Richard Twiss
1954 - 2013
{ "" }
Share Richard's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
Richard Leo Twiss

June 11, 1954 - February 9, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC - Richard Leo Twiss, Tayoate Ob Najin "He Stands with his People," passed from this life and into the next, February 9, 2013 in Washington, DC encircled by his wife, Katherine, and sons Andrew, Phillip, Ian, and Daniel. Richard was 58.

Richard was born on the Rosebud Reservation, South Dakota among his mother Winona (Larvie) LaPointe's people, the Sicangu Band of the Rosebud Lakota/Sioux. Richard's father, Franklin (Buster) Twiss (deceased) was Oglala from the Pine Ridge Lakota/Sioux Reservation also in South Dakota.

Until age seven, Richard lived in Rosebud, a town of 600, on the reservation. In 1961, Richard's mom moved the family from the reservation to Denver, then Klamath Falls, and eventually to Silverton, Oregon where Richard attended the third through twelfth grades. Richard's mom ensured they made regular summer visits back home in order to stay connected with family and culture.

After graduating from high school in 1972, Richard moved back to Rosebud to attend Sinte Gleska, "Spotted Tail" College. It was here that he became involved in the American Indian Movement. During this tumultuous time Richard strengthened his connection with relatives, and deepened his appreciation for Lakota culture.

Richard wandered for a while, ending up on the island of Maui in Hawaii, where late one night, alone on a deserted beach, Creator responded to Richard's desperate prayer, making Himself known to him. From that night in 1974 until his passing, Richard was on a spiritual journey to live a meaningful life as a Lakota follower of the Jesus Way.

Richard met and fell in love with Katherine Kroshus, of Vancouver, WA, wedding her in 1976. Richard's proudest legacy is his four boys: Andrew (Diana), Phillip, Ian (Toni), Daniel, and grandsons, Ezra and Leo.

In February 1997, Richard and Katherine founded the non-profit ministry of Wiconi International. Through Wiconi, Richard and Katherine touched the lives of many thousands of people. Richard also co-founded NAIITS (North American Institute for Indigenous Theological Studies); he was chairman of the board for My People International, a member of the CCDA (Christian Community Development Association), and co-founder of Evangelicals4Justice. In 2011, Richard earned his doctorate, a D.Miss. from Asbury Theological Seminary. Until his passing, Richard continued his teaching career through the NAIITS program, Portland State University, and other institutions of higher education.

Richard authored a number of books, pamphlets and articles over the years. His first book, One Church, Many Tribes, reached many people with the message of an inculturated faith in Jesus.

Richard's mother Winona LaPointe, sisters Elaine & Laurie LaPointe, nieces Stacy (Mark), Melissa (Tony), Jana, and their children remain to continue his memory. His brother Tom passed before Richard in 2010.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Wiconi International that will allow the continuation of the work to which Richard and Katherine had committed their lives. A public Celebration of Life service will be held on Sunday, March 10; further details will be published later.

In the Lakota tradition, there is no word for goodbye. Instead, we say, "Toksa ake (We'll see you again), son, husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend!"

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Statesman Journal on Feb. 14, 2013.
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
4 entries
July 17, 2013
I just got this news. I apologize of sending this message late. I met Richard in Davao City, Philippines (I am a Filipino) in 2006 during WCGIP Gathering. We shook hands.. talked a bit, attended his lecture, I gave my email address and the rest was history. Those were the moments I recalled with the great man - Richard. From then on I kept myself updated with his ministry to the first nation. Its so amazing how the Lord used him to transform lives of these people back to Jesus. Richard, you made your life meaningful for the glory of Jesus. Your labor for Him is not in vain. Your legacy lives on! This planet will not be the same without you. "Toksa ake, Great Man!" Mabuhay Ka! (means long live) These are the two words I used to write in my salutation after reading your various articles. To Katherine, four Boys and two grandsons, you are blessed, you got a King, Prophet and a Pastor in your family. Our heartfelt condolences goes out with you. Ariel, Gem & Caleb Lozano
ariel lozano
March 6, 2013
Are prayers are with your Family
George Twiss
February 17, 2013
Dear Katherine, sons, and Twiss family,
Our condolences to you all from central Minnesota. Three years ago, I read Richard's book and was encouraged for my Long Prairie Sioux relatives to know Jesus. My Aunt Frieda was half Sioux and American German. She loved the Lord and inspired me when I was in elementary school. When I married my husband, Mark, Bill and Kay Mulkey were in our wedding. Anna Mulkey become our extra daughter after the death of our five month old daughter, Jessica. They were just one month apart and Mulkeys had lived right next door to us.
Richard touched many people's lives-our Onieda friends in North Dakota read his book!!
We pray for the Holy Spirit to comfort all of you.
Love in Christ,
Marlyn and Mark Duus
Marlyn Duus
February 14, 2013
Dear Katherine, Andrew, Philip, Ian, Daniel, and Twiss Family,

My family and I have many fond memories of our lives intersecting with the Twiss family. I greatly enjoyed teaching Ian in third grade at Cornerstone, which is where our friendship began. This was also the time our son Greg became friends with Philip in fifth grade.

Katherine, do you remember when we hosted Philip's 16th birthday at our home? What fun that was with a house full of teenagers!

I cannot imagine your pain and grief right now, but I know you find comfort in the fact that after following the Jesus Way over three decades, Richard is now with Jesus on the other side waiting for you.

I pray for God's comfort, strength, reassurance and blessings on each of you.

Ann and Bill Perrin, Greg and Laura Perrin, Thomas and Ashley Perrin
Ann Perrin
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences