Obituaries for Aug. 27, 2020
Mae Mitchell (March 26, 1932 — Aug. 24, 2020)
BABY ROCKS, Ariz. — Graveside service for Mae Mitchell, 88, will be held Friday, Aug. 28, at 10 a.m. at the Baby Rocks family cemetery (north side of Highway 160).
Mae was born March 26, 1932, at home in Dennehotso, Arizona, to John and Leona Mitchell, from Dennehotso. Mae’s maternal clan is Kinyaa’áanii (Towering House), born for Tábąąhá (Water’s Edge). With her cheii being Bit’ahnii (Under His Cover), her nali is of the Tódích’íi’nii (Bitter Water). She died peacefully Aug. 24, 2020, in Farmington, due to heart-related complications.
Mae was the second youngest of eight brothers and sisters. Her brothers, Fritz Mitchell, Tom Mitchell, Paul Mitchell, and her sisters, Mary Yellowhair, Bessie Hadley, twin sisters Jean James and Barbara Tsosie, all preceded her in death.
Mae is the mother of 11 children, with the oldest two who died in infancy. Her only son, Addison Richards, preceded her in death. He and his wife Julia have four children. Daughter Martha and husband Raymond Littleman have four children. Daughter Katherine and husband Stanley Benally have five children. Daughter Sylvia Laughter has three children with deceased ex-spouse, Ned. Daughter Matilda and husband Cecil Hubbell have nine children. Daughter Patricia Yazzie has three children with ex-spouse Jack Bishop. Daughter Pearlena and husband Martin Thomas have three children. Daughter Myna and deceased spouse Kenny Jones have three daughters. Youngest daughter Rena and husband Jackie have five children. Mae has a total of 28 grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren.
Mae would talk about her childhood helping her father with the family flock of sheep and with planting and harvesting at the family farmland in Dennehotso. She was remarkably close to her father. She took care of her mother Leona during the last few years of her life.
Mae especially loved to hang out with her grandchildren and loved to tease the grandsons about trying to make her jealous (a typical Navajo teasing) and laughing with her granddaughters about being “single.”
According to Mae’s daughters, “Mother was very industrious. She would never allow us to have idle hands. She always had us helping her with various projects and/or being her ‘silversmiths’ for her beautifully handmade dolls by helping her sew on beaded necklaces, cutting out aluminum cans for concho belts and bracelets. Later in life, Mom used to laugh about how her dolls were traveling all over the world for her.”
Mae’s best friend, Elouise, owner of the Baby Rocks Trading Post, loved selling her popular dolls at the store where Mae worked for at least two decades. Her daughters recall the many times she had the family repaint the small two-room 800-square-foot home just so it looked presentable and orderly.
“She taught us the importance of taking care of whatever possessions we had, to keep the home clean, and to show good table manners,” recalls daughter Sylvia.
As a young adult, Mae also worked as a waitress and at a factory in Mexican Hat, as well as a dorm mother in Tuba City. She did whatever she could to take care of her large family.
As a youth, Mae appeared in John Wayne movies along with other Navajos when they filmed at the Monument Valley location. She remembers John Wayne learning to say “little mother” in Navajo and specifically calling her that name when he would see her.
“We laughed with her as she told us how she did not like John Wayne calling her that, as she was only a teenager at the time,” recalled daughter Sylvia.
Mae recalls meeting Elvis Presley with her friends when he was performing a concert in Monticello, Utah. She was also in a “Rambo” movie, along with her niece, Eileen Keith.
Mae enjoyed spending time with her large family, as they would gather during holidays at her home to celebrate. She was a devout Christian mother and took her children to church when they were young. As a result, most of her children participated in the LDS Church Placement Program.
Mae also honored her traditional upbringing and utilized ceremonies when appropriate. Her daughters recall the many times they would hear her praying through the night, asking God for protection over each of her children and grandchildren.
Mae’s daughter Katherine recalls, “Mom loves the song ‘Till We Meet Again’ in Navajo. Kids and I used to pick her up on Sundays to take her to church in Dennehotso. She requested that song twice. Standing next to me, she could belt that out so beautifully.”
Mae was never good about resting up. She awoke every day around 5 a.m., taking care of the house and getting ready for the day. She continued to work up until about four years ago.
One of her memorable and recent jobs included 17 years of serving as a foster grandparent to the children of Dennehotso Boarding School. She immensely enjoyed her time with those children. She fondly referred to them as her children, alongside her sister-in-law, Alice Mitchell. She remained in the position despite the cold snowy weather because she liked keeping busy, and simply loved the children who called her Grandma.
