VINA M. WELLS MCDONALD, “Wocekiye Winyan”, (Prayer Woman) Our precious and loving wife, mother, grandmother, relative and friend, Vina Wells McDonald, began her sacred journey Home in the early morning hours of Saturday, February 5th, 2022 at Sanford Fargo. Our parents were both hospitalized at the same time, both diagnosed with Covid. Dad was discharged and released to a nursing home. He was able to visit and pray with Mom the day she passed. They hadn't seen each other since before Christmas. Dad said that is the longest they've ever been apart. Our Mother was such a strong person. She battled the Covid virus for the last month. She was in constant prayer for others, and in turn, so many prayed for her to get well and return home. Our Heavenly Father has His plan for our mother. She is whole again, no more pain, and reunited with our relatives.
Because of covid restrictions, no wake services will be held. White Shield Funeral Service, White Shield Complex, Tuesday, February 8, 2022 at 11 AM; Officiants: Pastor Kevin Finley, Delvin Driver; Music: Neal Hale, Terry Halsey, Ethan and Stuart Lohnes; Drum group: Dead Grass Singers
Spirit Lake Service ; Seven Dolors Catholic Church;Fort Totten, ND; Wednesday, February 9, 2022 at 11 AM;Officiants: Fr Antony Samy, Fr Paul Schuster;Music: Spirit Wind Band, Elliott Ward; Drum group: Lake Region Singers; Burial: St. Jerome’s Cemetery, rural Crowhill at a later date.
Pallbearers: Stuart Lohnes, Chauncey Hopkins, Alex Wells, Cody White Bear, Manzie Wells, Brian McDonald, PJ Lohnes, Ryan Brown, Josh Colon, Nathaniel McDonald. Honorary Pallbearers: Marilyn Thomas, Euretta McKay, Midge Chase, Esther Ironhawk, Rita Loon, Marge Roscelli, Dinah Aceveda, Mary Lou Davis, Shelley Ward, Madeline Keplin, Helena Littleghost, Diana Poitra, Roberta Bear, Charlotte Monette, Florestine Dunn, Erma Wells, Myra Pearson, Gayleen Yellowfat, Bessie Sherwood, Dr Monica Mayer, Dr. Lee, Doris Packineau, Barb Eversvik, Pat Blake, Celeste Herman, Lori Young, Suzie Mesteth, Linda Skogstead, Aileen Littleghost, Catherine Howard, Ivan & Bernice Chartrand, Reneta Mandan, Truby Stiffarm, Gloria Wilkinson, Ramona Two Shields, Alice Harwood, Iva Gillis, Karen Howe, Bernadine Wilson, Kathy Mahto, Bobbi Larson, Bishop Cole, Beryl DuBois, Catherine RealBird, Tanner Sager, Marcella & Eugene White family, Howling Wolf family, Loretta Meridith family, Pauline White Bear family, Eric & Rachel McKay family, Wells relatives.
