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Janet Lea DeCory Obituary

Brought to you by Sioux Funeral Home

Janet Lea DeCory

PINE RIDGE, South Dakota

August 21, 1951 - November 8, 2022

Janet Lea DeCory Obituary

Janet “Jace” Lea (Cuny) DeCory was born on August 21, 1951 in Pine Ridge, SD to Alvin Earl Cuny and Dorothy Cadotte. Jace DeCory passed peacefully into the Spirit World to be with her husband and relatives on November 8th, 2022 in He Sapa Makoce.


Jace is a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. She is known as Winyan Tokahe (Woman Who Leads), named by Grandpa, Frank Fools Crow. Her beliefs were strong in Lakota traditions of the Sacred Pipe, participating in Sun Dances and other traditional ceremonies since her late teens. She was a vital part of contributing what she could within the circles of Green Grass, Hocoka Tokahe, Sitting Bull’s Camp, and Wasu Kasna. Jace is survived by members of her women societies, Kate’la Okolakiciye Winyan (Traditional Lakota Elderly Women’s Society) and NAIWA (North American Indigenous Women’s Association.)


Jace received her undergraduate degree in anthropology and American Indian Studies from the University of North Dakota in 1973. Jace achieved her master’s in education from the South Dakota State University in 1987 and she also pursued doctoral studies at the University of Washington.


After graduation, Jace gracefully had taken on the challenges ahead of her. She pioneered the American Indian Studies and influenced the development of curriculum. It was during this time she was doing consultant work that she met her husband, Sam at a Lakota language conference in Pierre, South Dakota.


Jace and Sam were married October 24, 1980. Together they had six children. Sam’s previous children Christiane, Dallas, and Shawn. Together their first-born Dana did not survive, and after they were gifted two sons Jr. and Dawson DeCory.


Jace started her career at Black Hills State University in 1984, she taught several areas within the discipline of American Indian Studies and the faculty advisor for Lakota Omniciye. She taught at BHSU for 33 years and retired Professor Emeritus. Jace was the heart behind the “Feast and Feathers,” an honoring ceremony for American Indian graduates and AIS Majors/ Minors. Jace was dedicated to her role as a board member for the South Dakota Humanities.


Jace, a humble woman, grateful for her mentors and teachers, always made it known she was indebted to Lakota elders for their guidance and support. This passion and respect laid the foundation of her teachings. She found teaching to be the greatest challenge and the most rewarding professional endeavor of her life. Jace earned hundreds of awards, accomplishments, and accolades. However, it’s her passion and how she treated others that leaves a lasting impact in our communities. She treated others with humanity and generosity, she made everyone feel special. She was the heart and soul of The Jace DeCory Center for American Indian Studies, which eventually was named in her honor, in 2017.


Jace was a mother, and grandmother but above all she will forever be known as Mato Ina, Mama Bear. She always checked up on her elders, especially her Aunties Verna and Therese. She enjoyed making baby moccasins for her loved ones. Jace was a strong advocate for our He Sapa Makoce and she fought for the protection of our sacred sites. Her favorite place was Bear Butte, she could often be found there in prayer, caring for Grandpa’s sculpture, on Mother’s Day, or simply visiting with loved ones. Jace lived her prayers, and her spirit will always remain in our sacred Black Hills.


Jace is survived by her sons Jr., Dawson, Dallas and Shawn DeCory and daughter Christiane Losch, and many more cherished loved ones throughout her large tiospaye.


Jace is preceded in death by her husband Sam William DeCory, Sr.; son, Dana DeCory; sisters, Cathy and Pam; father, Alvin Cuny; mother, Dorothy Cadotte; aunts, Verna Codotte and Therese Martin; and many other uncles, aunts, cousins and loved ones.


Pallbearers will be Brenton Springer, Dan Springer, JJ Smith, Payne Davis, Drew Robertson, John McDermott, Jason Kimble, Stephen Swan, Zane Swan, Walt Swan, Waylon Gaddie, and Tanner Pierce.


We honor all those she touched, taught, and loved as honorary pallbearers, because she loved everyone the same.


Wake Services: One night wake service starting at 2:00 PM, Tuesday, November 22, 2022 at the On Common Ground Church ~ 610 St. Francis St. in Rapid City, SD.

Funeral Services: 9:00 AM, Wednesday, November 23, 2022 at the On Common Ground Church ~ 610 St. Francis St. in Rapid City, SD.

Spiritual Services: Mr. John Eagle Shield, Jr. and Mr. Steve DuBray

Burial Services: 2:30 PM, Wednesday, November 23, 2022 at the Black Hills National Cemetery, Sturgis, SD


Arrangements entrusted with Sioux Funeral Home of Pine Ridge, SD

To share a memory or send a condolence gift, please visit the Official Obituary of Janet Lea DeCory hosted by Sioux Funeral Home.

