Lylah Rae “Nayuk/Gigizheb-Awanookwe” Hanks-Townsend and affectionately known as “THE BOSS” was born April 5th, 2012 to her parents Danielle Hanks and Tyler Townsend. Nayuk spent her life with her Ahna and Papa, Susie (Ballot) and David Hanks in Naytahwaush, MN until the last year living in Callaway, MN until her passing on May 8, 2023.
Nayuk was born missing her 18th chromosome causing her to remain small, nonverbal and with physical challenges. She never once let that stop her from getting her point across and letting her presence be known. It was never a challenge for Lylah to maintain her place on the throne due to her mesmerizing light, calming presence, contagious laughter and humorous bossiness.
Lylah’s had some favorite things to do and share with others until it became their favorite thing to do as well. Be it listening to old school funk music with her Papa, playing games with everyone, dancing with her sister, watching tv with her Ahna, going to school with her Bestie and watching her cousins play and laughing along with them. Along with her impeccable ability to command control of a room, she also enjoyed her quiet time to chill in her room watching videos and listening to music. Her light would really shine when she attended ceremonies where she could get EVERYONE to dance, sing, smile, laugh and be grateful for their life.
Early in her life when family heard the diagnosis of her chromosomal depletion…the doctors told of how the best thing for her was to be loved up and she could live a longer life. As many focused their love on her she was also reciprocating that love and bringing about healing for her family and friends. Her natural ability to know whether someone needed a scolding, laughter or love and hugs will forever be unparalleled.
Upon her arrival to the Spirit World, Nayuk will be greeted by both her Parents, Aunties Kelsey Hanks, Charlotte Hanks and Lexie Clark. Uncles James “SonSon” Hanks and Deion Ortley. Paternal Grandparents Karen Townsend, Sam “Big Ort” Ortley. Great Grandparents Emil Ballot,Greg Kingbird, Rose (Bunker) Alvarado, Jeanie Hanks, Dennis Jackson and Jim Grandbois.
Nayuk will be greatly missed by her We’ehs Dana Goodwin, Larry Olson, Tara Mason and Shana Root..Sisters Leenah Hanks and Lenayah Blue, Maternal Grandparents Susie and David. Paternal Grandpa Damian Gullickson. Paternal Great Grandma Nona Townsend. Aunties Carissa (Brandon) Hanks, Shona Hanks and Gloria (Teejay) Hanks and Drucilla (Jayden) Ortley. Uncles Emil (Aleisha) Hanks, Keith Hanks and Landen Russette. Bonus Dad Dustin Blue. Her BFF Dennis Tibbetts. Great Auntie Rita “Nayuk” Ryder, Great Uncle Sonny Outwater. Numerous Aunties, Uncles and cousins.
Active Pall bearers will be Dustin Blue, Sonny Outwater, Jason Hanks and Sam Ortley
Honorary Pallbearers: Dennis Tibbetts, Joyce “Queenie” Arndt, Nurses of the Masonic Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis, Corn and Lisa McAllister, Anna Uran, the nurses of IHS White Earth, her primary provider Dr. Thomas Shriner and all her Lodge and Ceremonial Family.
An overnight wake for Nayuk will begin at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, May11th and continue until her 11:00 a.m. traditional service on Friday, May 12th all being held at the Susie and David Hanks Residence, 22620 County Hwy 14, Callaway, MN. Michael Dahl will be her Spiritual Advisor. Interment will be in the Gaabinigiiwe Burial Grounds at Callaway, MN immediately following her Friday services.
Lylah’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
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