December 14, 1932 ~ January 3, 2023
KYLE – Darlene Rosalie (Rooks) Rosane, 90 made her journey to the Spirit World on January 3, 2023 at her home near Kyle, SD. Darlene was born on December 14, 1932 to Joseph and Dora (Little Warrior) Rooks in Pine Ridge, SD.
Darlene was the oldest granddaughter to Johnson Little Warrior. Darlene was raised by Ben and Jesse American Horse and grew up on American Horse Creek where she has resided until her passing.
When Darlene was a teenage, her grandfather had her compete in the Miss Indian America Pageant. Darlene was crowned Miss Indian America, but because of low funds to the Oglala Sioux Tribe she was directed to sell her crown to the Northern Cheyenne Tribe; this money was used to help others. Also in her teenage years, she traveled to Washington D.C. with her grandfather, Ben American Horse, her picture can be found in several books and in the museum in Pierre, SD where she was given a key to the city, which in those days it was one of the highest honors. Darlene was able to have dinner with state senators, one of the most known names being Senator John F. Kennedy. Darlene loves to reminiscence about her experiences in her travels to Washington DC and the cultural shock.
Darlene worked with Universal Pictures in her late teen and early twenties, she was in several movies and the most famous being “Crazy Horse.” It was very exciting to see our mother’s name in the credits. Darlene also completed training in Nursing, only to discover this was not a field meant for her. Darlene is the 13trh chartered member of AIM, when it was first becoming a charter. As she said, “When Russell was a kid.”
Darlene loved working outdoors, she worked as a carpenter in several states traveling to the west and east coast working as a carpenter. This alone was a great accomplishment for her. Darlene chose to walk away from her path in the movies and carpentry to return home and take care of her elderly grandparents, and have a family. Darlene raised four children as a single parent, again another great accomplishment.
When it was decided that the native languages where to be saved, Darlene was grandfathered in as a Lakota and Cultural Expert. She played a large role in the development of the curriculum that is still used today. Darlene shared her stories and knowledge with Little Wound and Oglala Lakota College.
Although times were hard for her, she never gave up. She was blessed with being the oldest of five generations. She would say, “I grew up alone out here in American Horse, no one to play with but the horse and dogs, now my family is big, I will never have to be alone again.” Darlene was full of history and listening to her stories have been an influence to many lives. She was very humble and a proud member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe.
We are very honored to be the children of such a beautiful woman.
Darlene is survived by her children, Ramona (Dale) C. Vocu, Bernadine (Ed) Herrera, Austin (Lisa) L. Watkins, and Dr. Thomas (Lori) Wayne Watkins; sister, Sterline Rooks-Jealous of Him; and numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren.
Darlene was preceded in death by her grandparents whom she was raised by, Ben & Jessie American Horse; parents, Joseph and Dorothy (Little Warrior) Rooks; grandparents, Johnson and Ella (Cloud Horse) Little Warrior, Joseph Rooks, Jr. and Rosalie (Marshall) Rooks; sister, Yvonne Rooks-Loafer; and brother, Lorenzo Rooks.
Pallbearers will be Austin Watkins, Jr., Maurice Vocu, Brady Ferguson, Renzel Watkins, Anthony Ferguson, and Michael “Bo” Vocu.
Honorary pallbearers will be all Family & Friends
Wake Services: One night wake service starting at 10:00 AM, Tuesday, January 10, 2023 at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church Hall in Kyle, SD with evening services starting at 7:00 PM.
Funeral Services: 10:00 AM, Wednesday, January 11, 2023 at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church Hall in Kyle, SD
Officiating: Mother Michelle Dayton and Lay Minister Anthony Wounded Head
Traditional Lakota Services: To Be Announced
Burial Services: Mediator Episcopal Cemetery, Kyle, SD
Arrangements entrusted with Sioux Funeral Home of Pine Ridge.