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Gilbert Horn Sr.

1923 - 2016
Gilbert Horn Sr. Obituary
Gilbert Horn Sr.

Malta —Gilbert Horn Sr. "Returns With Prisoner Horse "Shunk Ta Oba Kni", 92, of Fort Belknap, MT passed away March 27, 2016 of natural causes, at the Northern Montana Care Center in Havre. Visitation is Tuesday, March 29, 2016 at 7:00 PM. At Red Whipp. Funeral services are Wednesday, March 30, 2016 at 11:00 Am also at Red Whipp recreation center. Gilbert was born May 12, 1923 to Melvina (Tall Youth) and Jesse Iron Horn, Sr., in Fort Belknap. He was adopted at birth by by his grandmother Nelly Standing Bear King in the traditional Assiniboine way as he was her first grandchild. His father Jesse passed away before he was born.

Gilbert was married to Elizabeth Bradley and they had one daughter, Myrna Spotted Bear. Gilbert later married Elizabeth Jackson, and from this marriage, they had 10 children.

Gilbert attended school in Dodson, MT until the 8th grade, where he was a dominant athlete.

Gilbert entered the Army in 1940 when he was only 17 years old, having to lie about his age so he could be enlisted to serve his country. He was a member of the 163rd Infantry Battalion with a large public farewell for the soldiers of Harlem, Chinook, Fort Belknap, Malta and Fort Peck. Gil served during World War II and was stationed in the jungles of Burma, Guadalcanal, the Philippines, New Guinea and the West Indies. The U.S. came up with the American Long Range Penetration Unit which included the Native American Code Talking strategy because they were losing significant WWII battles overseas and were hit hard in Pearl Harbor. Merrill's Marauders' was that unit, selected from the elite of the elite soldiers and Private Horn was among those ranks, bringing about a complete turnaround in WWII's battles resulting in a victory. He was later honorably discharged with a Purple Heart, the only medal he accepted upon the many that he was entitled to. The men of the Merrill's Marauders enjoyed the rare distinction of having each soldier in their unit to be awarded the Bronze Star for heroic achievement in a combat zone and the distinguished unit citation (a presidential award).

Upon his return from the army, Horn immediately resumed his duties to his grandparents farm. Later, he had schooling in business management, psychology, and legal work. He served on the Assiniboine Treaty Committee from 1945-2013, where he helped oversee and manage the Assiniboine Tribe's funds in the amount of $1.9 million, and responsible for annual per capita payments.

He was also an elected Fort Belknap Community Council Chairperson for several terms and served on the Tribal Council as a council member for 19 years between the years of 1958-1991. He was a tribal judge for 8 years and wrote the first regulations for Fort Belknap's Tribal Juvenile Court. He was also on the Tribal Health Board resulting in a new clinic through his lobbying efforts in Washington, D.C.

In 2013, MSU-Northern honored him by giving him an honorary Doctorate Award, in Humanitarian Services, who was only the second to receive the award in 80 years. In May 2014 Gilbert was named chief of the Fort Belknap Assiniboine Tribe, the first chief in over 125 years. In recognition to his dedication of getting the Head Start Program initiated, they honored him by naming one of the Head Start Center buildings after him - "Shunk Ta Oba Kni" The Gilbert Horn Sr. Early Head Start Center.

Gilbert was a very loving person, generous person who was always cracking jokes. Even in his old age he was always teasing and making people laugh. He loved being surrounded by his kids and grandkids. He was a great man who lived a long and fulfilling life and will be missed dearly by many.

Gilbert is survived by his children, Willowa "Sis" Horn, Gilbert "Buddie" Horn, Jr. (Nedra), Donald "Duck" Horn (Fluff), Kermit Horn, Curtis Horn (Ramona), Walter Horn, (Lisa), Margaret Horn- Sampson (Dave), Charles Horn, John Bearcub (Ann), Wayne Herschel (Linda); Adopted children Stanley "P-Nut" Johnson (Joan) and Nick Hopkins, Sr. (Wendy), all of Fort Belknap; 37 Grandchildren, 71 great-grandchildren and 18 great-great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife Elizabeth Jackson Horn, parents, brothers Hamilton LongKnife, Jesse Horn Jr. and Percy Horn; numerous sisters; daughter Myrna Spotted Bear; Grandchildren Leah Horn, Liam Clark, Angel and Corma Clark, Zachary Horn and Michael Blackbird.

Funeral services were entrusted to Kirkwood Funeral Home of Malta.

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Published in Great Falls Tribune on Mar. 30, 2016
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