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Aug. 22, 1940–June 4, 2024

Nora “Eva” Strange Owl Lee “Live Woman” Ametanee passed away at Monument Health hospital in Rapid City, South Dakota, where she expired of multiple complications.

She was born in Busby, Montana, on Aug. 22, 1940, to John David Strange Owl and her mother, Grace Redneck. She had 10 siblings, three brothers and seven sisters. She grew up in Birney Village, Montana, where she went to elementary school. Eva also went to Ashland for high school. She traveled with her sister, Florence, to California and lived with her older sister, Ann. Eva finished her last two years there and graduated.

After school, she went home, married Clifford J. Small. With the union she had three children.

She later divorced and found the love of her life, Jim Lee, and together they had one son.

Eva worked for Hewlett Packard, building radios in California. She also worked on a ranch riding horses, cleaning stalls, and moving irrigation pipes. She was a great help with the family businesses, taking care of the Stardust Motel and driving truck for J.E.T. Oil Drilling. Eva also enjoyed beading. Her sister Ann owns an American Indian jewelry store, called Eagle Plumes, where Eva made various items such as purses, baby moccasins, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. She also made Native Capote jackets and ribbon shirts.

Eva’s beading went around the world, from Japan to England with special orders, and also to New York City. She was also commissioned to dress and bead the Native American dolls at the Anna Miller Museum in Newcastle, Wyoming. She and her sisters did bead shows in Estes Park, Colorado, and she always looked forward to this time she got to spend with her sisters speaking Cheyenne and seeing the bead work her sisters were working on. Eva also enjoyed the artistry of other Native Nations and sharing their creations.

Eva loved her pets, loved cooking for them in the winter and spoiling them with treats and toys. Her children would often say if they die they wanted to come back and be one of Eva’s pets.

Eva is survived by her husband, James “Jim” C. Lee, two children, Shannon (Joe) Thomas and Troy Lee (Terry Treadway); grandchildren, Vanessa, Jessica, and Otto Braided Hair, Breanne, Taylor, Brekken, and Austin Small, Bradley and Ashley Thomas, and Tyler Lee; 12 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews that filled her with love, happiness, and respect.

Funeral service will be held June 15 at 11 a.m. at Meridian Mortuary. Condolences may be sent to the family in care of Meridian Mortuary, 111 S. Railway Ave., Newcastle, WY, 82701 or expressions of sympathy may also be made online at

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