Posted 2/16/16 (Tue)
Geraldine “Geri” Van Dyke, 92, - Clam Shell Woman (Ma∙oh∙Ke Mea). Geri peacefully entered into the spirit world just before midnight Feb. 5, 2016, at the Good Shepherd Home in Watford City, N.D., where she shared a room with her sister, Rita, since July 2013. They both spoke fluent Hidatsa and kept the staff baffled, with their “little” antics.
Geraldine was born July 2, 1923, to Guy Black Hawk (Water Buster Clan) and Addie Huber (Prairie Chicken Clan) at the Independence District of Fort Berthold Reservation.
Geri completed eighth grade by attending Catholic mission school(s) in South Dakota along with her siblings.
During the late 1940’s, she and her older sister, Rita moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota and found employment at a clothing factory and later moved to California where she worked at a ship yard.
Purley W. Van Dyke and Geraldine were married on Oct. 18, 1958, then settled close to the Heart Butte area, where they had BIA Range Unit 19 until 1976. They had no children, but kept busy with their home place and also worked with Ben Baye on the Hans and Mercy Walker Ranch.
Geri took part in the fall roundups, riding with the men, which included her brother Kingden, nephew Thomas Black Hawk, Sr., and a few other relatives. Someone told her to do the cooking instead of riding, so she cooked for the roundups for a number of years.
Purley departed this life on May 19, 2000, but Geri continued to live out in the country, assisting with maintaining her home place, which included the yearly job of repairing fences.
Spring of 2010 was the last time her private lands were leased for summer pasture. Geri “tried out” assisted living for a few months during the Spring of 2010, but it was too expensive. She then purchased a home on March 1, 2011, and permanently moved to New Town.
Ranch work, gardening, beading, and sewing clothing were her hobbies. Those fortunate enough to receive beaded items or a snap button western shirt as gifts from Ma Doh Ke Mea appreciated the meticulous effort put into each item. Record keeping was also a pastime, cataloging each beaded item and how the money was spent. Her diaries were filled with many interesting and sometimes funny stories, regarding their trips to town and her pet dogs.
Ma Doh Ke Mea enjoyed the Hidatsa tradition(s) and language. She considered her brother’s and sister’s grandchildren as her grandchildren, per tradition.
Geraldine is survived by her 101 year old sister, Rita Hawk, along with numerous nieces, nephews and their families.
Preceding her in death were her husband, parents, grandparents, brothers; John Stone, Sr., Kingden Black Hawk, Frederick Black Hawk; sisters; Louise Finley, Maria Lincoln, Catherine Fredericks; many nieces, nephews, and others.
Funeral arrangements were made according to Geri’s wishes, along with her list for the senior, active and honorary pallbearers.
Wake services were at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2016, at St. Anthony Church in Mandaree, N.D. Funeral services were held at 10 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 9, 2016, at St. Anthony Church in Mandaree, N.D. Burial followed the funeral in St. Anthony Church Cemetery
Fulkerson Stevenson Funeral Home has been entrusted with services and arrangements.
Friends of Geri’s can go to www.Fulkersons.com to leave their condolences.