Janet “Jace” Lea (Cuny) DeCory was born on August 21, 1951 in Pine Ridge, SD to Alvin Earl Cuny and Dorothy Cadotte. Jace DeCory passed peacefully into the Spirit World to be with her husband and relatives on November 8th, 2022 in He Sapa Makoce.


Jace is a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. She is known as Winyan Tokahe (Woman Who Leads), named by Grandpa, Frank Fools Crow. Her beliefs were strong in Lakota traditions of the Sacred Pipe, participating in Sun Dances and other traditional ceremonies since her late teens. She was a vital part of contributing what she could within the circles of Green Grass, Hocoka Tokahe, Sitting Bull’s Camp, and Wasu Kasna. Jace is survived by members of her women societies, Kate’la Okolakiciye Winyan (Traditional Lakota Elderly Women’s Society) and NAIWA (North American Indigenous Women’s Association.)


Jace received her undergraduate degree in anthropology and American Indian Studies from the University of North Dakota in 1973. Jace achieved her master’s in education from the South Dakota State University in 1987 and she also pursued doctoral studies at the University of Washington.


After graduation, Jace gracefully had taken on the challenges ahead of her. She pioneered the American Indian Studies and influenced the development of curriculum. It was during this time she was doing consultant work that she met her husband, Sam at a Lakota language conference in Pierre, South Dakota.


Jace and Sam were married October 24, 1980. Together they had six children. Sam’s previous children Christiane, Dallas, and Shawn. Together their first-born Dana did not survive, and after they were gifted two sons Jr. and Dawson DeCory.


Jace started her career at Black Hills State University in 1984, she taught several areas within the discipline of American Indian Studies and the faculty advisor for Lakota Omniciye. She taught at BHSU for 33 years and retired Professor Emeritus. Jace was the heart behind the “Feast and Feathers,” an honoring ceremony for American Indian graduates and AIS Majors/ Minors. Jace was dedicated to her role as a board member for the South Dakota Humanities.


Jace, a humble woman, grateful for her mentors and teachers, always made it known she was indebted to Lakota elders for their guidance and support. This passion and respect laid the foundation of her teachings. She found teaching to be the greatest challenge and the most rewarding professional endeavor of her life. Jace earned hundreds of awards, accomplishments, and accolades. However, it’s her passion and how she treated others that leaves a lasting impact in our communities. She treated others with humanity and generosity, she made everyone feel special. She was the heart and soul of The Jace DeCory Center for American Indian Studies, which eventually was named in her honor, in 2017.


Jace was a mother, and grandmother but above all she will forever be known as Mato Ina, Mama Bear. She always checked up on her elders, especially her Aunties Verna and Therese. She enjoyed making baby moccasins for her loved ones. Jace was a strong advocate for our He Sapa Makoce and she fought for the protection of our sacred sites. Her favorite place was Bear Butte, she could often be found there in prayer, caring for Grandpa’s sculpture, on Mother’s Day, or simply visiting with loved ones. Jace lived her prayers, and her spirit will always remain in our sacred Black Hills.


Jace is survived by her sons Jr., Dawson, Dallas and Shawn DeCory and daughter Christiane Losch, and many more cherished loved ones throughout her large tiospaye.


Jace is preceded in death by her husband Sam William DeCory, Sr.; son, Dana DeCory; sisters, Cathy and Pam; father, Alvin Cuny; mother, Dorothy Cadotte; aunts, Verna Codotte and Therese Martin; and many other uncles, aunts, cousins and loved ones.


Pallbearers will be Brenton Springer, Dan Springer, JJ Smith, Payne Davis, Drew Robertson, John McDermott, Jason Kimble, Stephen Swan, Zane Swan, Walt Swan, Waylon Gaddie, and Tanner Pierce.


We honor all those she touched, taught, and loved as honorary pallbearers, because she loved everyone the same.


Wake Services: One night wake service starting at 2:00 PM, Tuesday, November 22, 2022 at the On Common Ground Church ~ 610 St. Francis St. in Rapid City, SD.

Funeral Services: 9:00 AM, Wednesday, November 23, 2022 at the On Common Ground Church ~ 610 St. Francis St. in Rapid City, SD.

Spiritual Services: Mr. John Eagle Shield, Jr. and Mr. Steve DuBray

Burial Services: 2:30 PM, Wednesday, November 23, 2022 at the Black Hills National Cemetery, Sturgis, SD


Arrangements entrusted with Sioux Funeral Home of Pine Ridge, SD

To share a memory or send a condolence gift, please visit the Official Obituary of Janet Lea DeCory hosted by Sioux Funeral Home.

Events

Event information can be found on the Official Obituary of Janet Lea DeCory.