Obituary: Cole Thomas ‘Coco’ Brings Plenty

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8/18/1996 – 4/5/2024
Eagle Butte, SD

Cole Thomas “Coco” Brings Plenty, Lakota name “Wakiyan”, was born on August 18, 1996 in Eagle Butte, SD.

His parents are Joseph Brings Plenty Sr and Joni Brings Plenty/Uses Many, one older brother Joseph “Joey” Brings Plenty Jr. of Eagle Butte, SD, Joey’s son Hasyne Brings Plenty, two younger brothers Seth Brings Plenty and Brett Brings Plenty both of Eagle Butte, SD, one older sister Keeva Grass of White Wood, SD, Keeva’s son Kenton Grass, younger sisters Belle Brings Plenty and Sophie Brings Plenty both of Eagle Butte, SD. Hunka sisters Stevie LaDeaux of Manderson, SD and Adyn Moran of Eagle Butte, SD. Grand Parents Enoch Brings Plenty Sr. and Della Brings Plenty/Makes Room of Eagle Butte, SD. His only other living Grandfather on his Grandpa Enoch’s side Leonard Brings Plenty of Maka, and Vanessa Black Moon/Red Bull of Dupree, SD. His Uncles and families Mo and Sara Ann Brings Plenty, Mo’s son Layne Brings Plenty, Enoch Jr (KK) and Krystal Brings Plenty, Son Creation Brings Plenty, Margaret Brings Plenty, children Wyatt, Jerynce, Nilah, Nunpa and Aubry, uncle Louie Brings Plenty of Eagle Butte, SD. Cole’s Bio-mother came from the Red Bear/Little Eagle families. Big brother/uncles Jake Red Bear and Austin Sanchez. Cole was blessed with many grandmothers, uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces and nephews and friends who all loved him and were extremely proud of him. Coles family lineage are as follows (Brings Plenty, Low Dog, Makes Room, Dupris, Roach/Cheyenne Woman, Crazy Horse, Mad Bear, Red Bull, Red Bear, White Bull and Sitting Bull families). The families he came from served a purpose for our Nation.

Cole is preceded in death by his younger sister Kyla Mercy Red Bear, Great Grandma Elsie Uses Many, Grandpa James Jonas Uses Many, Uncle Jules Uses Many. Grandpa’s Vincent Brings Plenty, David Brings Plenty, Leo Brings Plenty and Joseph Brings Plenty, many more relatives await his arrival, his Kola Austin Miner, Kyzier Dauphinais and Jordan Mesteth. Each tipi you see here represents each family that Cole comes from.

Cole grew up in Eagle Butte, SD most of his younger life, as well as a short while in Rapid City, SD, Manderson, SD, Takini, SD, Cherry Creek, SD, back to Eagle Butte and then to Olathe, KS with his uncle Mo, and lastly, he made Lawrence, KS his home. Cole attended Cheyenne Eagle Butte Schools when he was growing up and attended schools in the towns listed that he resided in. Eventually he went back to CEB HS where he graduated in 2014. Cole’s dad named him after the outlaw Cole Younger and Thomas after his grandfather Enoch’s middle name Thomas.

When Cole was a young boy, along with his brothers/cousins/friends they were a rambunctious crew, they loved to WWE each other on trampolines, pools, snow banks, they wrestled each other, arm wrestled, boxed each other, probably even fought each other as brothers do, but they were always close and had as much fun as they could for wherever they were. Coco had many interests including playing the drums, dancing, drawing, poems, riding horse. Coco grew up boxing with his family in the Wolves Den Boxing Club, and was an accomplished boxer competing in over 75 registered bouts. Coco was in and around the ring since he was 6 years old. In high school he was in football and track/field, outside of school he started modeling, he really enjoyed modeling at the fashion shows he attended. Cole traveled to a lot of different places in the nation and worldwide (Ukraine, Hungary, Argentina, and Italy), he loved to travel. His Leksi Mo introduced Cole to acting and he took his acting career seriously, with various small roles including one on Yellowstone, and on 1923 which he had a role playing Pete Plenty Clouds. Cole was obviously an up-and-coming star. When his dad first saw him on the screen from his debut episode on the 1923 series, he was star-struck, with his own son, Cole’s dad said he was the native version of Matthew McConaughey because he was so cool, his dad was so proud of him. Coco’s dad was his biggest fan and his role model all wrapped up in one. Cole also did a podcast called (Good Morning Indian Country) which helped him become part of the native movement, in changing toward a positive narrative for our nations.

