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Ruth Martinez

Ruth Elsi Necklace Martinez, “Necklace Woman, Nap’in Win,” 71, of Poplar died Feb. 17, 2024.

She was born to Felix and Christine Necklace in Poplar and was raised by her grandparents, John and Elsie Necklace. She is the mother to Alphine Necklace Youpee, Meda Lukkasson, Arden Necklace Red Dog, Roberto Patino Jr., Amanda Necklace, Cordell and Vernell Four Bear. She married Terry Martinez and they spent almost 45 years together living hand and hand on the red road.

She became a beautiful traditional dancer and lived a humble life with her kindness and graceful heart. During the 1980s, she began to take in foster children. She mothered so many in her way, was grandmotherly to so many young hearts that many called her “Mom” and “Grandma.” She always worked with children in various jobs. She worked for the Fort Peck Tribes HeadStart for over 14 years before she retired.

She enjoyed visiting with friends and family, creating and/or stitching star quilts. She also made breastplates with her grandson PJ. She served on many powwow committees. She loved going to Bingo, playing machines, traveling to South Dakota and North Dakota for “doings,” powwows, ceremonies and cultural events. She was a Water Protector and member of the Women’s Auxiliary. She was a war mother and took immense pride in her USMC son, Roberto. She was a part of the Pretty Iron Feather Dancers from 2016-2020. She quit traveling with the dance group when the coronavirus pandemic affected our area. She survived COVID three times.

She was a fluent Lakota/ Dakota speaker, and she was always sharing knowledge and teaching other women what they should and should not be doing. She was a cancer survivor and danced for those who were affected by cancer. She loved her family and her way of life. She grew up with her sister, Cordelia Dust; and her brothers, Russell, William and Philmore Necklace.

Survivors include her husband, Emanuel “Terry” Martinez; and numerous grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her brother, William “WJ,” Harold and Philmore Necklace; sisters, Cordelia Mae Dust and Charlotte Good Soldier; daughters, Alphine Necklace Youpee and Vernelle Four Bear; son, Roberto Patino Jr.; and grandsons, Michael J Necklace, Leroy “LD” Youpee III and Venell Necklace- Brown. Funeral services were held Friday, Feb. 23, at the Poplar Cultural Center. Interment was at Fort Kipp Cemetery. Clayton Stevenson Memorial Chapel was entrusted with the arrangements.

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