Polly "First Blossom" was born Oct. 10, 1924, at home in Elbowoods to Douglass and Ollie (Horn) Standish. She was an Alkali Lodge member of the Three Clan, and a child of the Water Buster Clan.
First Blossom worked very hard throughout her lifetime. She helped her family to farm and ranch. She worked on a ranch for Mrs. Becker in Killdeer before moving to Billings, Mont., in the late 1940s. While she was there she was employed at the American Cafe and a dry cleaning business. When her father became ill, she moved back to Fort Berthold to help take care of him. She moved to Fort Yates in the mid-1960s and worked for two doctors in the area. After the flood of Elbowoods, she moved to the Mandaree area where she remained until her own illness forced her to move to the New Town area to be closer to the healthcare facilities.
First Blossom had many hobbies and interests. She was a "Jack of all trades" to many. She loved to bead, sew, cook and she enjoyed being a caregiver. She also enjoyed making star quilts. In the early 1970s she made the first satin star quilt on Fort Berthold for her son Davis when he entered the Marine Corps. After this, many followed suit. Jean quilts were also one of her specialties. Polly also loved to bead outfits for her family before pow-wow season. She enjoyed crocheting, carpentry, brain tanning hides, gardening her own groceries and helping to build homes. She thoroughly enjoyed singing and listening to gospel hymns and traditional native music. She also enjoyed watching her favorite television shows, telling stories, visiting with her relatives, joking around and was known for her biscuits. She devoted much of her time to being a caregiver; she enjoyed raising her children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.
One of the many lessons she taught her family was to always have faith. She was an active member of the Congregational Church and those who knew her best knew she had a very close relationship with God, so close that in her prayers HE was "DADDY."
In the mid-50s, she married Leon Long Chase-Mongram in Manning. She had four sons and one daughter.
First Blossom's loving family, the ones who shared her many memories include: her children, Ralph (Ann) Lindberg, of Conrad, Mont., Roberta Bell, New Town, Herman (Diane) Mongram, White Shield, Evangeline Mongram, Minot, and Davis Mongram, New Town; her grandchildren, Teri Lindberg, Jeanne Lindberg and Beau Lindberg, Lisa Jefferson, Elaine Bolman, Murphy Bell, Josette Bell, Terry Mongram-Beston, Bernice DuBois, Desiree Carrera-Rojas, Bernie Mongram, Vanessa Overlie, Bessie Wells, Sarah Garrett, Rosemarie Ramirez, Merlin Red Feather, Wamblee Wea Red Feather, Tanya Mongram, Ashlee Erickson; 42 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
First Blossom passed on in her home on Friday, July 27, 2012. She journeys to the spirit world with her father, Douglass (Red Tail); her mother, Ollie (Cedar Woman); her brothers, Infant Old Mouse, Lee Old Mouse Sr., Martin Old Mouse, William Standish, Oliver Standish, Leo Standish Sr.; her sisters, Frieda Old Mouse and Alberta Standish; her infant son; daughter, Cheryl K. Long Chase; and four great-grandchildren, One Star Crows Breast, Preston Young Bird, Garrett Fox and Thomas Bolman Jr.; as well as many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank all of the many doctors and nurses who helped care for Polly during her illness as well as the staff of Thompson-Larson Funeral Home.
Wake Services: Tuesday, July 31, 5 p.m., at Four Bears Community Center Johnny Bird Memorial Center, New Town.
Funeral Services: Wednesday, Aug. 1, 11 a.m., at the community center.
Burial: Independence Cemetery, rural Mandaree.
For those wishing to sign an online guest register for Polly, they may go to (www.thompsonlarson.com) and share memories.
Thompson-Larson Funeral Home, Minot, is in charge of arrangements.