Naida Rose Lefthand passed away August 1, 2022. She was born July 21, 1947 and was raised on Dayton Creek with her maternal grandparents Jerome and Mary Hewankorn. She acquired a working knowledge of the Kootenai Language from them and a responsible work ethic from her grandmother, Mary. This enabled her to act as caretaker beginning in her teen years to the many siblings and cousins that often stayed at the home. Sometimes there would be between ten to twenty cousins staying at the home while the parents were away, and Naida would ensure that everyone was fed and well cared for during their absence.
Her love and care for family and community continued to grow and she often sat with those in the hospital or families grieving the loss of a loved one. Naida had a place in her heart for every one of her family and friends and always let you feel how significant you were to her. She had many brothers and sisters from the huckleberry patches to the stick games.
She worked at many jobs but the central theme in her life was serving her community. Naida was always a central figure in any community event which carried on into later years when she served on the Ksanka Elders Advisory Committee. She lived the traditional Kootenai culture from her youth at huckleberry camp to helping with the yearly jump dance and all events in between. She encouraged her children and grandchildren to work hard and excel in today’s challenging world while practicing the traditional ways in everyday life. One of her great joys in life was to attend and support their various sporting events and she was always their number one fan. She also enjoyed competing in the pool league with her teammates.
Throughout her life Naida served a supporting role to family, friends, community, and everyone who had the fortune to know her. She leaves a hole that will be very noticeable.
Naida was preceded in death by her grandparents, her parents Sonny Whitworth and Bessie Hewankorn-Williams, her husband Patrick Lefthand Sr., her children Norman and Ramona Lefthand, her siblings Gordon Whitworth, Rusty Whitworth, Karen Whitworth, Virgil Mathias, Gary Mathias, Richard Mathias, Veda Mae Mathias, Georgette Mathias, and Marilyn Mathias.
She is survived by her sons Patrick Lefthand, Jr. (Oskie) and Josh Lefthand; grandchildren Payton Lefthand, Lauren Lefthand, Anton Lefthand, Ivory Lefthand, Daizey Hewankorn, Lenee Carlson, Jalen Ducharme, Justice Lefthand, Keyan Lefthand, Kobe Morigeau, and Chasen Curley; her great-grandchildren Jaidon Mahkuk, Durai Mahkuk, and Aulora Lefthand; her brothers and sisters Darryl Whitworth, Shay Whitworth, Bodge Whitworth, Myrna Whitworth, Cheryl Mathias, Edmond (Bud) Mathias, and Reuben Mathias.
Traditional wake services will begin at 6 PM August 2, 2022 at the Ksanka Hall in Elmo with rosary being recited at 8 PM on Wednesday August 3, 2022 and funeral service at 10 AM on Thursday August 4, 2022 with feast to follow.
The family requests that donations to the Animal Shelter be made in lieu of flowers.