Juanita Kaye (Fredericks) Warden passed away peacefully on April 17, 2011, at Community Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Stephenville, Texas, with her loving family by her side.
Juanita’s Hidatsa name is “Crocus Woman” (Maa-Xho-Daa).
Juanita was born the seventh of nine children to John and Catherine (Medicine Stone) Fredericks on Aug. 16, 1941, in Elbowoods. She was raised on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation and graduated from Killdeer High School, where she was a cheerleader and served on the student council. In the summer of 1959, Juanita competed for Miss Indian America at Sheridan, Wyo. Juanita attended Colorado State University and graduated from Minot State University with a bachelor of science degree in business and physical education. While at CSU, she was a very active member of the rodeo team, excelling in barrel racing and goat tying. Juanita appeared in Sports Illustrated’s “Faces in the Crowd” in the June 1961 issue, after winning the All-Around Cowgirl title at the Chadron State College Rodeo in Nebraska. At Minot State, Juanita continued to rodeo individually in the college rodeo circuit. Juanita was honored to serve as the Killdeer Mountain rodeo queen and was very proud of serving as a flag bearer for the Fettig Rodeo Stock Contractors.
Following her graduation from Minot State, Juanita began her 32-year teaching career at Laramie County School district No. 1 in Cheyenne, Wyo.; she taught physical education and health at all three levels in the District. Juanita coached track, volleyball and gymnastics, winning several state titles. She later earned a master’s degree in education from Leslie College.
Juanita was joined in marriage to E.L. “Jim” Warden for 23 years. From this union, a daughter, Becky, and a son, John, were born.
Following her retirement, Juanita relocated to the southwestern United States to spend time with her children and grandchildren.
Juanita was a member of the Tri Sigma Sorority, the VFW Women’s Auxiliary and the National Guard Ladies’ Auxiliary. She was also a North Dakota Rodeo Hall of Fame Trustee.
Juanita is survived by her daughter, Becky Jean, and her husband, Paul Lettunich, DeLeon, Texas; her son, John J. Warden, and his wife, Kristi, Fort Worth, Texas; her brothers, Peter (Sylvia) Fredericks, Halliday, and Thomas (Judy) Fredericks, Lafayette, Colo.; her sister, Betty (Marcus) Gress, Lafayette, Colo.; and her grandchildren, Catherine Lettunich and Kasey Lettunich, College Station, Texas, and Tyler Lettunich and Paul Lettunich III, DeLeon, Texas. Juanita is also survived by her many other nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, John and Catherine (Medicine Stone) Fredericks; her brothers, Kenneth Fredericks, John “Buzz” Fredericks and Keith Fredericks; and her sisters, Wilhelmina “Buddine” Stewart and Duveen Keene.
Juanita was raised in the Catholic faith and will have a traditional Native American wake and funeral. The rosary will be said on Easter Sunday, April 24, at the Twin Buttes Community Hall at
5 p.m. CDT with the wake to follow. Juanita’s funeral will be at the Community Hall on Monday, April 25, at 10 a.m. CDT. Arrangements are through Barbot-Seibel Funeral Home, 1301 Highway 49 North, Beulah.
The family wishes to especially thank Juanita’s nieces Ronda Armstrong and Dr. Sharon Keene, who provided Juanita care and comfort and enabled her to remain at home as she courageously fought her battle with cancer.
Juanita will be sorely missed by all of her family who, throughout the years, so greatly cherished her companionship, generosity and loving spirit. Mom, Grandma, Sister and Auntie: We love you eternally, and we will miss you dearly.