It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Kaahtoi’poyi (stood beside each of them) – Gustave Sherwin Many Bears, December 15, 2021 at the age of 69 years old. Gus was born May 18, 1952 in Cardston, Alberta to George and Irene (nee Mistaken Chief) Many Bears.
His son Stevie Ty, Brothers William Many Bears, Sisters Shirley Starlight, Delia (Pat) Twigg, and Hanna, his nieces Irene, Trisha, Gina, Nikki, Angela, and Kristen, nephews Joe, Doug, and Boss Q., survived Gus. Also, grand nieces and nephews, Aunty Mary Steele, and adopted children.
Extended Family are the Many Bears, Mistaken Chief, Blood, Long Time Squirrel, Many Gray Horses, Bruised Head, Cross Child, Red Crow, Beebe, White Man Left, Eagle Bears, Steele and others too numerous to mention.
Gus was predeceased by Annette, Gordon Jr., Grandmother Anna White Man Left, Parents George and Irene Many Bears, Sisters Antonia Rita, and Marlene Vera, and his brothers Delbert, Brian and Bill, along with his Niece and Nephews Wilomena and William Jr. Many Bears, Sheldon Many Bears, grandnephew Jamie Black Rabbit, grandniece Ariel Old Shoes, and numerous aunts and uncles.
Gus’ loved his son Stevie Ty with all his heart. His dream was to get his own place so he could live with his son Stevie. He will be sadly missed every day.
Gus loved his nieces and nephews; he also loved to visit with relatives and their children. He loved to joke with everyone.
Gus was the youngest of 4 boys. At a young age Gus worked for “The Boss” (dad) helping his father and brothers with family Haying, Farming, and Ranching. He also worked at various labor jobs, addictions counselling, and security. He spent a number of years in Calgary where he went to school (AVC) and got a certificate in Security then worked downtown Calgary as a night security. Gus later got training in addictions counselling and then worked for Sunrise Healing Lodge Center and Aboriginal Friendship Center of Calgary. As his diabetes escalated, he was not able to work and drive any longer. Up until that time, we recognized from afar that Maroon colored mini van and that big black hat at the driver’s side, “here comes Gus or there goes Gus”.
Gus was a Boarding School survivor; he attended St. Mary’s High School on the Blood Reserve. It was during his school years that Gus played Basketball, High School Hockey, Football and started in the rodeo Bareback Riding event. Gus did encounter the likes of champion bucking horses Moonlight and Applejack at the Standoff Rodeo “He was a tough bareback rider” (Mike). His hobbies and education were more in the line of leather crafts, caring for horses and doing some Addictions counselling.
Leather crafts, was an art form for him. He made beautiful chaps and belts for many cowboys and cowgirls. His interests and hobbies centered on the Horse and the Rodeo scene. He received his first horse at a very young age and one would guess that this provided therapy for him because life was difficult for him already.
He cared about those with addictions, not to be judgmental but just to be an understanding friend.
Gus was a free spirit to say the least. The more restrictions his sickness demanded the more he fought to be free. He purchased used vehicles and horses from people. At the time of his passing, he probably owned enough used vehicles to have a small used car lot…it is unknown how many head of horses he owned by then. One could hazard a guess that he was going to ride to freedom either in one of his vehicles, which he probably strategically parked, or on horseback, which he strategically pastured.
Gus only depended on Gus. Gus passed away free from an institution as he chose, he was a free spirit to his last day. The more you tried to confine him the more he fought for his freedom. People loved his sense of humor, friendship, and caring. To the caregivers of the long term care facilities, from the family, we appreciate your attempts to care for Gus. He did not want to be confined in spite of his deteriorating health.
We have all shared a belly laugh and just shared his life in general, we will fondly remember Gus, we will miss his humor, kindness and thoughtfulness. “He was a Cool Uncle” never any expectations…just uncle. (Kristen)
The family apologizes to anyone for those we may have not mentioned, and we extend our sincerest thank you to all who have helped in preparing the funeral arrangements. Special thanks to his friends who always took him in and cared for him.
A Wake Service will be held on Monday, December 27 from 4:00 - 8:00 pm at Legacy Funeral Home, Cardston. The Funeral Mass will be held on Tuesday, December 28 at 11:00 am at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Blood Reserve. Interment in St. Catherine’s Cemetery, Stand Off. COVID protocols and number restrictions will be in place for everyone safety.