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George Fairbanks Sr.

July 29, 1933-May 26, 2009

George A. "Joe Bush" Fairbanks, Sr., 75, of Ponsford, died Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at Emmanuel Nursing Home in Detroit Lakes.

George Allen "Joe Bush" Fairbanks, Sr., "Mishkow-Binise" (Strong Thunderbird), was born to Willis and Hattie (De Jorden) Fairbanks on July 29, 1933 in White Earth. He was raised in Pine Point, and attended the Pine Point School and the Park Rapids Area High School. In 1951, George joined the Navy for six years, serving in Korea. He was honorably discharged with many, many medals received during his tour of duty for his country. He was also a certified electrician and had attended culinary school in the Twin Cities.

From 1968 to 1972, George was a cook supervisor at the Job Corps Center in Rochert. He also served as a White Earth Tribal Council member in the 1970s. George called himself a "jack of all trades." He married Emily Brown in June of 1961 in Park Rapids. They had four children, and later divorced through Indian custom. George was of the "Odag" (Crow) Clan and became a spiritual advisor to the White Earth Nation with his second wife, Margaret Norcross by his side. They traveled around the world, going to pow-wows and helping his people as much as he possibly could. He was well known by his people nationwide.

George married Margaret Norcross in 1972 at Ponsford. He spent the last 35 years of his life with his adopted family, six stepchildren, three adopted sons and 31 great grandchildren.

George's hobbies included visiting with friends and relatives and whoever wanted to visit. He also enjoyed traveling to pow-wows, telling stories of his life, doing crossword puzzles, playing cards, watching boxing and helping anyone who needed his advice.

George will be sadly missed by his first wife, Emily (Brown) Fairbanks of Osage; his children, Delmas (Alvina) Fairbanks, George (Barb) Fairbanks, Jr., Bonnie Jo (Leroy) Fairbanks, Rhonda, Myron, Vincent, Joycelyn (Louie), Greg and Lorene (Terry) Norcross, all of Ponsford; adopted sons, Reginald Meeks, Tom Peirce of Kentucky, Bob Peasley of Little Canada, Minn., and Mike Dahl of Nay-Tah-Waush; as well as many grandchildren, great grandchildren, and nieces.

Preceding him in death were his parents, Willis and Hattie Fairbanks; sister, Bernice; two brothers, Delven and Raymond; son, David Fairbanks; his grandparents, Anna and Bill Bassett; his wife of 32 years, Margaret Norcross; special granddaughter, Carol Peake; and great grandson, Sheldon Peake Bluebird.

There will be visitation from 4 p.m. Thursday, May 28 until the time of services on Saturday at the Pine Point New School Gymnasium.

A traditional funeral service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, May 30 at the Pine Point New School Gymnasium, with Mike Swan and Dr. Carson Gardner officiating.

Pallbearers will be Terry Peake, Leroy Basswood, Guy Lidstad, Butch and Gerald Roberts, Louie Warren, Craig Jackson Jr. and Brandon Bloom.

Honorary pallbearers will be Porgi Auginaush, Fred Urich, Roy Lindstrom, Robert Durant, Ron Kingbird, the White Earth Honor Guard, the White Earth Tribal Council, and all of George's family and friends from the Fairbanks and Norcross families.

Interment will be at the George Fairbanks, Sr. residence in Ponsford. The David-Donehower Funeral Home in Detroit Lakes is serving the family. Memories may be shared online at