Crawford resident Bob Little Hawk Heid died on Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017 at his ranch on Fruitland Mesa. He was 91.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at the Crawford Community United Methodist Church at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. Interment will follow in the Garden of Memories Cemetery.
Bob Heid was born in Chicago to Louis and Helene Heid (Wambach) on Nov. 20, 1926. He dreamed of being a cowboy almost from infancy and after a 1944-1947 stint in the Army Air Corps, he married fellow Chicagoan Joan Mumber and headed west.
He did some rodeoing (bull riding mostly) and ended up being ranch manager at the famed C Lazy U guest ranch near Granby, Colo. Son Robin and daughter Terrie were born in 1954 and 1956, respectively, prompting their return to Illinois for a higher paying job. They built a house outside the town of Freeport and Bob followed his father into the life insurance business.
He didn't give up his cowboy dream, however. He owned, trained, and shod horses on his two-acre property, using what he called the Indian style (now known as "horse whispering"), a method that used a gentler, step-by-step process than traditional horse breaking. He began what would eventually become a several-hundred volume library of books about the Old West. At the same time, he bought two acres overlooking the C Lazy U and built a log cabin on it. Four years later, he moved his family back to Colorado, continued training and shoeing horses and became an accomplished elk hunter to supplement the family resources.
In 1979, Bob fully realized his childhood dream when he and Joan bought 48 acres on Fruitland Mesa and built a log home. He raised cattle for a while, kept a small stable of horses, rode regularly on cattle drives, and continued to hunt elk, fly fish, and train horses. At age 70, he built another log cabin on 40 acres of land above Crystal Creek.
Soon after moving to Fruitland Mesa, Bob started riding in the Crawford Pioneer Days parade wearing Plains Indian regalia, and adopted the Indian name Little Hawk, after the brother of the famed Oglala Sioux war chief Crazy Horse. Thus did Bob the cowboy honor and pay tribute to the original Americans he admired and revered -- to the point that he often said, "I have a white man's blood and an Indian's soul."
Not satisfied with his modest Indian attire, he researched the intricate beading done by Plains Indians, and soon started creating beaded bolos, hatbands, knife cases, rifle scabbards, vests, dresses and other items. Among his proudest creations were an authentic Sioux cradleboard and a beaded buckskin outfit that repeatedly won the parade's division and Grand Champion awards. His favorite win came in 2015, when he won his division, and his 9-year-old granddaughter Siona won both the child division and Grand Champion while leading Marla Bear Bishop's pony Stormy and wearing a beaded buckskin dress he had made for her.
Bob became an Old West historian with few peers, even among those with advanced degrees in the subject. He was also an active member of the Crawford American Legion, Friends of the Crawford Library, director in the Fruitland Domestic Water Company, lifetime NRA member, and patron of various Native American charities.
He also enjoyed being a grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather. Bob Little Hawk is survived by Joan, his wife of 68 years, his two children, two granddaughters, four great-grandchildren, one great-great grandchild, and his brother Tom.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Taylor Funeral Service and Crematory.
View the internet obituary and sign the online guest registry at www.taylorfuneralservice.com.