In memory of

Phyllis Ann Raymond, age 65 of Helena

August 18, 1951 – April 26, 2017

Phyllis Ann Smith Raymond, the daughter of Clarence and Rena Smith, “Tweet” was born in Rapid City, South Dakota August 18, 1951. A member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe of South Dakota, Phyllis spent her early years at the family home in Parmelee South Dakota growing up with her parents, sister Wanda and her brothers.  Her high school years were spent in Idaho, where she participated in the LDS foster care program.  She lived with three different families, but was especially fond of the Murdock family of Blackfoot Idaho.  Following graduation from Meridian Idaho High School she attended Haskell College in Lawrence, Kansas.

In 1971 she met her future husband Bob, who was a social worker serving various communities on the Rosebud Reservation. They married in September of 1971 and have been together ever since, overcoming the challenges of cultural differences with love and respect for each other.

Shortly after they were married, they moved to Denver, where Bob attended graduate school. After graduation Phyllis and Bob moved to Lake Andes, South Dakota and soon became parents of their first daughter, Maria, in 1973.  In 1975 the family moved to Spearfish, South Dakota, where their second daughter, Jennifer was born in 1977.  In 1984 a third daughter, Charlene, joined the family.  In keeping with family tradition, they also cared for other relative children Lisa, Tonia, Steven and Ronnie.

Phyllis graduated from Black Hills State University in Spearfish with a degree in Early Childhood Education. She applied her knowledge and love for small children with her work in various capacities for Head Start in the Northern Black Hills and Rapid City.  She loved the personal contact and relationship with young children and their parents.  She loved Spearfish and the many friendships she made there during the twenty years that her family lived there.

In 1996 the family moved to Helena, MT following her husband’s transfer to The Casey Family Program in Helena. It was Montana where many of her grandchildren were born, including Christa, Jacob, Robert, Christian, Melena, Rena, Jayden, Cienna, Chenoa and Evylianna.  Tanner, Therron and Chass were born in Washington.  Caring for and supporting each grandchild came naturally for Phyllis and she always spent the time needed to listen and help when needed.  Despite growing health problems, she was always there for her children and grandchildren.

Phyllis was proud of her culture and her tribe. She maintained land on the Rosebud Reservation with her family; she loved Powwows, native music and art, especially bead work, Patsy Cline, Elvis, and old country music.

Phyllis is survived by her husband Bob, daughters Jennifer and Charlene, nieces Tonia of Rapid City, Lisa of Omaha, NE., her sister Wanda, and brothers Kayo, Wilbur, Lonzo, Austin and Trudell of Parmelee, as well as all of her grandchildren listed above. Her brother Juan, sister Eva Marie, and daughter preceded her in death, as did her parents.

A viewing will be from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 pm. with the funeral service starting at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 3rd at Retz Funeral Home, 315 E. 6th Avenue. A wake and burial service will take place in Parmelee, South Dakota and the service details will be announced. Please visit to offer a condolence to the family or to share a memory of Phyllis.



Read the thoughts and memories, then feel free to add your own.

  1. Brenda Peneaux says:

    So sorry for your loss, condolences and prayers.Kourney well scepansi (cousin).😥

  2. Brenda Peneaux says:

    So sorry for your loss, condolences and prayers.journey well scepansi (cousin).😥

  3. Donna Hanson says:

    “What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” – Helen Keller

    If you need anything, please let me know.
    With much love Donna Hanson (cousin)

  4. Jackie Billie says:

    Sorry for your loss of a loved one,Prayers🙏 and condolences to all the families,from the Billie family

  5. Beckie Friesenhahn says:

    I love the story of Aunt Phyllis life!!! Many things that I didn’t know and I love Tweet 🙂 . I always loved her sweet voice and her giggle. She was warm and lovable! I am so happy that we were able to visit SD a couple years ago and spend time with family. I am so sorry for her loss to the family and the sadness that comes with missing her. Love, Beckie

  6. Carl Hatch says:

    A beautiful woman in every respect. Karen and I enjoyed the wonderful friendship we developed over the years we visited her. We always felt welcomed in the Raymond home and experienced the love the family shared with each other. I will miss her.

  7. Colleen Murphy says:

    Bob, I am so sorry for your loss. Peace be with you in this difficult time.

  8. Pat (Johnston) Ross says:

    Bob, So sorry to hear of Phyllis’ passing. I know how difficult these days are.. You are in my prayers.

  9. Patty Schupp says:

    Bob and family, I am very sorry to hear of Phyllis’ passing. She was always very kind to me when I saw her. May you find comfort in all your memories. My prayers are with you.

  10. Sue Anderson and Family says:

    Many thoughts and prayers to you all. I feel honored to have met Phyllis. I saw first hand the love and devotion she had for her family and it was beautiful. May she forever and always live in your hearts♡God bless.

  11. Gene Ligtenberg says:

    Bob, I was thinking of you and did some internet searching and found this. So sorry for your loss. It would be good to see you some time. Blessing on you!

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