Cover photo for Theodore Reuben Holappa's Obituary
1945 Theodore 2019

Theodore Reuben Holappa

February 28, 1945 — September 30, 2019

Theodore Reuben Holappa "Jiinggogiizhik", age 74 of Kincheloe, MI passed away on Monday, Sept. 30, 2019 at Bayside Village in L'Anse, MI.

He was born February 28, 1945 in Zeba, MI son of Theodore and Evelyn (Spruce) Holappa. Ted grew up in Zeba and graduated from L'anse High School in 1962. He received a Bachelor degree from University of Wisconsin-Stout and also studied the Anishinaabemowin language at Bay Mills Community College. Ted worked as a teacher at UCLA and in Boulder CO. He was KBIC's first elected judge, serving from 1974-85, in the newly established Tribal Court System. Ted was also a Tribal Council member and has helped establish many KBIC programs that are still being used to this day, including the first tribal health system, the first Traditional Medicine program integrated into a tribal health delivery system in the U.S., and the first Anishinaabemowin immersion institute in the U.S. He is one of the founders of the annual powwow and helped write the first grant to establish a tribal drum at KBIC. Ted retired from Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians as the program director of the Traditional Medicine program.

Ted married his love of 27 years, Peggy Hemenway on September 11, 2010 in Lake Lena, MN. He was an avid Packer fan, enjoyed golfing, bowling, and running.

Surviving are his Peggy of Kincheloe, MI; children, Cheyenne Holappa of Sault Ste Marie, MI, Brenda (Wolf Pipestein) of Tulsa, OK, , Tashima Hemenway of Sault Ste Marie, Eric Hemenway of Harbor Springs, MI, John Paul Montano of Sault Ste Marie; grandchildren, Amber, Kyle, Kyan; sisters Peggy Dunn of Zeba, Beverly Lussier of Baraga, Diane Charron of Baraga, Gerry (John) Mantila of L'Anse; numerous nieces and nephews.

Preceding him in death are his parents; and two infant brothers, Stephen and Kenneth.

Ted's wake will begin on Wednesday, October 2nd at 6:30 p.m. at the KBIC Zeba Hall and continue until Thursday, October 3rd at 10:00 a.m. This will be a Mide funeral ceremony with Skip Churchill officiating. Burial will follow in the Indian Pinery Cemetery. The Jacobson Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Friends may sign Ted's guest book or send condolences at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Theodore Reuben Holappa, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Starts at 6:30 pm (Eastern time)

KBIC Zeba Hall

, Zeba, MI 49946

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Thursday, October 3, 2019

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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