Rev. Simon Looking Elk
Reverend Simon Peter Looking Elk, “Ho Was’te,” 82, of Rapid City, S.D., died Feb. 28, 2020.
He was born July 22, 1937, to Talbert and Victoria (Holy Rock) Looking Elk at home in Oglala, S.D., on the Pine Ridge Lakota Reservation. He graduated from Pine Ridge High School in 1957.
He married LaVonne Bighorn on Oct.17, 1959, in Fort Kipp.
He attended Huron College briefly, then attended Barnes School of Commerce in Denver, Colo., in 1960. That same year, he attended the Cook Christian Training School in Tempe, Ariz., graduating in 1963. He attended Arizona State University, graduating in 1968 where he majored in sociology and minored in psychology. He enjoyed being an ASU Sun Devil alumni. He attended Princeton Theological Seminary one year and the last two years at the Dubuque Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, graduating in June 1970.
On Father’s Day in June 1970, as a Father’s Day gift to his father, he was ordained a minister for the Presbyterian Church (USA) at his home church, the Makasan Presbyterian Church, Oglala, S.D. He served for 50 years in the Presbytery of Dakota as pastor for the Porcupine Presbyterian Church for almost 30 years. During this time, he also worked at Oglala Lakota College as vice-president for instruction and as a chaplain at the Fort Meade VA Hospital, Sturgis, S.D., for five years (1995-2000).
He was preceded in death by his siblings, Myrtle (Gibbons) Smith, Stanley Looking Elk, Phillip Looking Elk and Barbara Looking Elk.
He is survived by his wife, LaVonne (Bighorn) Looking Elk; children, Sheryl Looking Elk, Talbert Looking Elk, Terence Looking Elk, Sheila Looking Elk-Fanning and Lisa (Pete) Hatten; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandson.
Visitation will begin at 5 p.m. Friday, March 6, at the Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1012 Sioux San Dr. in Rapid City with a prayer service at 7 p.m. His funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 7, also at the church. A graveside service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at Pine Lawn Memorial Park.