Doris M. McGrady, 69, a resident of Bethel Lutheran Home in Williston, N.D., passed away on March 18, 2013, after a long illness. Per her wishes and instructions, cremation has taken place, and a memorial service will be held in July, prior to the Mandaree Pow Wow, after which her ashes will be scattered atop Bull Buttes.
In keeping with Hidatsa/Mandan tradition, Doris’ spirit was sent on her journey to the Spirit World by her Water Buster Clan Aunt, Cerese Baker, on the morning of March 23, 2013, at a private ceremony in New Town. Doris was a member of the Flint Knife Clan through her mother; however, her father was adopted by the Water Buster Clan. Her father’s Clan had the responsibility to send her on her journey to the Spirit World.
Doris M. McGrady was born in Montana on April 30, 1943, to Donald and Emma Jane (Baker) McGrady. Because of her birth state, her father gave her the middle name “Montana.”
She graduated from White Earth High School, attended Dickinson State University, and received her Bachelor’s degree from Black Hills State in Spearfish, S.D. She later earned an M.S. degree from Penn State University and her ABD in education also from Penn State.
Doris was a lifelong student and a lifelong educator. She was gifted with a brilliant mind that she used effectively. She began her English teaching career at Tioga High School. Other teaching positions included New Town High School and Mandaree High School. After completion of her graduate work at Penn State, she taught and administered college programs at Eastern Montana College in Billings (now MSU-Billings); Minot State University; Indiana State University at South Bend, Ind.
She came back to the secondary team as High School Principal at New Town High School (where she was instrumental in developing the Middle School). Her curiosity then took her to Alaska where she served as Principal of Little Diomede School in the Bering Sea, and as assistant Principal at Point Hope on the Arctic Ocean. Because of health problems, she returned as an English teacher to New Town High School, the New Town Boys and Girls Club, and eventually, the GED Program at Fort Berthold Community College. Because of increasing health issues, she was forced to retire before her time.
Doris was a teacher and a seeker of knowledge; and she passed it on. She was beautiful and didn’t know it. She danced, she laughed, she loved, she lived! She swore only when necessary.
Doris will be deeply missed by her children, Teko Helling, Audrey Helling and Maria Hishu Wea McGrady and her ex-husband and lifelong friend, Avery Helling, of White Earth, N.D.
She is also survived by her sisters-in-law, Claudia McGrady of New Town, N.D., and Monte Larmer of White Earth, N.D.; her sister, Georgia Green of Rapid City, S.D.; her aunt, Rose McGrady Petree of Minnesota; and many relatives, friends and colleagues from the field of education.
Doris was preceded in death by her parents; grandmother, Etta McGrady; her sisters, June Wilcox and Sharon Bowman; her brothers, Don Jr. Aka Jerry, and Harry James Green.
Fulkerson Funeral Home of Williston is assisting the family with the arrangements.