Callan Bird Bear

Callan Bird Bear

Callan Machotka Bird Bear, age of 15, of Teejop (Madison, Wis.) passed away on Monday, Oct. 28, 2019, at sunset.

She was born on April 8, 2004, in Teejop (Madison, Wis.), the daughter of Marianne (Machotka) and Aaron Bird Bear. She was Mandan, Hidatsa, and Diné, enrolled with the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation. Her family name comes from Bird Bear, a person of this continent who married Bear Woman. Callan is a descendant of Old Dog, a revered leader of the Hidatsa.

Callan was a Sophomore at La Follette High School. She was blessed with many gifts and talents. She cherished her close-knit group of friends, many of whom she knew since preschool and kindergarten.

She was a member of the Madison Cello Ensemble, MMSD Chapter of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, and the La Follette High School Orchestra, Soccer, Cross Country, and Basketball teams. As a Mandan, Hidatsa, and Diné person, Callan upheld the tradition of long distance running starting in Kindergarten with her first 5K.

Callan was a bookworm who loved learning. She was a great student who challenged herself with the highest level of courses her schools offered. She always achieved in her studies including a merit award for outstanding academic achievement. She loved science and was fascinated with outer space.

Callan was an amazing artist. She spent much time drawing and painting her view of beauty and peace across the universe, including a newfound passion for intricate and complex body painting of herself and friends.

Callan was a musician and true music lover. Callan received the highest score of 1 at the April 2019 Wisconsin School Music Association State Music Festival for cello duet with her friend Lydia and loved her cello community. She also enjoyed the power of Rock and Roll music by Arcade Fire, Vampire Weekend, Mumford and Sons, Santigold, Cage the Elephant, Courtney Barnett, U2, and the Beatles. She enjoyed travelling to go see live music, including shows in Europe and across the United States. She loved musicals, with Hamilton and Moulin Rouge being her favorites.

Callan was up for adventure and loved having a good time with her friends and family. She loved zip lining, rock climbing, rappelling, canyoneering, and hiking among the forests, mountains, and canyons of Wisconsin, Colorado, Utah, Mexico, Greece, and Hawaii. She loved road trips and camping, including epic trips to see the total solar eclipse in Glendo, Wyoming, and the waterfalls of northern Wisconsin. She cherished exploring new countries and cultures, with travels to France, Holland, Greece, Mexico, and Canada.

She was an animal lover who fully gave love and received love from many a friendly cat, dog, chicken, sheep, goat, and rabbit. She spent some time of every day nourishing her cats, Misty May and Serena with love and received their love in return.

Callan is survived by her parents; grandparents, JoAnn and Robert Machotka and Carol Harvey & Dag Nedkvitne; two uncles, Robert Machotka and Duane Bird Bear Jr.; four aunts, Amy (Pascal) Moreau, Joletta Bird Bear, Theodora Bird Bear, and Malin Bird Bear; nine cousins, Ceera Machotka, Mason Machotka, Jonathon Moreau, Thomas Moreau, Antoine Moreau, Hadlie Bird Bear, Sander Bird Bear, Kennedie Bird Bear, Cooper Bird Bear; and the extended Bird Bear, Harvey, Galbraith, and Machotka families loved Callan dearly.

She was preceded in death by her grandfather, Duane T Bird Bear; and her great-grandparents, Dorothy and Lester Galbraith.

A funeral service will be held at GUNDERSON EAST FUNERAL AND CREMATION CARE,5203 Monona Drive, Madison, at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019.

Visitation will be held the funeral home from 10 a.m. until the time of the service on Saturday.

Online condolences may be made at

Gunderson East
Funeral & Cremation Care
5203 Monona Drive
(608) 221-5420