Ellie John “Johnny” BlackBird Sr., 57, of St. Michael, ND, passed away on Friday morning, March 11, 2016, at Mercy Hospital, Devils Lake.

Ellie John “Johnny” BlackBird Sr., 57, of St. Michael, ND, passed away on Friday morning, March 11, 2016, at Mercy Hospital, Devils Lake.  


The wake for Johnny will be held on Thursday, March 17, at St. Michael’s Recreation Center beginning at 5 p.m. with a Rosary and prayer service at 7 p.m. The procession to St. Michael will leave on Thursday at 4 p.m. from City Plaza. Funeral services will be on Friday, March 18, at 10 a.m. also at the Recreation Center with Father Paul Schuster officiating.  Johnny will be laid to rest in St. Michael’s Cemetery.


Active pallbearers will be Jessie Cavanaugh, Tristan Jackson, Davey Belgarde, Philip Lohnes, Calvin Thompson, Norman Blackbird and Jade Old Rock.
Honorary bearers are Sherry Thompson, Denise and Coogie Hunt, Willis Herald, Joe Bull, Joann Bull, Lisa Blackbird, Sona Longie, Alfred Longie, Patty Christianson, Mildred McKay, Mary Baker, Lisa Burdick, Kenny Baker Jr., Chrystal McKay, Cecile Longie and family, Aloysius Cloud, Belinda Murphy, Debbie Cavanaugh, Cory Delorme and family.  
Ellie John, son of Beatrice Belgarde and Jerome Blackbird Sr., was born on December 27, 1958, in Devils Lake, ND.  He attended the Little Flower School in St. Michael and the Job Corp Center in Custer, SD receiving certification as a short order chef.  


Johnny returned to the Spirit Lake Nation and lived and worked here the rest of his life. He worked for Ed Lauinger Construction for many years and also worked for several road construction companies in the Lake Region area. He also worked at Spirit Lake Casino and Resort for several years until health problems forced him to retire.  


Johnny loved working on cars and had come to enjoy a variety of different craft projects. But being with people, making them laugh, telling jokes was always counted as one of the best days for Johnny.  


Johnny leaves behind his children, Elly Jane Blackbird, Tristan Jackson, Taylor Jackson, Precious Jackson, Alanna Jackson, Alexis Jackson and Ellie John Blackbird Jr.; stepchildren, Chad Christianson and Natalie Christianson; godfather, Solomon Sherman; brothers and sisters, Lewis Blackbird, Duane Blackbird, Jerome Blackbird Jr., Darlene Blackbird, Jackie Blackbird (Daniel) Peltier, Todd Belgarde Sr., Janice Gamel, Jay Joramo Jr., Sandy Joramo and Lorman Owlboy Sr.; mother of the Jackson children, Colette Rene Jackson; many nieces and nephews including special nieces, Meggan Joramo, Loren Owlboy, Kori Owlboy and Brandy Belgarde and family.


Those who went before and waiting to greet Johnny include his mother, Beatrice Joramo; father, Jerome Blackbird Sr.; special niece, Dancia Jackson; grandparents, Peter Belgarde Sr., Mary Jane Thompson, Charles and Florence Blackbird.  


Johnny has been entrusted to the care of Gilbertson Funeral Home, Devils Lake.