Elmer White

Elmer White Bear

October 8, 1962 – December 12, 2021

Elmer White Bear, 59, White Shield, died on Sunday, December 12, 2021 at a Minot hospital. Funeral services will be held on Thursday at 11:00 am at the Ralph Wells Jr. Memorial Complex in White Shield.  There will be no wake services.  Burial will be at the Congregational Cemetery in White Shield.

Visitation will be held from 9 to 11 on Thursday at the Ralph Wells Jr. Memorial Complex in White Shield.

Elmer Bruce White Bear passed to the spirit world on December 12, 2021 at Trinity Hospital, Minot ND. He was born in Garrison, ND to Joseph White Bear, Jr and Pauline (Bear) White Bear (both deceased) on October 8, 1962. Elmer carried the Arikara name “Handsome Elk” which had been his father’s. He was known to many as “Spider”.

Elmer received his elementary and high school education at the White Shield School.  He went on in his education receiving a welder’s certificate in Crookston, MN and a plumbing certificate from United Tribes Technical College. Elmer worked for a short time with Fort Berthold Housing, however, he was mainly self-employed as a plumber.

Elmer grew up in the Six-mile Creek area of the White Shield Community. At an early age, his older brother Richard began teaching him how to work with horses.

Elmer fought with alcoholism for a time in his life, but he won that fight, in September 2021 he had over ten years of sobriety. The Parshall Resource Center and “Healthy Skins” Foundation were instrumental in his attaining this. Upon achieving his sobriety, Elmer revived Alcohol Anonymous in the White Shield Community on his own time and funds. He was a very humble man and did not boast of this. Several years ago, he was honored by the White Shield Spirit Riders for his efforts in maintaining his sobriety and helping others wanting to be sober.

Elmer did not have children but had many who called him “Uncle” and “Papa Elmer”. He treated them with love and kindness, always there for birthdays or dinners to give support to who’s ever day it was. He was always the first to ask for cake. In the summer, he had a swimming pool for the grandchildren. And he always had dogs that they loved to play with, especially if there were puppies. The dogs (Winnie, Max, Jasmine and mini Max) were Elmer’s companions and he would take them for walks in the country where he lived. Elmer was an avid Minnesota Vikings fan.

Elmer was generous whether it was giving money or assisting with a task. He helped mow the Congregational Church yard, cemetery and some of the elder’s yards in the community.  He also, contributed financially to the renovation of the Congregational Church basement.

In recent years, Elmer enjoyed playing the Casino slots, whether it was Four Bears, Spirit Lake or Prairie Knights. When he would leave to one of the Casinos he would tell his neighboring nephew “I’m going to work, watch the house”.

Elmer is survived by brothers Wayne White Bear, Richard White Bear; sisters Madonna Azure (Roy) and Joy Bezpaletz (Cary), all of White Shield. Aunts Yvonne Chase, Roberta Bear, Diana Poitra, Clarice Howling Wolf, Judy Fredericks, Rhoda Starr, Janice Starr Kerzman, Vina McDonald (Tony) and Uncle Paul White Bear (Johanna). He also leaves behind many Aunts, Uncles, Nieces, Nephews, Cousins, Grandchildren, Great-grandchildren and God Children.

Those welcoming him in the spirit world are his Parents; Paternal Grandparents Joseph White Bear, Sr., Frank & Eleanor (Red Bear) Chase; Maternal Grandparents Robert Bear, Sr & Dora (Hopkins) Bear; Brothers Sam Starr, Delmar White Bear, Gary White Bear; Sisters Elaine White Bear and Loie White Bear. There are also many other relatives to welcome him.

Elmer will be dearly missed by all who knew him. His life was a good lesson for us in being kind, loving, generous and non-judgmental. No matter the situation he didn’t say harsh words and always looked at the goodness in everything. A text message of condolence says it well “Heaven gained a Beautiful Cowboy” and “Our Community has lost a Good man!” 



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