Jefferson County
Obituaries

Robert Norman Simonich

Independent Record
Helena, MT

"Four Star Big Bear-Neo Asak Askeema Ska"

Rob Simonich, age 45, of Clancy, died on Nov. 28, 2003, from injuries suffered in an automobile accident while returning home from a plentiful hunting trip.

Rob was loved, admired and respected by people of all walks of life. His engaging personality attracted people to join in his large circle of friends. He loved people and was loved by many.

Rob was born in Butte on Oct. 3, 1958, and spent most of his youth in the Whitehall and Boulder area where he cowboyed on several ranches, He became an avid outdoorsman, gifted as an Indian pipe maker and knife maker and a lifelong collector of Indian and western artifacts.

Rob eventually settled in Clancy and worked several years as crew supervisor in the Pegasus Gold Mine in Jefferson City.

From his youth on he made knives as a hobby and in his spare time worked to fill an ever-growing demand for his finely crafted utility knives. In recent years he devoted full time to knife making and teamed with his wife Christine to form "Simonich Knives LLC." Now renowned worldwide as an expert in his field, one of his knives, the Urban Raven, was recently awarded "American Made Knife of the Year" by Blade Magazine.

Rob was especially proud of his Indian heritage, which included ancestry in the Chippewa-Cree tribe. He was a pipe maker, a student of Indian herbal medicine and was devoted to all spiritual practices. He was gifted with the name Four Star Big Bear (Neo Asak Askeerna Ska) that he coveted and revered as a badge of great honor.

His father and mother Norman and Betty Simonich and his son Rob preceded him in death. He is survived by his beloved wife and soulmate Christine, adored daughter Megan; sisters Terry Brooks of Hemphill, Texas, and Sandy Randall of Whitefish;Debbie Molitor, and brother Tony of Helena.

A traditional Indian burial service will be held Saturday, Dec. 6 at 11 a.m. south of Whitehall. From Whitehall, turn south on Highway 55 toward Twin Bridges. After about 5 miles look for "Four Star Big Bear" signs as a guide to the burial site.

The family of Rob requests that those who desire to give memorial gifts support four summer Horse Dance Ceremonies in Rob's memory. Send gifts to Christine, P.O. Box 278, Clancy, MT 59634.

Photo and obituary courtesy of Rebecca Werner

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