Jimmy Louis “Jim” Tushka Sr.
Thu, 04/13/2017 - 3:25pm admin
Jimmy Louis “Jim” Tushka Sr. went home to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on March 25, 2017 while surrounded by his loving family. Jimmy was born Sept. 24, 1939 in Talihinia, Okla. to Austin Levi Tushka and Velma Lee (Ontyabii) Roberts. A member of the Choctaw Tribe of Oklahoma, he grew up in Broken Bow, Okla. and graduated from Broken Bow High School. He continued his education, attending Technical School in Fort Worth, Tex., where he would become the first Native American to ever graduate there.
He became a Reservist, serving in the Army National Guard and later receiving his honorable discharge. He went on to own and operate a small auto repair and service station in Wyola, was a mechanic for Graham-Stanton Chevrolet and eventually retired from the Westmoreland Resources Sarpy Creek Mine near Hardin, where he worked in operations for 27 years.
In 1957, Jim met Belva Medicine Horse in Dallas, Tex. Belva and Jim were joined in matrimony in Lodge Grass on June 3, 1959 and they made their home in Wyola, Lodge Grass and Dallas, before settling in Crow Agency. Over the years, their love grew into a beautiful, large family. Jim and Belva fostered and raised over more than 40 children.
They began their work together in ministry, traveling throughout the United States and Canada ministering the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Their ministry assisted many local pastors, evangelists and other ministries in the Body of Christ. They were well known for their beautiful “Southern Gospel” style of singing. Jim served as the Senior Pastor of Souls Harbor Church, Lodge Grass Full Gospel Church and The Everlasting Gospel Church in which they discipled their children and many others in ministry. Today, this legacy lives on through their children and grandchildren. On Jan. 28, 2007, Belva went home to be with the Lord.
Jim married Senora Jean Williamson on Oct. 19, 2007 and they resided in Crow Agency. Their love for God and the work of the ministry continued to become the strength of this union. They became members of The H.O.M.E. Church in Billings and, together, entered a greater calling as Elders in the Body of Christ.
Although Jim led a great role of employment and a powerful ministry in the Body of Christ, in late 2007 he was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. He faced tremendous changes in life that somehow gave him a strength to move into greater depths in the ministry. At this time in his life, his loving wife Jean would play an important role through care and support during his fight against cancer. She became a great source of strength for the family and they continued on to serve in ministry, together totally devoted to one another, to family and to God, up until the time of his passing.
Jim is preceded in death by his father Austin Levi Tushka; former wife Belva Tushka; brother Walton Tushka; sisters Ada and Norma Jean Tushka; son Frank Tushka; grandchildren Natalia Little Light, Christopher Long Soldier and David Bull Chief; great-grandson Kaison Maze Tushka; his adopted mothers Hazel Medicine Horse, Hellen Hiwalker, Katherine Big Hail and Katherine Little Light; his best friends Rev. Norman Lacquette, Rev. Larry Gilbert and Dr. Jay Swallow; and his mentor Rev. Harold Carpenter.
Today, Jim is survived by his wife of nine years Senora Tushka; and his mother Velma (William) Roberts of Fort Worth, Tex. His surviving siblings are Ernest (Artina), Gary (Adriene) and Wallace Tushka, all of Oklahoma; and Glenda Tushka-Skeet, Esther Davis and Verna (Tommy) John, all of Texas.
His daughters are Velma Tushka, Mikki (George) Riddle Jr. of Billings, Billy (Burdick) Two Leggins Sr. of Dunmore, Kaylene (Orland) Little Light of Crow Agency, Jewel (Vincent) Crooked Arm Jr., Anita (Duane) Bull Chief Sr. of Hardin and Juanita (Conrad) Yellowmule Sr. of Wyola. Sons are Jimmy (Valena) Tushka Jr. of Crow Agency and Michael (Anna) Old Crane Sr. of Lame Deer.
His stepdaughters include Gladys and Laverne Takes Horse, and his stepson is Al (Eunice) Takes Horse. His brother-in-law is Sammy Hoops Sr. of Lodge Grass.
The joys of his life were his 49 grandchildren, 93 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren. Adopted sons are Joseph, Darryl, Duwayne, Terrance, Eugene and Adrian Lacquette, Tim Johnson, Billy Harris, David Bear Shield, Jared Stewart, Franklin Jefferson, Shobe Little Light, Dale Good Luck Sr., Titus Upham, Art Shorting, PJ and Warren Jefferson. Adopted daughters are JoAnn Catcheway, Kristine Haukaas, Joni Pease, Mindy Itson, Karren Rindehl, Dianne Two Bulls, Bev Flaten and Carla Coltoaster.
His adopted brother is Floyd Hiwalker; and adopted sisters are Shirleen Glen, Rosella Shane and Linda Birdin Ground.
His pastor was Rev. Woody Brien; and further family connections include the Harold Carpenter family and Harold Enick family – extended families are those of Ontayaibbi, Wesley, Amos and Lacquette.
He was blessed with a great line of physicians and health care providers, and became a walking miracle under the skilled and guided care of Dr. Robert Wilson, M.D., Indian Health Service; Dr. Jospeh Apostol, Cardiovascular Consultant; Dr. Martin K. Lucas, M.D.; Tracey Kurkoski, RN; and the staff of the St. Vincent’s Health Care Frontier Cancer Center. The family extends our gratitude and appreciation for your excellent care of our loved one.