Theodore “Ted” Lyle Means Obituary


Last Updated: 6 years

 A burial ceremony for Ted Means, 65, Lakota, who passed away last Wednesday in Rapid City, South Dakota will began today 9 am cst, at Sinte Gleska University Multi-Purpose Building on the Rosebud Indian Reservation.

Means is survived by his brothers Russell and Bill. 

All three brothers have been involved with leadership positions within the American Indian Movement.

Over the weekend, Dennis Banks, co-founder of the American Indian Movement, traveled to South Dakota to attend the ceremonies there.

Ted was very active in the American Indian Movement’s 71 day occupation of Wounded Knee in 1973. During the siege, he coordinated mail in and out of the occupied hamlet with the assistant of someone at Wounded Knee.

Means, who lived in nearby Porcupine would take it there to ensure it would be sent out. In turn, he would pick the mail up in Porcupine to make sure it got delivered on the inside.

In the ensuing years, he worked with the Heart of the Earth Survival School Prison Program, where he went into prisons to assist American Indian prisoners maintain ceremonial practices.

As a member of a highly visible family within the American Indian Movement, he maintained a strong presence with American Indian circles. Later, he served as the executive director of the Porcupine Health Clinic until his retirement.

“It’s hard to organize the people around anything except money, especially when the press is telling them that everything is okay… They (the government) give a guy a pickup truck and a six-pack, and he’s satisfied. The Indians are satisfied to be miserably comfortable,”
Means told author Peter Matthiessen in “In the Spirit of Crazy Horse” published by Penguin Books in 1992.

A traditional Lakota ceremony will be conducted by Jerome LeBeau and Jim Clairmont. 
Burial will be at 2 pm cst, at Feather-Necklace Family Cemetery in Greenwood.

Besides, Russell Means and Bill Means, he is survived by his wife, Lynn Means, Mission; 12 children, Theodore Means Jr., Fort Hall, Idaho; Red Boy Means, Porcupine; Oyate Means, Sisseton; Shelley Means, Rosebud; LeToy Lunderman, Parmelee; Tipi Means and Faith Means, both of Winnebago, Nebraska; Casey Means, Pine Ridge; Shyla LaRoche, C.J. LaRoche, and Sammie Larson, all of Mission; and Season Means, Minneapolis, Minneapolis; two sisters, Mabel Ann Phillips and Madonna Phillips, both of Wagner; and 25 grandchildren.

Wake services for Mr. Means were held on Saturday night in Porcupine and at Sinte Gleska University Multi-Purpose Building in Mission.

Sioux Funeral Home in Pine Ridge is in charge of arrangements.