral Home from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. The Funeral Mass will be at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Blood Reserve on Saturday, October 12th at 11:00 a.m. Interment in the Blood Band Cemetery. Condolences may be sent by CLICKING HERE.
LEGACY FUNERAL HOMES LTD., CARDSTON Assisting the Family. Phone 403-653-3222.