Jerry Lee Kingbird, Sr., age 70, “Zhaa go do we” which means “Strong Voice”, of Ponemah and the Kingfisher Clan began his journey to the spirit world on Saturday, February 1st, 2020 from the Jourdain Perpich Nursing Home in Red Lake, MN. He was born in Red Lake, MN on June 23rd, 1949 to Louisa Kingbird and David Jones, Sr.
Jerry was a quiet but hard-working man all his life who was raised by his aunties Josephine and Rosella “Joyce” Kingbird. As a teenager, Jerry joined a couple of rock bands and encouraged his children to follow his love of country and rock-roll. He took many jobs throughout his life, he was a logger, an EMT, a heavy equipment operator and a commercial fisherman; but his most fulfilling and satisfying was being an Ojibwe language and cultural teacher at the Ponemah schools for 25 years. Jerry was very proud of his native roots and culture; encouraging everyone he knew to learn the language and live the traditional way. He also enjoyed teaching others how to make traditional and native crafts. Jerry was a caring, giving, generous and supportive person who helped anyone in any way he could. Jerry, an avid outdoorsman, liked to hunt and trap. He had a hobby farm, where he raised horses, chickens and a small garden. Every spring, Jerry ran a sugar bush camp, collecting and processing many gallons of maple syrup. He always got together with his friends on Monday nights to watch WWE Wrestling and sit around talking their native language. He also liked traveling to powwows and traditional gatherings; as well as going to auctions and rummage sales. Jerry was a die-hard Vikings and Twins fan. He was very proud of his family, all of whom will miss him dearly.
Family that welcome Jerry to the spirit world are his parents Louisa and David; son, Jeremy Kingbird, Sr.; sisters, Brenda Jones, Nancy Valenzuela and Bernice Lightfeather; brother, Edward Jones; adopted son, Marlin Dickinson and several more family members.
He leaves behind to cherish his memory his sons, Jerry Jr., Conrad (Maggie), Don (Wenona), Jason (Autumn), Kendall (Star) Sr., Randy (Tera) Sr. and Jordan (Kayleen) Kingbird; daughter, Melinda (Brandon) Kingbird; brother, David Jones, Jr.; sisters, Eunice Lightfeather and Karen Jones; 44 grandchildren; nine great grandchildren; adopted sons, Eric Gahbow, Robert Tucker, Opie Day-Bedeau, Brian Thomas and Chuck Lasley; his Drum sons and nephews, numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.
A wake for Jerry will begin at 5:30 p.m., Monday, February 3rd and continue until his 10:00 a.m. traditional services on Wednesday, February 5th all to be held at the Boys and Girls Club in Ponemah, MN. Zac Earley will be his Spiritual Advisor. Pallbearers for Jerry will be Kendall Kingbird, Jr., Chase Kingbird, John Kingbird, Mason Jones, Jon Mountain, Dwight Stately, Randy White and Eric Gahbow. His honorary pallbearers are Lee Whitefeather, David Rosebear, Sr., Jack Kingbird, Jr., Tom Bellanger, Sr., Bill May, Sr., Floyd “Buck” Jourdain and Jerry Morgan. Interment will be in the Family Burial Grounds at Ponemah, MN.
Jerry’s family would like to thank the staff at the Jourdain Perpich Nursing Home for taking good care of him during his time there.
Jerry’s care has been entrusted to Northern Peace Funeral Home of Walker, MN. Online condolences for the family may be left at www.northernpeace.com