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December 19, 1918 – Saturday, December 3, 2016

Service Information
Wicoicaga Otipi Community Center-Flandreau, SD
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
1:00 P.M.

Visitation Information
Wicoicaga Otipi Community Center-Flandreau, SD
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
beginning at 7:00 P.M.

Sidney H. Byrd “Hokṡila Waṡte”, age 97, of Flandreau, South Dakota journeyed to the Spirit World on Saturday, December 3rd, 2016 at his residence.

He was born on December 19, 1918 in Porcupine, SD the son of Joseph Byrd and Bessie Weston. Sidney was baptized by his grandfather, Rev. Samuel R. Weston on the date of his birth. He was raised by his grandparents.

Sid was stationed in the South Pacific Theatre during WWII while in the US Army. Upon returning to the States, he attended Bible School in Phoenix, AZ for four years. He then attended the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary and later graduated from Huron College. He was ordained a Presbyterian Minister at the Presbyterian Church in Porcupine, SD. He was a Tribal Elder for the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe and was one of the few remaining persons that could read, write and speak his Native Lakota Language.
His voice was used as “Grandfather” at Falls Park during Sioux Falls’ Laser Show.
He was Native by birth and Christian by choice.

He married Carolyn “Sue” Poleeson on June 7, 1952 in Phoenix, AZ. They were blessed with two children.

Sid is survived by his children Pamela Sue Byrd and Samuel Weston Byrd; two grandchildren Weston Lee Byrd and Cheyenne Autumn Byrd; five great grandchildren; many other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his wife in 1994; his parents; grandparents: Samuel K. Weston and Martha Redwing Weston; brothers: Harry Byrd and Guy Byrd; sister: Velva Stoldt; and half-sisters: Rachel Janis and Evelyn Galvan.

Funeral services for Sidney H. Byrd were held on Wednesday, December 7th, 2016 at 1:00 P.M. at Wicoicaga Otipi Community Center in Flandreau, South Dakota. Officiating introductions by Ken James. Reverend Dr. Cecil Corbett and Reverend Paula Armstrong officiated. Interment with military rites was at the First Presbyterian Cemetery.

An all-night wake was held on Tuesday, December 6th beginning at 7:00 P.M. at the Community Center.

Honorary Casket Bearers were Samuel Byrd, Cecil Corbett, Ken James, Gabe Mesteth, Andy Davis, all Dakota Presbytery Pastors, all his Takojas, Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribal Council, basketball team and cheerleaders, students and staff of Flandreau Indian School, all his family and friends, special service bound grandchildren: Vanessa Renteria (Navy), Joshua Estrada (Navy) and Martin Ruelas (Army).

Casket Bearers were Weston Byrd, Ed Mesteth, Justin Mesteth, Jacob Patterson, Jr. Long and C.J.

Chilson Funeral Home, Winsted, MN served the family.

6 Guestbook Entries

  1. Landon Turner

    I would like to offer my deepest condolences to the Byrd family. Losing a loved one is never easy. However, the Bible offers us a wonderful hope in that we will see these dear ones again soon (John 5:28,29). May the God of all comfort strengthen you during this difficult time.

  2. Rev. Holly Haile Thompson, DD


  3. Parker Knox

    Dear Byrd family: I was at Huron College from 1956 to 1960, so I was there as Sid was completing his degree. Such a kind man and such an impressive person he was! He was active in our college YMCA meetings, and I remember his speaking at college chapels and the Presbyterian church. What a long, meaningful life he led! My sympathy to you all. I am happy to have known him for a couple of his 97 years.

  4. Jennifer Stammberger

    I will always regret not being able to come see you as you are one in a million. You were loved by many and you will be severly missed. I pray for peace to come to those who loved you in the days ahead as a sorrowful heart is a heavy heart to carry. May the love you leave behind wrap your family and friends with the warmth they need during this difficult time. Thank you for being a good Dad to my Brother Sam and one day when the spirit world calls me I will seek you to tell you myself. Rest in Peace Sid.

  5. Julie Schlecht

    Thoughts and prayers with your family, Cheyenne, as you mourn the loss of your grandfather.

  6. Jay

    Syd taught me and my sons allot, about the Dakota 38, about his going against his Chief ‘s wishes and marching with Dr Martin Luther King JR, at King’s right hand, Syd said ” i realized when we got to end of the march and sat down for Martin to speak soon, I Said to myself, im sitting right here at his side, if someone wanted to shoot him, they could hit me! And at that moment someone had blown up a paper bag and popped it, I jumped so high, King patted my knee and Said ‘ calm down sissy boy!” With a laugh, he also would recall childhood residential school information that connected us to the generations before me in a way I don’t have words for, his raw honestly of fact, and some of this all was between ages 90 to about 92-93 years old! He had flown out to powwow alone and said , ” I am a bird…” Intertribal beliefs generally call birds messengers, he was a deliverer of messages I and my sons won’t ever stop appreciating. He even was in the only tribe to have to file for American citizenship! He didn’t talk mean though, factual, funny, not mean. He walks on with a heck of a meaningful journey behind him. May we be laughing and talking in spiritual plane of the destination of this journey one day, Sydney, I dance for you, give thanks for your willingness to talk about hard times, your humor, and may the 7 generations after walk in better steps because of you Elder !


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