Evans Funeral Home
"Compassionate Funeral Service"
Carrington and New Rockford, North Dakota
701.652.3003 or 701.947.2911
Secondary Number ~ 701.650.9937
Myra Jean “Oksie” Lohnes was born on July 29, 1950, in Devils Lake, ND to Romuald Alberts, Sr. and Victoria Twiggs Alberts. Myra was an enrolled member of the Spirit Lake Dakota Sioux tribe and represented, on her mother’s side, the Lakota Hunkpapa of Standing Rock. Myra was one of seven children who all had a very close-knit relationship from childhood to adulthood. When they were older and would get together, the Alberts siblings would share fond memories of their day-long trips from Fort Totten to Standing Rock to visit family. Also, Oksie, was noted as the sibling who was known to most resemble their mother, Victoria, whom all the children treasured and had their own unique relationships with.
Myra attended elementary school at St. Michael’s Mission School in St. Michael, ND and later received her GED from United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck, ND. Following school Myra met the love her life, William “Frank” Lohnes, and the two were married in 1975. Following their marriage, they were free spirits and traveled to their favorite places in California, Oregon, and Washington. They settled briefly during Indian Relocation in Sacramento and Portland.
In the early 80’s, Myra and Frank returned to North Dakota and made their home in St. Michael, ND. They also welcomed their children Frank, Jr. and Tanya during this time. Myra began her career journey, working for various tribal programs and departments such as, Little Hoop Infant Toddler CDC Program, Spirit Lake Tribal Health, and was a CNA at Four Winds School. One could say she briefly followed in the footsteps of her older brothers, Thomas and Joe who served as Bureau of Indian Affairs and Los Angeles Police Department officers, by working as a dispatcher for the Spirit Lake Police Department. In addition to work, Myra enjoyed supporting her children in their education and their extra-curricular activities. She was always delighted to share stories of their good grades or sporting events.
In 2001, she and Frank desired a new adventure for their family. They moved to the Bismarck area to seek new opportunities. Myra worked as a Resident Assistant at United Tribes Technical College for 10 years until her retirement. Myra spoke fondly of her employment at the college and the people she met. She always made it a point to share words of encouragement to the students she worked with. She would often remind them of the reason they entered to school was to leave as educated young people. Myra and Frank also had their own college student to provide encouragement for, and they shared the wonderful memory of their son graduating with his Associates Degree in Automotive Technology and their daughter earning her diploma. These were very happy moments for Myra and her family, which she would happily recant in conversations with family. This same love and devotion carried over to raising her oldest grandchild of whom she was so proud and was always eager to share stories of her grand-daughter’s accomplishments.
For Myra, family was very important, and she did everything in her power make that known. One event that solidified this, was reconnecting with her son Stephan, who Myra, at a young age knew deserved a good life. That moment was an event that made Myra feel whole, to see the successful person he became. She was happy to nurture that connection and build a relationship among her children.
She was the glue that held her immediate and extended family together. Myra had a true care-taker’s spirit and did her best to take care of family members when they were in need. She served as a matriarchal figure to her nieces and nephews. She was known as “Auntie or Grandma Oksie” by them & their children, and her home was always open to all. She loved to visit with family who stopped over and to serve them a meal. Myra was well-known for her phone calls to check in on family members, pray with them, and make sure they knew they were loved. One of her favorite things, was to make and surprise family with her famous cinnamon and sugar frybread. They were enjoyed because of the love put into the recipe. It didn’t matter if family lived locally or were in town to visit, she would always have a batch ready. Being a guiding figure for her children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews was a large task to take on, but with a heart as big as hers, she was happy to do it.
Myra’s many friends, whom she made while living in Bismarck, will also attest to her giving nature. She would often help friends by babysitting, providing transportation for them or their family members, and assisting them in any way she could. This character could be attributed to her spirituality which she held very dear to her heart. Myra was member of the Catholic faith and practiced her traditional cultural values. She respected the balance both ways of life provided, and she had a humble faith. She was always willing to provide prayer for all she cared about and enjoyed attending mass at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Bismarck.
On November 1, 2021, Myra journeyed peacefully from this life surrounded by her family. Oksie might have been small in stature, but she created a big life that has touched so many. Her memory shall carry on in the hearts and endeavors of friends and family.
Myra is survived by her husband William Frank Lohnes; Children- Stephan Sanderson, Frank “Pumpkin” Lohnes, Sr., Tanya “Tanny” Lohnes; Grandchildren-Bridgette Leigh Lohnes, Frank Lohnes, Jr., Miley Kierra Lohnes, Liam Vincent Lohnes, Lovey Sioux Lohnes, Khloe Rae Lohnes, Jasmine Sofia Roehr, Hailey Love Comer, Leilani Roehr, and Raelynn Roehr; Sister-Cynthia Alberts; and her many beloved nieces, nephews, and their children.
She was preceded in death by her parents- Romuald Alberts Sr & Victoria Twiggs Alberts; brothers-Henry Alberts, Thomas Alberts, Joe Alberts, and Romuald Alberts Jr.; sister- Julia Ann Alberts; nephew-Monte Herman Jr.; cousin- Jeanette Alberts and aunt- Amelda Alberts.
Visitation will be Sunday, November 7, 2021 at 5:00PM followed by a Rosary Service at 7:00PM all at the Tec. Center, St. Michael, ND.
Friends wishing to join the procession from New Rockford to St. Michael may gather on the St. Jerome’s road, Fort Totten, prior to 4:15PM.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held Monday, November 8, 2021 at 10:00AM at the Tec. Center, St. Michael, ND.
Burial will be at the Albert Family Cemetery, St. Michael, ND.
Condolences are reviewed by staff.