Thursday, May 31, 2007


Ralph E. Preston Jr.

WALTHILL, Neb. -- Ralph Edward Preston Jr., 69, of Walthill died Tuesday, May 29, 2007, at a Sioux City hospital.

Services will be 2 p.m. Saturday at the Alfred Gilpin Building in Macy, Neb., with Mr. Sam Moves Camp officiating. Burial will be in Omaha Tribal Cemetery. Visitation will begin today and continue until service time Saturday at Our Lady of Fatimah Catholic Worship Center in Macy. Arrangements are under the direction of Munderloh Funeral Home in Pender, Neb.

Ralph was born Dec. 31, 1937, in Winnebago, Neb., to Ralph Edward Preston Sr. and Lucy W. (Cline) Preston. He lived most of his life in metropolitan areas including Wichita, Kan., Omaha and Lincoln, Neb. He attended college at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He was an alcohol counselor and concluded his working career as a Native American Spiritual coordinator for the Nebraska Department of Corrections. He took great pride in his work and received much satisfaction from helping a great many people.

He is survived by his daughters, Debra Harlan and her husband, Walter of Denver, Colo., Rochelle Preston of Kansas City, Mo., Kimberly Preston of Omaha and Anna Preston of Winnebago, Neb.; 11 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Ralph Sr. and Lucy Preston; and three brothers, Adrian, Henry and Johnny Preston.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

View from the Holy Fire Place

This poem is dedicated to
my Omaha Relative and Woptura Sundance Brother,
Ralph "Rocky" Preston
Who passed away today…
May 29, 2007

I had to write this because I did not know how to deal with his passing. I couldn't make it out to the Holy Fire Place because of the weather but in my mind I could imagine it and that made me feel a little better. Just thinking about this place in relation to Rocky and where he is at.

May you have a good journey, Rocky!

View from the Holy Fire Place

Amidst the hills of the Omaha People lies beauty that few people know about.

There are other places like this in the world.
I know…I’ve seen a few.
And then there is this…
The view from the Holy Fire Place.
Rising high above the river, Nishude, and a forest of perfect green.
A scent like that of bear root medicine drifts hypnotically through the afternoon air.
Blending in with the green and blue of the Earth and Sky.
Soothing to my center that’s taking in the healing breeze.

Clearing away my sorrow.

This is a place that the Omahas have always held sacred.
As it was where we fasted for our understanding
To unite connections between our past and our future.
Our ancestral energy is quite strong here still.
Even though no one has fasted for some time in this area.
I can sit here for hours seeking answers on the side of this hill.
A beauty that is found in every sound, leaf, stone, and drop of moisture.
Aware that there is no other place like this on earth for me.
My spirit recovers it’s strength each time I come here.

I am thankful for that.

--Renee New Holy