Dawn Marie Strong,“Makade-miiqwan-ikwe”- meaning Black Feather Woman, 48, Nett Lake,
passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, May 9, 2015, at Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Hospital in Duluth.
She was born on April 8, 1967, in Euclid, Ohio, to Wilbert Sr. and Patricia
(Tibbetts) Strong. She grew up in Nett Lake.
Dawn is a Veteran of the United States Army and
honorably served her country during the Desert
Storm campaign in Kuwait. After her tour of duty
she settled her family for several years in various
states before returning to Nett Lake. Dawn
worked as the Data & Finance Specialist for the
Bois Forte Health & Human Services Department
for the last 7 years. She also worked with the
Bois Forte EMS Crew from 2009 to the present
time as a dedicated First Responder. In addition,
she served as part of the Bois Forte Honor Guard
for a short time. Dawn was a very proud mother
and later a foster-care provider. Her home and
heart were always open to those who needed help,
assistance, a place to stay, food, or just to have
some fun.
When she wasn’t working, she spent her time with
as many family members as possible, whether
participating in cookouts to providing everyday
help. She’s fondly recalled for her ability to
make numerous repairs with superglue, and her
enjoyment at any chance to get her hands dirty.
Her loved ones recall her dare devil attitude, funloving
personality and accident prone nature. A
caring and uncommonly kind, giving person,
she was seen greeting most with a smile and
constantly cutting jokes. Dawn’s greatest pride
was her family, especially her children, siblings
and father. She was also grateful for her good
friends at work and her four-legged companion
Piper of 8 years. She will be dearly missed by all.
She was preceded in death by her mother: Patricia
Strong (1973), 4 brothers: Gregory Strong (1980),
Gary Strong (2000), Kristopher Strong (2011)
and Wilbert “Sonny” Strong (2014).
Dawn is survived by her children: Joshua Strong
of Nett Lake, Jacob Heggen of the state of Virginia
and Christen (fiancée: Joshua Crout) Heggen of
Remington, Virginia; her father, Wilbert Strong Sr.
of Nett Lake; her dear friend Leonard Howard of
Deer River, MN; 2 special foster children: Jaiden
and Lilionna “Lili”; 2 sisters: Connie Strong of
Duluth and Kathy (Kenneth Lien Sr.) Strong of
Nett Lake; her beloved pets, Piper and Phoebe; 2
foster brothers: John and Charlie Kinninen; along
with numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and dear
SERVICES: Traditional Tribal Services will be at
10:00 am Wednesday (May 13th) at the Nett Lake
Government and Services Center, where visitation
will begin at 4:00 pm Tuesday. The Spiritual
Leader will be Steve Jackson. Participating will
be the Bois Forte Traditional/Berens Drum. The
casket bearers will be nephews: Carl “Jay R.”
Carlson III., Jonathan Carlson, Gregory “Chesty”
Strong, Shane Lien and Luke Strong. The honorary
bearers will be the nieces: Cheryl Carlson, Sophia
Lien, Patricia Lien, Denise Brown, Emma Lien,
Tracy Howg and “Nikki” Isham, along with EMS
Director Michael Connor and the Bois Forte EMS
Crew. Interment will be in the Nett Lake Village
Arrangements are with Mlaker Funeral Home
in Cook. To sign the online guest book or
leave a condolence to the family, go to: www.