Ojibwe storyteller, Vietnam veteran, author, playwright, poet, cultural ambassador and family man Jim Northrup died Monday night from complications from cancer at his home in Sawyer. He was 73.
Northrup’s Facebook page exploded with messages in the hours after his son, Matthew, posted the following: “A Marine has passed away. With sadness in my heart I must inform you my father James Northrup Jr. passed away at 8:40 p.m. local time.”
By late Tuesday night, there were 368 comments in response to Matthew’s post, from friends, family and fans from all over the country and the world — and many more posts from friends and family added to the mix.
Northrup was a voice to be reckoned with, on and off the Fond du Lac Reservation, whether he was speaking Ojibwe or English, reciting his poetry by heart or writing pointed, yet humorous columns about life on the reservation, his experiences as a Marine in Vietnam or issues such as the proposed oil pipeline that could impact his beloved wild rice.