Tommy “Eddie” Roundface, 59, who was active in political and cultural affairs of the Crow Tribe, died April 10, 2012.
He was born March 30, 1953, in Pryor to Hannah Round Face and Peter George Old Crane, but was adopted and raised by his grandparents, Edward and Matilda Round Face. He belonged to the Greasy Mouth Clan and was a child of the Piegan Clan.
He received his Indian name, “Ishtaxxiwilaash” or “Gun That Has Fire,” from Edward Posey Whiteman Sr.
Mr. Roundface was a member of the Native American Church and participated in the Crow sweat lodge and sundance ceremonies. He was a member of St. Charles Catholic Parish.
He attended grade school at St. Charles Mission School and went to Edgar High School, where he played football and basketball. At age 17 He joined the Navy and acquired his GED. From 1971 to 1974, he served in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star.
After military service, he attended Northern Montana College in Havre and Eastern Montana College in Billings, where he played football. He received paralegal certification in California.
He married Anita La Rance and they had three children, Valenna, Michael and Marita. They later divorced, and he married Ingela Sjogren and had two children, Carolinne and Alicia.
At age 24, he became chief judge of the Crow Tribe, making a key ruling in the Sage vs. National Farmers Union Insurance Co. case. His decision was eventually upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Mr. Roundface worked with Vision Quest in 1990s as a counselor and mule skinner near Tucson, Ariz. He worked as a horse groom for trainer Greg Tracy at race tracks throughout Montana. Later, he owned his own race horse called Quaking Aspen.
Every summer he was assistant director at the Real Bird Re-enactment of the Battle of the Little Bighorn. He was the model for the “Mystic Warrior” statue at the Crow Veteran Commemorative Park in Crow Agency. He played handgames and was Champion Head Guesser for the Wyola District in 1986.
Survivors include a sister, Deanna Round Face; a son, Michael Pisano; daughters, Valenna Medicine Horse, Marita Velasquez and Carolinne and Alicia of Sweden; six grandchildren; and a great granddaughter.
Services were April 14 at St. Charles Mission with interment in Round Face Cemetery at Pryor. Arrangements were in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel.