Jody Goodthunder


Jody GoodthunderJody Goodthunder entered the Spirit World on Sunday, March 16, 2014 at the Redwood Area Hospital.  Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, March 20 at St. Cornelia’s Episcopal Church at the Lower Sioux Community.  Visitation begins at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday at the church hall and will continue until the time of services on Thursday.  Interment is in St. Cornelia’s Episcopal Cemetery.  Stephens Funeral Service – Redwood Valley Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

Joseph “Jody” L. Goodthunder, 10-16-46; Morton, MN, was a kind and good hearted person.  He always welcomed you with a genuine smile with a lasting effect on others.  He was born in Pipestone, MN and grew up on the Lower Sioux Indian Reservation in Morton, MN.  He was a member of St. Cornelia’s Episcopal Church on the Reservation where he was also baptized and confirmed.  He was a member of the Mdewakanton Indian Tribe.  Jody graduated from Morton High School in 1964.  He was active in all sports.  50 years later he was still getting compliments on his athleticism and achievements in high school.  He is a Vietnam Veteran.  Jody loved his community very much and served his people well.  He served as Tribal Council Vice President from 1985-1991 and as Tribal Chairman from 1991-1995, re-elected in 2000-2005 for the Lower Sioux Indian Community.  His advice was valued on issues that were important to both the state and at the National level in terms of economic self-sufficiency and tribal social development concerns.  In the two worlds we Indian people live, he was also a Warrior Chief for the protection of our inherent sovereignty as tribal government.  He represented his community in a good way that gave his community a voice in the National issues we faced in those days.

Jody and Frank Saunsoci made a good relationship, spending time discussing sobriety and spirituality.  By this friendship, Jody presented a gift to Frank, a holy pipe in the year of 1998.  Jody’s thoughts was wanting prayers for all the people of the Lower Sioux Tribe.  From that time, this pipe is being used at their Strong Heart Sundance.  The Lower Sioux Tribe will be remembered through the power of prayer and this holy pipe.  All the wishes of Jody will continue on and be remembered by all the Strong Heart people of the Omaha Tribe.

During his tenure, he was invited to Minneapolis, MN to meet with Mrs. William (Hillary) Clinton.  He was a member of The State of Minnesota American Indian Advisory Committee for Chemical Dependency, representing the Lower Sioux Indian Community.  He also served on the Dakota Indian Housing Authority Board and also served on the Mash Ka Wisen Board for the treatment center in Cloquet, MN.  Jody was active in his church, also serving on the Bishops Committee.  Jody loved his cars and even when purchasing a truck he made sure it was an elegant Cadillac Escalade.  He enjoyed spending endless hours playing poker and being on a pool league team with his daughter, Dawn, and nieces, always being the sober driver.  They were always up for a challenge at pool when they played against his son, Jason, and teammates.  Jody enjoyed going to the pow wows and watching his son, Jay, and many other relatives dance.  He was such a kind hearted soul that he could even talk politics (one of his many favorite topics) with anyone without it causing tension or friction.

Winter was an especially exciting time of the year for Jody as he always looked forward to watching his grandkids play basketball.  If he wasn’t there in person, he would sit patiently by the radio listening to the game.  During the summer months Jody enjoyed yard work until it was time to hand the job over to Dorothy with detailed instructions.  Jody looked forward to his trips to North Carolina to visit Dorothy’s daughter, Kari, and family, and also to California to visit Dorothy’s daughter, Dawn, and Black Hawk casino.

Jody is survived by his significant other, Dorothy; daughter Dawn and Earl; sons Jay and Jason; sister Joan; grandchildren: Tabia, Joseph, Jalen, Ryan, Samuel, Derek, Angel, Lewis, Maxwell, Conner; great grandchildren: Jalen Jr., Aiyana, Brielle, and Aria; nieces and nephews including Rita, Gwen, Linda, Candice, Laura, Dorothy, Cornell, Russell, Cathy, Carla, Jeff, Brian, Joyce, Brenda, and Benji; and many relatives and friends.  Jody has entered the Spirit World with his mother and father Joe and Sarasteen Goodthunder; brother Bill; sisters Cecelia and Iola; nephews Jarvis, Shawn, Allan, Matt, and Wally Jr.; nieces Dominique, Ann, Beatrice, and Audrice; and many other relatives and friends.

He will be sadly missed forever.


  1. Gayle Wordes says

    Please accept my sincere sympathies for the loss of your father, Jason, and family. My thoughts and prayers are with you. May his memories bring peace and comfort to you all during this difficult time!

  2. Donald Richard Wright says

    Jody will be missed as a friend, and someone who I’ve spent time with as he sat on the Minnesota American Indian Advisory Council. This 18 member council advised the Minnesota Commissioner of Health and Human Services on matters relating to chemical health on Minnesota eleven Indian reservations. Jodys work in this field will be remembered, he seems to have been active in many social aspects of his reservation, including tribal leadership. Something I had not realized until I read his obituary. I offer my reverence for his passing where he will be with God, and his suffering will be gone. I will offer prayer for Jody and his children, his partner in life, that we keep him in Spirit, that we forever emulate his ideals, beliefs, and strong will to work for his American Indian people.

  3. Bob & Linda Abrahamson says

    Sending this with sincere sympathy in the loss of Jody. Dorothy, Dawn, Jay, Jason and family, Jody will be missed but are lives are better for the example he set in living his.

  4. Bob & Linda Abrahamson says

    Our sincere sympathy in the loss of Jody. Dorothy, Dawn, Jason, Jay and family. May you take comfort in knowing that Jody’s life touched so many in positive ways and his memories will live on.

  5. connor goodthunder/handeland says

    hope grandpa is alright in heaven rip jody goodthunder

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