Aurelia Bets His Medicine
Aurelia Lilly Half Red Bets His Medicine, 80, of Brockton, died May 16, 2020, in Billings.
She was born on the Spirit Lake Reservation in North Dakota on Nov. 10, 1939. She was raised by her mother and maternal grandfather and told many stories of her traditional upbringing. She only spoke the Dakota language until she was forced to learn English during her stints in two boarding schools. Although her boarding school experience was tough, it taught her how to be resilient and she resolved to keep her language alive. She got her teaching certificate and later became a Dakota language instructor at the Fort Peck Community College (NAES) and Brockton High School.
She and her mother moved to Montana in 1949 to find a home. They moved around to various places until settling in Fort Kipp where she was later “mutually introduced” to her future husband, Ray, by well-meaning grandparents when they were in their teens. They married in 1960 and made their home on the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Reservation in northeast Montana, where Ray was an enrolled member.
They bought their twobedroom house in 1968 and had it placed on seven acres in the country so their children could raise animals and have room to run without the hassle of “city living.” They had five children and raised them together, along with various “foster” children, until his death in 1995. They never considered these children to be “fosters,” they welcomed them into their home and eventually had to turn the two-bedroom home into a five-bedroom home to accommodate their own children and the extra children entrusted to their care.
After her husband’s death, she continued to open her home to anyone who needed shelter, whether that was a friend running from a dangerous situation with their children in tow or any child needing a safe place to sleep. When her grandchildren and great-grandchildren were born, she took great pleasure in helping to raise them. Stories were told by community members about how she was never alone when she went anywhere. Her van was always filled with children.
She was a woman of extreme faith. She is survived by three daughters, Raylene Bets His Medicine, Theresa Bets His Medicine and Anissa Gabrielson; two sons: Travis Bets His Medicine and Dave Bets His Medicine; an adopted son, Carlin Iron Moccasin; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and sister, Sybil Summers.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Ray; her mother, Agnes; father, Loyal Half Red; sister, Eliza Lambert; and grandson, Rocket Speed.
A funeral service was held Thursday, May 21, at Clayton Stevenson Memorial Chapel in Wolf Point. Interment was at Fort Kipp Cemetery. Clayton Stevenson Memorial Chapel was entrusted with the arrangements.