Funeral services for Agnes Beulah Madeline Picotte, 88, of Chamberlain were held Wednesday, January 31 at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Marty. Burial was in St. Paul’s Catholic Cemetery. Peters Funeral Home of Wagner was in charge of arrangements.
Agnes (Goes in Center) Picotte was born January 13, 1935 at her home in Hisle. Her parents were Oliver and Mabel (Romero) Goes In Center. She had one older sibling Evangeline Merrival and two younger sisters who passed on as infants. Agnes passed to the spirit world January 27, 2024.
Agnes started school at Holy Rosary Mission and during her sophomore year transferred to St. Paul’s Mission where she joined the Oblate Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. She was received as a Postulant December 8, 1950. Two years later she went through a Ceremony of Acceptance and became a Novice Oblate Sister. From there she attained her high school diploma in January of 1954 and begin attending Mount Marty College the following September. Agnes attended college classes during the summers and during the school year served as dorm matron for grade school students and taught at all levels. She received her final vows at age 25, in December of 1960. She graduated with a degree in Elementary Education and was known as Sister Bernard teaching third and fourth grades for around ten years at St. Paul’s Mission school.
In the summer of 1969, she was granted exclaustration from the convent and began a master’s degree program in education Psychology and Counseling through the University of South Dakota. She worked for Upward Bound, Red Cloud Indian School, and as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for Dr. Pearl while attaining her degree. She left school in South Dakota for a full-time position at Gonzaga University in Spokane Washington, as Counselor for Indian Students and with the Pride and Heritage Program in the public schools.
In 1972 Agnes Goes In Center and Norbert Picotte were united in Holy Matrimony at St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Wanblee. Both continued their educations in Eugene, WA. Agnes defended her dissertation September 4, 1974 and received a Doctorate of Philosophy degree in Education becoming Dr. Agnes Picotte, one of the first Oceti Sakowin women to attain a PhD.
From September to May 1975, Dr. Picotte served as Multicultural Instructor in the VIMAX Federal Title III Program, Assistant Professor in the History and Social Studies Department, Sponsor of Kachina Club, and resource person to the Community of Silver City, NM. Then she accepted a position with the Institute of Indian Studies Program at the University of South Dakota and served in the Ella C. Deloria Professorship in Dakota Culture, Language, and History. The following year her only daughter, Mabel Grace was born.
Agnes served the Ella C. Deloria Research Project until 1996. She continued working in Education, teaching Lakota culture, history and language at Ihanktowan Community College, Takini Middle School, and Red Cloud Indian School.
She retired in August of 2003 and lived out the rest of her life in Chamberlain. Agnes and Norbert especially loved hanging out with and taking care of their granddaughter Evangeline Jean Picotte. Agnes taught her how to drive when Evangeline was 11 years old and they had epic journeys traveling around the Chamberlain, Fort Thompson, and Lower Brule areas. One time when Evangeline was in grade school, they attended the Fort Thompson Wacipi and Fair and they both rode on the Bullet! Agnes and Norbert enjoyed caring for all the family cats: Igmu, Jimmy, Ketag’e, Cloe, Prince Charming, Pork Chop, and Wakalapi. The last three are missing her. She survived boarding school and remained fluent in Lakota, her first language. Agnes was always willing to participate in translating projects for family and organizations.
She is survived by her daughter Mabel (Picotte) Howe of Interior; granddaughter Evangeline Jean Picotte; cat Prince Charming; cousins: Geneva Janis, Lewis Lee Quiver, Patty Romero, Ferdinand Romero, Al Romero, John Duane, Goes In Center, Angie Stover, Debbie Bordeaux, Mary Witt, Geraldine Goes In Center, Christopher Witt, Margret Witt and Nancy Witt; and many nieces and nephews as well as grandnieces and grandnephews, especially Blaze and Lyndene Iron Rope.