Harlan E. Gunville
July 1, 2011
Harlan E. Gunville, Sr., 73 of White Horse, SD, entered the spirit world on June 28, 2011 at his home in White Horse, after a lengthy time battling cancer.
Harlan was born March 1, 1938 at home to Joe, a Chippewa Cree Indian from Turtle Mountain, and Evelyn Lawrence Gunville, a Cheyenne River Sioux Member. His siblings are Elmer, Jerome, Alvina, Adele and Milbert Gunville. He grew up on his parents ranch in White Horse. Harlan attended school at the White Horse day school until the 3rd grade. He then attended school at Stephen Indian School until he graduated from high school.
While in school at Stephen he participated in basketball, football and track, were he excelled because of his athletic abilities. He was captain of the basketball and football teams. He was an all-state point guard in 1958 and ran the 100 meter dash in 10.6 seconds during his senior year. He set a still unbroken record for free throws, when at the Indian High School Championship Game. He sank 13 of 13 free throws, a fact he was very proud of. He was also the regional high school saddle bronc champion in 1958.
After graduation from high school he started his rodeo career as a saddle bronc rider and bareback rider during the late ’50s and early ’60s and joined the RCA in 1959. He entered his last bronc riding in 1966.
In 1963 he married Georgia Pearman and started ranching and raising a family, but never really quit rodeo all together. In 1975 he purchased his first bucking horses and as they say, “the rest is history.” He was a proud member of the Great Plains Indian Rodeo Association, SDRA and NRCA.
Harlan coached basketball to all the kids in White Horse and took them to games at his own expense. He enjoyed working with kids and teaching them good sportsmanship.
Recommended Stories For You
In 1978 he became the first Native American Stock Contractor in the PRCA. Then in 1979 he was named Indian Man of The Year at the Indian National Finals Rodeo. He produced the Black Hills Roundup in Belle Fourche; Days of ’76 in Deadwood; St. Onge Rough Riders Rodeo; Crow Fair; and Navajo Nation Fair, which is the largest Indian rodeo in the U.S., as well has high school, college and amateur rodeos. His biggest influences regarding rodeo were Bud Annis for raising bucking horses and his older brother Elmer for riding bucking horses. Harlan and Georgia helped out many cowboys by paying entry fees, taking in anyone when they needed a home or a place to stay, or just feeding them. Harlan always strived to be the best at whatever he did. His rodeo company was always professional. He always took care of the timed event people and the rough stock riders.
Harlan took great pride in the fact that he had horses and bulls in the NFR, such as Miss Berthodl, Crow Woman, Badger, Raider, Bridger and Black Beauty. Bulls were Cob, Frontier, Goliath, Whirlaway, Joe Friday and many others.
Left behind to celebrate his life are his wife Georgia of White Horse, SD; children Harlan “Harley” (Wanda) E. Gunville Jr.; M. Chip (Trini) Bird Necklace; Glenn E. (Tammy) Gunville all of Eagle Butte, SD; Goldyn R. Gunville of Los Angeles, CA; and grandchildren: Jordyn Ann Gunville, Lawrence Kansas Gunville, Cleo Rose Gunville, River Georgia Gunville, Lawrence Gunville, Peter Gunville, Ranger Quill Gunville, Glennee Jo Gunville, Tia Mae Gunville; sisters Alvina Lawrence and Adele Birdsall both of Rapid City, SD; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents Joe and Evelyn Gunville, brothers Elmer, Jerome and Milbert Gunville, and one grandson, Aaron Gunville.