Virginia Eva Max, Wagacan waste win, was born on October 9th, 1939 in Sisseton South Dakota to Lucinda Wing & Joseph Johnson. She started her journey to the spirit world on Friday January 14th, 2022 in her home surrounded by her family. Virginia Eva Johnson was united in marriage to Vincent Max Sr in 1957. Of this union Virginia & Vincent had 6 children. Denise Max (Renville), Collette Max, Arlys Max, Vincent Max Jr, Jeffery Max Sr, Travis Max Sr.
Virginia attended United Tribes Technical College in the 70’s While there Virginia and her husband Vincent were part of starting the first annual United Tribes Wacipi. Virginia completed her Dakota Studies degree at Sisseton Wahpeton College. After moving back home from Bismarck she had numerous jobs from the alcohol program, CHR, child support, and after working in child support she worked at the Tiospa Zina Tribal School as a Dakota language teacher. Virginia & her husband Vincent Max Sr were strong believers of the Dakota spirituality. They practiced and attended sweats, ceremonies and Sundances. She sun danced for many years with the Wambdihdeska Wiwang Wacipi since the late 1970’s. She would attend every monthly Sundance meeting that she could and every year she faithfully supported the sundance by sundancing until she wasn’t no longer physically able to but yet showed up every year and to every sweat she could. She was such a firm believer in the Dakota spirituality. Virginia loved her children, grandchildren & great grandchildren tremendously and wanted to them know that way of life.
Virginia was a fluent Dakota language speaker who was often asked to participate in recordings to help preserve the Dakota Iapi. Over the past few years, she contributed oral history and Dakota knowledge to the Dakota Language Institute by telling stories or sharing history during the elder Dakota Iapi recording sessions. She was also an advocate for the people for many years by serving on the SWO Tribal council as the Kaksiza Hanska (Long Hollow) district representative.
She enjoyed spending time with her family as well as activities such as putting together puzzles with her daughters Denise and Arlys, and grandchildren June, Amanda, & Jerrad, reading, attending sporting events to support her grandchildren & visiting her Sundance Tiwahe, also enjoyed watching her son’s, grandson’s and all moccasin players play Moccasin. before the closing of the bingo hall, she loved attending Bingo where she would sit and visit with her friends & she enjoyed going to Dakota Connection Casino to gamble. Virginia was a strong, faithful, resilient & humble Dakota Winyan who did not, as her granddaughter described, have a mean bone in her body.
Virginia was preceded in death by her parents Lucinda Wing & Joe Johnson, her sisters Charmaine Johnson, Pauline Johnson & Darlene Johnson, Her husband Vincent Max Sr, her daughter Collette Max, son Vincent Max Jr, a Granddaughter Victoria Max, Grandsons Travis Max Jr, Jeffery Max Jr & her great grandson Jarron Max.
She is survived by her children: Denise Renville (Felix Renville), Arlys Max, Jeffery Max Sr & Travis Max Sr as well as 17 Grandchildren, 28 great grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild.
She will be dearly missed by her Tiwahe and all who loved her.
Burial will be set at a later date at the Wambdihdeska Wicahapi, where she will be laid to rest by her late husband, & Grandson’s
The Chilson Funeral Home assisted the family with funeral arrangements. On-line condolences can be directed to www.chilsonfuneralhome.com
Virginia was such kind lady, always had a good spirit. It’s hard to find the right words to say at a time like this. She was a great Dakota woman, she will be missed by all who knew her. Rest in peace my friend 🙏