Jean J. Songetay (Mookijiwanibiikwe), a lifelong resident of Danbury, the oldest member of the St. Croix Chippewa Tribe passed away September 18, 2023 at the age of 102.
Jean, the oldest of seven was born in Ogema Township, Minnesota on March 21, 1921 to parents, John W. and Anna M. (Sutton) Staples. Jean married Edwin Songetay, Sr. in 1947 and were married 49 years, having ten children.
Jean served as a steward of her community bringing her strong cultural knowledge of tribal traditions such as bead working and moccasin making to all ages because she cared about people and wanted it to carry on for future generations. One of the most important contributions was her ability to speak fluent Ojibwe and her desire to teach it and keep the language from being lost. She worked as a teacher in nutrition, elder services, as a teacher’s aid, on top of being a foster grandparent for over 30 years.
In her free time, she did enjoy going to garage sales, thrifting, cooking, frying bread, sewing, playing bingo and spending time with her family. Her most favorite pastime was fishing.
Jean was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Edwin; her five children, Lawrence, Sharon, Michael, Roxanne and Jean; three grandchildren, Kaylee, Nicholas and Shawn; and siblings, Leona, James, Marvin, Marion and Betty.
She will be forever remembered and honored by her children, Shirley, Ed, Jr., Beverly, Donald, Martin and Veronica; 21 grandchildren; many great great grandchildren, including Eviett; along with many nieces, nephews, other relatives and a community who embraced her.
Friends may call after 7:00 PM on Wednesday, September 20, 2023 at the Danbury Tribal Center with funeral services held on Thursday, September 21, 2023 at 10:00 AM. Interment will follow at the Danbury Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Ed Songetay III, Butch Sutton, Jeremy Songetay, Clifford Benjamin, Jr., Mark Stoner, Jr., and Del Benjamin.
Arrangements were entrusted to Swedberg-Taylor Funeral Home, Webster. Online condolences can be made at www.swedberg-taylor.com