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March 30, 2023

12/9/2022 5:29:00 AM
James "Jim" Thunder Sr.

James "Jim" Thunder Sr., "Bemwédêk", "Sound of Thunder Going Along", 86, of Pickerel, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, Dec. 2, 2022 at his home.

James was born May 25, 1936, in Soperton (Wabeno), the son of Frank and Jenny (Mike) Thunder.

He was raised and attended school in Wabeno. As a young man, he enlisted in the United States Army where he was stationed in Germany. Following his honorable discharge, he married Alberta Shawano, with whom he shared three children. The couple later divorced. He then married Joanne Pruitt, together the couple were blessed with three children. After their divorce, Jim spent many great years with his partner, Virginia Jacobson, before his death.

For several years he worked for the U.S. Forest Service as a forester and later as a Potawatomi Language Consultant for the many different Potawatomi Bands in the U.S. and Canada. He also served as Tribal Chairman for the Forest County Potawatomi. Jim was an author of several language books as well as cultural storytelling and was currently working on publishing his 10th publication. He was a major contributor to the Tribal dictionary. He loved to travel, especially road trips in the woods where he would show his family and friends "shortcuts". Jim liked to play guitar... especially Johnny Cash songs, hunt, fish and occasional visits to the casino as he got older. He was also quite technology savvy.

Survivors include: daughters, Alyce Daniels, Leigh Jennifer Thunder, Jessica Thunder; longtime companion, Virginia Jacobson; sister, Mary Jane Thunder; 14 grandchildren as well as many great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; children, Joni Thunder, Ken Thunder, James Thunder Jr.; sisters, Martha Thunder, Carol Thunder, brothers, Frank Thunder Jr., Anderson Thunder, Ben Thunder, Hoover Thunder, George Thunder and Tom Thunder.

Visitation began on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022 at 5 p.m. at the Forest County Potawatomi Cultural Center. Native American services were held on Monday, Dec. 5, 2022 at the Cultural Center beginning at 10 a.m. with Mr. Richard Oshkeshequoam presiding. Burial took place at the Forest County Potawatomi Tribal Cemetery in Crandon.

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking family and friends to consider a donation to Bodwéwadmimwen Ėthë Ték by following the link provided.

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