Carol was born Karen Kay High Hawk to Abel Iron Rope Sr. and Vera High Hawk in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, where her parents were working in the potato fields at the time. She grew up in Alliance, Nebraska with her siblings: Rita, Edwin, Crystal, Abel Jr., Darlene, Peter, and Sandor. She worked the fields hauling bales, harvesting and sorting potatoes, and working in the fields of beets and beans. She met the love of her life (and sometimes the bane of her existence—laugh) Tillo Herrera with whom she lovingly raised three children. She worked the fields with her family, Tillo, Woniya, Anpo, adopted son Cesar Del Toro, her brothers and sisters, as well as many others who came into her life to share some of the work and wealth. She made many friends along the way including a farmer who became a close friend of the family, Alan Weinhold of Gering, Neb. (now Scottsbluff, Neb.). She later decided to return to school since she never graduated high school and knew the importance of education. She acquired her GED then acquired her Bachelor’s degree from Chadron State College. She took a class trip to Paris, France, and its surrounding countries which was a highlight of that quest. She furthered her education even more by acquiring her Master’s Degree, as well. In 1989, she added Mary Ann (Lovejoy) Herrera to the family who brought her joy every day of her life. She worked many different positions in the social work field and was an advocate for developmentally disabled children as well as the Indian Child Welfare Act. She worked as an independent contractor and was a guest speaker at numerous conferences and retreats across the United States educating people in cultural competency, Lakota Culture and Values, Lakota Parenting, and spiritual healing. She worked for the Pine Ridge OST Public Safety Department and helped to bring healing to many officers who struggled with the traumas they witnessed in the process of their duties. She also worked for the Casey Family Program and taught Lakota Parenting classes to parents wanting to become better parents and/or regain custody of their children. She helped a lot of families reunite and become better parents. She spoke on Kili Radio Station weekly during her Lakota Parenting Program. She also had an integral part in the Womanhood Ceremonies for young Lakota girls who had come of age by educating them in the culture and expectations of being a good Lakota woman. She made a lot of friends and hunka family while on this Earth who, along with her relatives, will miss her smile, sense of humor, wisdom, respectful and loving nature, as well as many other qualities.
Carol was a third generation Native American Church member of our blood line and an avid believer and participant of our way of life. She comes from a long line of Chiefs- Chief High Hawk, Chief Lone Bear and Chief Iron Nation.
Carol was preceded in death by her parents, Abel Iron Rope, Sr. and Vera High Hawk; paternal uncle, Peter Iron Rope, Jr.; “Big Mom” (maternal aunt) Viola High Hawk; maternal uncles, Brothers: Edwin Iron Rope, Abel Iron Rope Jr., and Peter Iron Rope; sisters, Rita (Iron Rope) Sna Mani, and “Twi Twi” Iron Rope who died as an infant; grandson, Owen Herrera; grandparents, Peter Iron Rope, Sr., Susie (Lone Bear) Iron Rope, Samuel High Hawk, and Jesse (Old Shield) High Hawk; and numerous other relatives.
Carol is survived by her daughters, Dr. Anpo Charging Thunder (husband Dave) of Gordon, Neb., Woniya Herrera of Rapid City, and MaryAnn Herrera of Martin, S.D.; brothers, Sandor Iron Rope (wife Geraldine) and family (Thaylor, Nick, Misty, Ethan, Faith, Tiffany, Andrianna, Kayla, Caitlyn) of Rapid City, S.D., and Charles Iron Rope and family of Porcupine, S.D.; sisters, Crystal Shields and families (Paul, Thomas, Pejuta and Vera Honesty Never Miss a Shot and families and Abraham Iron Rope) of Oakland, Neb., and Darlene Iron Rope and families (Pamela and Athena Grass and families, Jesse and Daniel Padilla and families) of Rapid City, S.D.; uncles, Eugene Iron Rope of Ogallala, Neb., Eddie Iron Rope of Scottsbluff, Neb., and Wayne High Hawk of Porcupine, S.D.; aunts, Elizabeth Iron Rope-Patton of Rapid City, S.D. and Noreen Lone Elk of Porcupine, S.D.; takojas, Quanah Herrera, Katyn, Douglas, Gabriella, Rayne, and Joey Charging Thunder; Lashiyah High Hawk; Mia and Koda Herrera (Quanah), Daniel Charging Thunder (Katyn), Anpo Charging Thunder II (Douglas); Hermen, “Newt”, Thomas, Tiana, and Ian Herrera. There are also numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren who survive her. We will always cherish the memories and wisdom she passed down.
Burial S: Native American Church Cemetery, Allen, SD
Arrangements entrusted with Sioux Funeral Home of Pine Ridge, S.D.