Wayne Joseph Trottier Sr. passed away peacefully at the age of 91 to be with the Lord on Saturday December 11th, 2021 surrounded by loving family. Wayne was born on April 15th, 1930 the first child of Raphael Trottier Sr. and Mary Rose (Laducer) Harding at City Hospital in Devils Lake, ND.
Wayne spent his early school years at St. Michael Indian Mission, Stephan (South Dakota) Indian Mission, and completed high school at Fort Totten Residential School graduating in 1948. Wayne was very active in athletics participating in football, basketball and track while in junior high and high school and was offered a college scholarship to play basketball at Lake Region College. Wayne continued to play basketball while in the Navy and independently into his 30s and slowpitch and fastpitch softball well into his 40s. Wayne joined the United States Navy in 1948 right out of high school and took his basic training at Great Lakes Naval Training Base in North Chicago, IL. He was trained as a communication specialist. He served at naval bases in Quonset Point, Rhode Island and Argentina, Newfoundland from 1948 to 1952. Wayne took great pride in his service in the U.S. Navy. Upon his honorable discharge in 1952 and returning to North Dakota Wayne worked at different jobs in the construction industry specifically brick tending and laying. While in Oregon Wayne worked on a vegetable farm before returning to North Dakota. In 1959 Wayne went to work for the Bureau of Indian Affairs as a maintenance man eventually working his way up to Foreman, Housing Specialist, Administrative Officer and Agency Superintendent. His B.I.A. career was in Fort Totten, Belcourt and again at Fort Totten where he retired in 1985. From 1985 to 2000 Wayne worked a second career as a bus driver for the Fort Totten Schools. And from 1983 to 1996 Wayne raised turkeys on the Trottier Turkey Farm which he had purchased and took over from his uncle John Trottier. Wayne also served as Chairman of the Board of Chiptronics, Inc of Dunseith ND from 1995 to 2005. He married the love of his life Adeline WhiteThunder McDonald, whom he had met and excessively flirted with while both attended Fort Totten Residential School always telling her he was going to marry her someday. They were married on February 13th, 1954 in Oregon City OR. Adeline passed away on June 18th, 1997 after 43 years of marriage. This union led to the birth of their 5 children Wayne Jr., David, Deanna, Denice, and Darren. Wayne was the kind of man that put everyone else in his life first whether it was family or friend. His years of mission and residential schooling hardened his resolve and resiliency in his work life and his work ethic was second to none. Even while in school at Stephan Indian Mission School he considered himself one of the lucky ones to get a coveted job in the milk barn milking cows by hand twice a day at 5AM and 7PM for 7 days a week for $1 a day. Even with the money he earned as a student he sent half home to his mother to help care for his younger siblings still at home and shared with his cousins that were in boarding school with him. His giving, caring heart and generosity continued throughout his life. He gave much of his time and talents to various youth activities as coach and mentor, service organizations including the Knights of Columbus where he also served as the Grand Knight for one year. He also served on parish councils at St. Ann’s Church in Belcourt, Seven Dolors Church in Fort Totten and St Michaels Church in St Michaels. He was a lifelong and avid fan of Four Winds boys and girls Basketball and spent many hours on the road following the team with his friend and travel partner Kenny “Spune” Dunn. He wanted his children to understand the harsh realities of life but worked very hard to give his children so much that he never had and never stopped emphasizing the importance of education. His love for his grandchildren and eventually his great-grandchildren was matched only by the love they received from their grandma Adeline as well. Wayne was preceded in death by his grandfather Joseph V. Trottier, father Raphael Sr, mother Mary Rose, wife Adeline, daughter Deanna, brothers Patrick Dean Trottier, David Lee Harding, and Donald Harding. He is survived by children Wayne (Paola) Trottier Jr, David Trottier, Denice (Barry) Gage, Darren (Wanda) Trottier. Siblings Patricia (Dick) Wilkie, Raphael (Gail) Trottier Jr, Dwight “Ike” (Brenda) Trottier, Ronald (Rosanne) Trottier, Carla (Curt) Peltier, Richard (Caralee) Harding, and Nancy (Nick Whitney) Harding. Brother-in-law Tony (Vina) McDonald and family and sister-in-law Dinah Aceveda and family, Cousin/brother Francis Laforte, cousin/sisters Mary Jane Laforte and Jeanne Laforte. And by 12 grandchildren, 14 great-children, and many nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews.
The Trottier family would like to extend a big thank you to Heartland Care Center, Gilbertson Funeral Home, the Spirit Lake VFW Post 6547 for military honors, Frenchy’s Catering of Devils Lake, and all the family, relatives and friends of Wayne Trottier Sr for their help, care, condolences and prayers during this difficult time on the loss of our dear father.
Posted online on December 14, 2021
Published in Devils Lake Journal