Mae’s children fondly remember her as a strong independent single parent who taught by example to work hard at whatever one chose to do in life, very much in keeping with the Kinyaa’áanii characteristic. That strength and independence is reflected in the activities of her children.
Mae’s oldest daughter, Martha Littleman, served on the local school board and served as the vice president of the chapter. Her only son, Addison, served honorably in the Army and preceded her in death. Her daughter, Katherine Benally, also served on the school board and was known nationwide as the only female among 23 men on the Navajo Nation Council for 12 years. Katherine also owns a home care company, serving the Navajo people for over 25 years. Her husband Stanley has now worked as a sales associate at the KTNN radio station since its inception.
Mae’s daughter, Sylvia Laughter, served as an Arizona state representative for three terms. Her daughter Matilda’s husband, Cecil Hubbell, presently serves as a chapter president, while another daughter, Patricia Yazzie, owns the Beauty Way Salon in Kayenta.
Another daughter, Pearlena, works for a home care company as a transporter, while her daughter Myna worked for 20 years at the Bashas’ shopping center as the receiver and general merchandiser.
While many of the sisters who lived nearby assisted with their mother during her health challenges, her youngest daughter Rena spent much of her time taking care of Mother Mae the last few years. While living in Farmington, she would travel weekly to Baby Rocks, to take mother to her home and take her shopping, assist her in whatever she needed, and to visit the doctor regularly.
Another daughter, Myna, moved in with Mother Mae to take care of her for several months as her health worsened. Toward the last few weeks of her life, daughter Rena took mother in to live with her, as she and her daughters cared for and watched over her 24/7.
While the family already misses their mother tremendously, the matriarch of the Mitchell home, we also know she is finally free of the physical pain she endured the last few weeks and months. We know there is life beyond death and agree that she is having a good reunion with her parents, siblings, and son, all whom she missed.
We love our mother and know she is now resting in peace.
A gathering will take place at Mae’s home (south side of Highway 160, across from the family cemetery), following service.
Charles Phillip Hemstreet
CRYSTAL, N.M. — Charles Phillip Hemstreet, 81, of Crystal, New Mexico, passed away Aug. 19, 2020. He was laid to rest in Crystal.
Charles was born Nov. 15, 1938, into the Táchii’nii (Red Running Into the Water People Clan), born for Tábaahá (Water’s Edge Clan).
Charles’ late parents were Elizabeth Wingate Hemstreet and Leslie Paul Hemstreet, a Navajo Code Talker and World War II veteran.
Charles was employed by Kerr-McGee Uranium Company in Crownpoint, and was a Navajo Police officer for 10 years, retiring from Black Mesa Pipeline Company in Kayenta.
Charles loved his family and always enjoyed the company of his 10 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. He had a deep admiration for the outdoors — he loved to hunt, fish, travel, and camp.
Charles is survived by his devoted wife of 60-plus years, Peggy R. Hemstreet; children, Beverly Jean Denipah, Duane Hemstreet, Thomas Hemstreet, Bo Hemstreet, and Darwin Hemstreet; sister, Lucille Dyer; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Charles is preceded in death by his parents, Elizabeth and Leslie Hemstreet; brothers, Jonathan and David Hemstreet; and sister, Ethel Thomas.
Pallbearers were Duane Hemstreet, Bo Hemstreet, Thomas Hemstreet, Darwin Hemstreet, Ralph Hemstreet, and Jonathan Hemstreet Jr.
Honorary pallbearers were Wesley Hemstreet, Kyle Hemstreet, Ryne Hemstreet, Arthur Thomas Jr., David Hemstreet Jr., Anderson Dyer, Lamar Cornelison, and Blaine Tsinnie.
The Hemstreet family would like to give a special thank you to the Honor Ride Bikers 4 Warriors and Apache County Sheriff Joe Dedman and his deputies for honoring Charles P. Hemstreet.
Valley Ridge Mortuary was in charge of arrangements.
Marty “Sheen” Lorne DuBoise
CHICHILTAH, N.M. — Graveside service for Marty “Sheen” Lorne DuBoise will be held today, Aug. 27, at 10 a.m. at the family plot, located across the DuBoise residence, in Chichiltah, New Mexico.
Marty was born Sept. 6, 1974, to Bessie DuBoise and the late Larry DuBoise, into the Kiyaa’áanii (Towering House Clan), born for Dibélzhíní (Black Sheep Clan). Cheii is Ma’ii deeshgiizhinii (Coyote Pass-Jemez); nali is Naakai dine’é (Mexican). He passed away July 28, 2020, in Gallup.
