Died – Demise – Obituary
Susan Kelly Energy: Jan. 22, 1925 – Oct. 29, 2022
Particular to ICT
Susan Louise Kelly Energy, lifetime activist, mom, and good friend to many, died Oct. 29, 2022, on the age of 97 in Chicago, Illinois.
Susan was born in 1925 in Fort Yates, North Dakota, on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. She was deeply happy with her Yanktonai Dakota heritage, and of being descended from a line of hereditary chiefs, together with her great-grandfather, Chief Mahto Nunpa. Her mom, Josephine Gates Kelly, was a revered chief who in the end turned chairperson of the tribe in 1946. Susan significantly admired her mom, and sought to comply with in her footsteps, ultimately turning into an activist chief herself.
She was one in every of eight kids born to her mom, Josephine, and father, Colvin Kelly. She was notably near her sisters, Helen, Elsie, and Margaret Theodora. All of her beloved siblings predeceased her. She was despatched to Indian Boarding Colleges throughout her early years, a Catholic boarding faculty in South Dakota, and the Bismarck Indian Faculty in North Dakota. Many years later, she regaled her daughter with tales of the abuse she and others skilled in these amenities, remarking how grateful she was to attend highschool again house in Fort Yates. She typically reminisced about rising up throughout the highway from Sitting Bull’s unique grave, and the way she and her siblings designated themselves as protectors of his resting place. They turned to him for solace, and whispered their secrets and techniques to his spirit.
Although Susan by no means supposed to go away North Dakota, in 1942 she was despatched to Chicago to function companion and housekeeper for a rich Dakota girl who missed her individuals. Susan started saving cash with the intention of “going house,” however in serving to out her household on the reservation, it appeared not possible to succeed in that purpose. Susan by no means did transfer again to North Dakota, dwelling most of her life in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood.
Susan held a wide range of jobs throughout her lifetime, doing manufacturing unit work when she was younger, and in later years, proofreading legislation journals for the College of Chicago Regulation Faculty, working on the Museum of Science & Trade, the Salvation Military, and the Census Bureau. Her favourite job was at A.C. McClurg’s E book Distributing Firm, turning into the chief assistant to the corporate’s director, Man Kendall. Susan was a voracious reader, who cherished nothing higher than being within the coronary heart of the ebook world, assembly authors, having fun with advance entry to forthcoming titles. She frequently visited libraries and used bookstores all through the town, progressively placing collectively her personal spectacular assortment of books on Native American historical past.
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Susan was an extrovert who thrived on making associates from all backgrounds. She was notably excited to run into fellow Native individuals on the streets of Chicago. Regardless of being shy in her youth, she would method anybody she suspected of being Native American, and ask what tribe they belonged to. On this approach, she started to type a neighborhood of Indian individuals from many various tribal nations. In 1953, Susan was a part of a gaggle that based the American Indian Heart of Chicago, the primary Indian Heart in the US. The Indian Heart continues its operations as of this writing, now situated at 3401 W. Ainslie St. in Chicago, Illinois, 60625.
Susan was concerned within the actions of different Native organizations, together with the Indian Council Fireplace, and the Nationwide Congress of American Indians the place she was the youngest member upon their founding in 1944. Within the early Nineteen Seventies, Susan turned a pivotal activist within the Chicago Indian Village motion, which protested poor dwelling situations and insufficient job alternatives accessible to Native individuals lured into cities through the Relocation interval. On account of disappointment within the final result of a few of her activist endeavors, Susan turned serious about studying concerning the legislation, and through her research earned a paralegal certificates at age 70. She typically supported and represented neighborhood members needing authorized recommendation, all the time with out cost.
Susan was honored with many awards all through her lifetime, a number of examples being a management award from the American Indian Heart, and the 2012 Unsung Heroines Award from Cook dinner County, introduced to her by Toni Preckwinkle. On a go to to her daughter who attended Harvard Faculty within the Eighties, Susan famous that there wasn’t any plaque or monument in Harvard Yard indicating the place Harvard’s Indian Faculty as soon as stood. She wrote letters and made cellphone calls to inquire why this was the case, provided that its founders used Native individuals in an early fundraising effort. On account of her actions on this regard, she was invited to hitch a committee organized by HUNAP (Harvard College Native American Program), to safe that plaque. Susan was one of many audio system at Harvard’s unveiling of the memorial plaque in 1997.
Susan had a outstanding recall of the historical past of her reservation and its community of households going again a number of generations. She started documenting these reminiscences in tales and performs, and was a gifted author who had a number of alternatives to be revealed within the Eighties. Nonetheless, she turned down these possibilities, and as a substitute inspired her daughter’s love of writing and eventual publication of volumes of fiction.
Susan was predeceased by her loving husband, Carleton G. Energy, who died in 1973, and is survived by her daughter, Mona Susan Energy, stepson, Douglas Energy, and his spouse, Jeanann Glassford Energy, stepdaughter, Marjorie Mbilinyi, and grandchildren, Douglas Drew & Alessandra Energy, Nnali, Anina, & Lyungai Mbilinyi.
A Celebration of Susan’s life might be held on the St. Kateri Heart of Chicago, 3938 N Leavitt St., Chicago, Illinois, 60618, on Jan. 22, 2023, what would have been her 98th birthday.
Susan Kelly Energy: Jan. 22, 1925 – Oct. 29, 2022