Coco was becoming a spokesperson, representative to the world for our Indigenous Nations. Cole was a student at Haskell Indian Nations University and he loved it there, he was surrounded by a lot of friends and family which consisted of fellow students and faculty. Coco’s favorite place to be on campus was the library, visiting with staff and fellow students, he created spaces for students to be and made them feel like a part of the Haskell family, bringing anyone and everyone he could into his circle because that’s just how Cole was as a person.

Cole was pursuing a degree in Tribal Administration but changed his degree to Indigenous and American Indian Studies midway and we are happy and sadly announcing that Cole will be receiving his Bachelor of Arts Degree this May. Which brings to mind another hobby Coco had, he loved to cook, he would cook up for his friends and family, he loved working at the Burger Stand in Lawrence, he made family there as well and they showed him love. Coco loved cooking so much he wanted to change his profession, to be a chef, his dad wanted him to finish his current academic studies before he dove into the world of Culinary Arts. His dad made his point when he told Coco, “Coco there are names for people that been in school as long as you, they are called doctors.” Coco just laughed.

Coco loved his family and friends and really enjoyed teasing everyone around him, to make them laugh, he would also tease himself if it made someone else smile, a good Lakota trait. Coco had the biggest heart, he loved to visit, he always called his dad to get his advice and insight on culture and Lakota history. Cole enjoyed working out and staying fit, he had a classy style of dressing that only he could pull off, he had long beautiful thick hair which he took very good care of with respect. Cole was 27 years old but because of how well he took care of himself many believed he was a lot younger. Coco’s philosophy in life, he was always happy smiling and thinking of others feelings and what was right in life as human beings. As a healing nation, we deal with so much, the negative can hurt you, even during times like this. I’ll pass on something Coco said when he was asked about what he thought of something negative he simply smiled and said “I don’t”, which means why waste time with the negative.

Cole was a committed Sundancer at the Brings Plenty Family Sundance Ota Au Tiwahe Wiwangwaci located in Red Scaffold on his family’s land, he is a member of the Sungmanitu Tanka Okolakiciye, Wolf Warrior Brotherhood a men’s society revived by the Brings Plenty Tiwahe. Cole supported and ran in the Wounded Knee Survivors Run honoring and remembering our families lost at the Wounded Knee Creek (2012-2024). He had a lot of respect for our Lakota culture and traditions, he enjoyed attending sweat lodges, cultural activities, ceremonies and he loved to sing Lakota songs.

Something Cole’s dad said this past Wounded Knee Run, he said I feel happy even though we are running long days, tired, sore and cold at times, but happy because my children are all safe with me right now. Remember these times because they don’t last forever, the world is a dangerous place, especially for our native children.

Pilamiya Tunkashila for bringing you to us, Coco, for the time you spent with us on Maka. In this life your born in this world, not knowing true love; when you have a child, that child teaches you true love. You’re born into this world without knowing heartbreak and sorrow, when you lose a child, you learn heartbreak and sorrows. The many students, friends and staff that we had the pleasure in coming in contact with, gave the same description about Cole to us; they said Coco brought so much light to people’s lives, that they saw Light, “Cole’s Light”.

Coco, all we have is the goodness that you left us; the way relatives and people are supposed to treat each other, the love and care you had for the world. We love you always Coco and we will do our best to live by your example. One day we will see you again, when it is our end, until then, our beautiful son, Toksa Ake’ as we will see you again. Mitakuyapi Bliheciya na Waunsila, my relatives make yourselves strong on all levels; your mind and your spirit. Keep that love for each other, grieve well, be good to each other, take care of each other and have love for each other. Mitakyue Oyasin, All My Relations. Ho’ Hecetu Welo.

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