Marty attended Bread Springs School, Chichiltah Jones Ranch School, Gallup High School, Wingate High School, and graduated from Pine Hill High School. He played basketball, ran cross country, and track and field. He took part in the New Mexico High School Rodeo Association as a bull rider and was a state qualifier numerous times in all events.
Marty attended the University of New Mexico and received his bachelor’s degrees in electric and construction fields. He was part of the rodeo club for UNM and qualified for the national championships for the Mountain West Region in the bull-riding event.
Marty spent most of his life working all over New Mexico, as well as the United States as an electrician for Armored Electric, Bixby Electric, Southwest Electric, and construction worker for Southwest Electric, custodian/maintenance at ACL Hospital, a dialysis nurse at the Zuni Comprehensive Hospital in Zuni, New Mexico, and a pipeliner. He was also part of the Ironworkers Union 798. His work took him from sea to sea.
Above all his family was his top priority, especially his children. He was an amazing supporter of his kids’ sports. He was always there to support his family and children.
Marty was a medicine man and tradition herbalist. He carried on prayers he learned from his father, Sammie DuBoise, and was the rock for his family as they always turned to him.
Marty was a bull rider since he was a child and loved the sport. When he didn’t ride any more, he provided Fire Rescue and EMS help to rodeos in the area. He was also a volunteer firefighter for McKinley County for several years with Chichiltah and Vanderwagen. He will be remembered and missed.
Marty is survived by his wife, Rachelle Watson-DuBoise; mother, Bessie DuBoise; son, Matoska Laramie DuBoise; daughters, Chamique Brayden DuBoise and Hayeden Sheen DuBoise; siblings, Myrtis L. DuBoise, Lonnie L. DuBoise, Sharon L. DuBoise, Shawnetaiye W.L. DuBoise Whitetail Eagle, Sylvia L. DuBoise-Hunt, and Shannon L. DuBoise; nephews, Delaney W. DuBoise, Sonjohn Hunt and Marcus DuBoise; and nieces, Cauy DuBoise, Haley DuBoise, Tia DuBoise, Shawna DuBoise, Kristen Hunt, Staci Hunt, and Shandiin DuBoise.
Marty is preceded in death by his fathers, Larry L. DuBoise and Sammie B. DuBoise; maasanii, Ellen T. Haley; cheii, George Haley; nali adszaa, Mary C. Tsosie; and nali hastii, Ben DuBoise.
Pallbearers will be Carlett Kaibito Daniels, Tyrell Raydan Daniels, Courtney Charles Clawson, Austin Kirk Clawson, Delaney Wyatt DuBoise, and Leon Eric Jones.
Honorary pallbearers will be Matoska Laramie DuBoise, Haley Lonna DuBoise, Marcus Dale DuBoise, and Lonnie Lorne DuBoise.
There will be no viewing or reception following service.
Ricky R. Yazzie
WHIPPOORWILL, Ariz. — Graveside service for Ricky R. Yazzie, 56, of Whippoorwill, Arizona, will be held Friday, Aug. 28, at 9 a.m. at the Whippoorwill family cemetery.
Ricky was born Aug. 9, 1964, in Whippoorwill, into the Ma’ii deeshgiizhinii (Coyote Pass-Jemez Clan), born for Tódík’ózhí (Salt Water Clan). He passed away Aug. 24, 2020.
Ricky attended Many Farms High School and was a rancher. He enjoyed playing basketball and football, watching wrestling and working with animals.
Ricky is survived by his daughter, Leona John; brothers, James Dean Yazzie, Stanley Yazzie, Jerome Yazzie, and Jackie Yazzie; and sisters, Sarah Yazzie, Ella Rose Yazzie, Jilita Yazzie, Phyllis Haycock, and Geraldine Bailey.
Ricky is preceded in death by his parents, Alice and John Yazzie; Mike Yazzie, Morgan Yazzie and Arnold Yazzie.
A reception will take place at the Buckinghorse/Peshlakai residence.
Summit Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
CHINLE — Tyson Carroll, 43, of Chinle, was born into the Tótsohnii (Big Water Clan), born for Tódích’íi’nii (Bitter Water Clan).
Tyson is survived by his wife, Roncella Carroll; daughters, Kashlynn Carroll and Catelynn Carroll; brother, Tyrone Carroll; and grandparents, Lucy and Sherman Carroll.
Tyson is preceded in death by his mother, Rosita Clashiney.
Silver Creek Mortuary was in charge of arrangements.