Vivian ‘Dolly’ M. Lohnes, ‘Sunkawakan ob Wacisa Winyan’ (Dances Among the Horses), 73, of the Spirit Lake Nation passed away on Saturday, May 29, 2021 at Altru Hospital in Grand Forks.
The family will honor Dolly’s wishes and there will be no Wake Service. Mass of Christian Burial for Dolly will be held on Saturday, June 12, 2021 at 10 a.m. at St. Michael’s Catholic Church with the Rev. Paul Schuster celebrating the Mass. The procession to St. Michael will leave at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday from City Plaza. Dolly will be laid to rest in St. Michael’s Cemetery.
Vivian Mae, daughter of Mary (Smith) and Anthony M. Lohnes Sr. was born on August 19, 1947 in Devils Lake. She grew up in the St. Michael area and attended St. Michael’s Mission School for a time and then went to Stephen Indian Boarding School in Crow Creek Reservation, S.D. Vivian lost her father at the young age of eight and later at 14 she lost her mother and brothers in a car accident. In Dolly’s adult years she later lost her last three siblings – Angeline, Mary Frances and Willis Lohnes, leaving her the last of her kin.
In 1967 Dolly met Ronald Delorme Sr. and they were the proud parents of Ronald Jr, Tony and Francine Delorme. The family made their home in Belcourt and then spent a winter in Washington picking apples and grapes in the vineyard. She wanted to do everything she could to provide for her family. Dolly and family returned home to North Dakota and later separated/divorce with her then husband.
In 1979, Dolly met Jesse McKay Jr. and they were blessed to add to the family, Jesse III. They enjoyed life and family together until his passing in 2007.
Dolly’s love of children, teaching and nurturing them caring for others was demonstrated throughout her life, in her home and in her work. She worked as a Nurse’s Aide from 1969 to 1972. She then began a long career with the Spirit Lake Head Start from 1973 to 2009. Her work at Head Start inspired Dolly to move to Bismarck in 1995 and she earned her degree in Early Childhood Care at the United Tribes Technical College. In her employment with Head Start she worked a variety of positions including Family Coordinator, Parent Coordinator, Disability Coordinator, Teach Aide, Teacher and eventually as the Director on two occasions. After retirement from Head Start she worked for Spirit Lake Game and Fish from 2009 to 2010, part time at Spirit Lake Senior Services from 2013 to 2014, along with part-time back at Head Start, a place so dear to her heart until 2014. Of course, Dolly was never idle and worked part-time at the Spirit Lake Casino from 2014 to 2016. She always wanted to be active, to contribute to her heritage and to her community.
But most of all, Dolly loved her family with all of her heart. They were her pride and joy, she treasured every moment spent with them.
In her spare time, Dolly enjoyed reading, keeping up with friends and family on Facebook, gardening, listening to country music (especially George Strait), collecting black and white cows, and sitting in the kitchen window watching nature, especially the passing of deer.
Dolly is survived by her loving family: her children – Ron (Sheila) Delorme of Isanti, Minn., Tony (Elaine) Delorme of Maddock, Jesse McKay III of Fort Totten; grandchildren – Norris James Lohnes, Antoinette Nelson, Cole Delorme, Mary McKay, Camille Delorme, Cheyenne Delorme, Jasmine Lohnes, Sarah Alsaedy, Ray Ann McKay, Caelen Lohnes, Jesse McKay IV and Joran Lohnes; great-grandchildren – Veronica, Randal, Liam, Amelia and Benjamin; nephew and niece, John (Rena) and Kristy Lohnes; special friends – Ruth De Larios, Mildred Chase, Debbie Herald, Celeste Herman, Faye Jetty and Jeanne Cavanaugh; many cousins, nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Anthony and Mary; daughter, Francine; granddaughters – Dolly Mae Delorme and Felicia Delorme, great-grandson, Tanner de la Paz; brothers – Emerson Redfox, Anthony Lohnes Jr. and Willis Lohnes; adopted brother, Richard Dean Little; sisters – Angeline Lohnes and Mary Frances Abraham; many other precious relatives.
Casket Bearers will be Ron Delorme Jr., Tony Delorme, Jesse McKay III, Jesse McKay IV, Cole Delorme, John Lohnes, Caelen Lohnes and Randel Nelson.
Posted online on June 10, 2021