Vina Mae Wells, “Wocekiye Winyan” (Prayer Woman) was born on March 25th, 1941 in Elbowoods, North Dakota to Ralph Wells Jr and Olive Sherwood Wells. Mom was the last of her generation. She was raised in Nishu and Elbowoods. After the 1953 flooding from the Garrison Dam, her family made their home far west of White Shield. Vina was born into the Water Buster clan through her mother. She taught her children what she remembered and the importance of acknowledging our history and way of life. Our mother was a believer. She was strong in her faith and belief in our Lord Jesus Christ. She attended Congregational Church as a young girl and she shared so many memories of how great grandpa Ralph Wells Sr. would have prayer services in their home every week. Mom joined the Catholic Church when she met and married Tony McDonald. On May 20th, 1959, our parents married and in 2021, they celebrated 62 years of marriage and love, 43 years of sobriety and 39 years of service to the Lord. They lived in the Whiteshield area and then at Spirit Lake. They raised 10 children and have a legacy of 35 grandchildren, 59 great grandchildren, and 2 great great grandchildren. Our Dad, Tony, became the 1st Native American Deacon in North Dakota in 1983. Mom attended classes with him, supporting him every step of the way and served the Lord right alongside Dad. They began a ministry to provide comfort, healing and prayer to those in need, especially those in mourning. Our parents and our sister Ardell sang gospel songs in English and Dakota. Mom played the guitar and had a beautiful singing voice. Our parents served tribal communities throughout the United States and Canada. They attended the national Tekakwitha conferences many years, leading healing prayer groups. On February 17th, 2006, our family was devastated by the tragic passing of Mike and it was a very difficult time for our parents. Our family drew closer to the Lord. As a result, our parents traditionally adopted Justin McDonald, Neal Hale, Darren Bruce, Renita Shaw, Nancy Boushey, Sam McKay, Ivan and Bernice Chartrand into our family. Many years ago, our parents adopted Jackie Jackson Morsette as a daughter. And it was a good day when tibdo Elliott Ward adopted Dad as his Ate'. Whenever someone lost their parent, Mom was willing to serve as their mother. Most recently, she took Wayne Jr. and David Trottier as her sons. Vina attended school in Elbowoods and then Flandreau boarding school. She also attended nursing school at Lake Region State College. Vina worked at Early Childhood and then side by side with her husband in setting up his security and cleaning business. They provided these services for Sioux Manufacturing for many years. Mom was happiest at home, babysitting her grandchildren so her daughters could work. She began making star quilts and is known for her quality work. She made many quilts throughout the years and she passed her talent and skills down to daughters and grandchildren. She taught several family members how to make bread. Mom had many talents. She treasured all her relatives and reminded us to watch out for each other and to help others. Mom was a generous person and helped out others. Vina was especially supportive of Veterans, VFW and Auxiliary organizations, as many of her family had served in various branches of service. We cannot find the words to express how much we are going to miss our mother. She kept in daily contact with us. Please pray for our Dad, Tony, as he has to go forward without Mom. Vina will be greatly missed by so many; husband of 62 years, Tony McDonald, brother Frank & Bessie Sherwood, sister Mamie Sherwood, sister in law Dinah Aceveda, children; Elliott & Shelly Ward, Neal & Kim Hale, Darren Bruce, Justin McDonald, Antoinette “Swadeau” & Terry Halsey, Leander Russell & Francine McDonald, Ardell & Clayton Blueshield, Mary & Ron Lohnes, Mervel & Karen McDonald, Molly & Marshall DeMarce, Myra & Clayton DuBois, Frances McDonald, daughter/nieces Evie McDonald, Nola & Carlos Lopez, 35 grandchildren, 59 great grandchildren and 1 on the way, 2 great great grandchildren; God children Tanya Kazena Jetty, Jaret Longie, Sonny White, Lea Whiteshield, Lisa Peoples, many nieces, nephews and relatives in the Wells, HowlingWolf, Bear, White Bear, Sherwood, Wolf, Snow, White Body, Youngbird families. Mom had the greatest love for each of her grandbabies and relatives. Mom talked about the great reunion when we pass onto be with our loved ones and the Lord. Welcoming her to paradise is her son and our brother Mike, grandchildren Nelvette, Angel, Marcus, great grandson Evan Michaelson, her parents Ralph & Olive Sherwood Wells, grandparents Ralph Sr. & Polly Plenty Fox Wells, Pete & Molly Wolf Sherwood, sister Helen Yvonne White, brothers Thomas Sr., Ralph “Dutch”, Alvin “Nibbs”, Frank, Billy, Reginald “Mickey”, Emanuel “Santa”, and Vernon “Paddy” Wells.
No wake services will be held. Viewing for 2 hours before funeral services. We are taking Covid precautions because our mother passed due to this virus. Please wear your masks, use hand sanitizer and be safe. Mom during her challenging time in the hospital, stressed the importance of everyone getting immunized.
Posted online on February 08, 2022
Published in Devils Lake Journal