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Obituaries for Aug. 3, 2017

Paul C. Thomas

(Sept. 3, 1935 – July 27, 2017)


Paul Thomas

CROWNPOINT – Funeral services for Paul C. Thomas, 81, of Crownpoint, will be held today, Aug. 3, at 11 a.m. at the Gospel Lighthouse Church in Crownpoint, with Rev. Carlos Baki officiating. Burial will follow at the family plot in Two Red Hills (?ich’’ Sinil’).

Paul was born Sept. 3, 1935, in Crownpoint, into the Naaneezht’ézh’ diné’é (Zuni Clan), born for Tóaheedl’’nii (Water Flow Together Clan). He died July 27, 2017, at his home surrounded by his family.

Paul was a kind, loving, compassionate family man as well as a devout Christian. He was raised in the Crownpoint/Standing Rock area. He worked various jobs as a community health worker, teacher, police officer, security officer and school bus driver. He enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, ranching, reading his bible, and watching football games.

Paul is survived by his wife, Phyllis D. Thomas, of Crownpoint; daughters, Priscilla A. Thomas Tom of Window Rock, Patricia Thomas of Crownpoint, Paulene T. Thomas of Crownpoint, Pamela Tapaha of Mesa, Ariz., and Paulette Thomas-Pico of Livermore, Calif.; brothers, James C. Thomas and Alfred
Thomas; sister, Etta Chavez of Becenti, N.M.; and five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Paul is preceded in death by his parents, Charlie C. Thomas and Rose Yazzie Thomas; sisters, Agnes Thomas Yazzie and Annie Thomas; brother, Raymond Thomas; and grandchild, LaPrima N. Showalter.

Pallbearers will be Melvin Mescale, Randolph E. Pico, Ronnie K. Tapaha, Danny Hill, Weston Betsoie, and Leroy Thompson Jr.

A reception will take place at the Becenti Chapter House following services.

Cope Memorial is in charge of arrangements.

Leanne Rae Smith

GALLUP – Graveside service for Leanne Rae Smith, 44, was held July 29 at the Sunset Memorial Park in Gallup.

Leanne was born Dec. 6, 1973, into the Tl’izi lani (Many Goats Clan), born for Bit’ahnii (Folded Arms Clan). Her nali is Táchii’nii (Red Running Into the Water People); chei is T—dik’—zhi (Salt Water). She died July 23, 2017.

Leanne is survived by her husband, Daven LeBeau; mother, Lena Slim-Post; sisters, Ingrid Bahozhoni and Sherri Miller; brothers-in-law, Peterson Begay and Alonzo Miller; and four nieces and four nephews.

Rollie Mortuary was in charge of arrangements.

Stanley Etsitty

GALLUP – Funeral services for Stanley Etsitty, 62, were held July 29 at Rollie Mortuary in Gallup. Interment followed at the family plot in Chichiltah, N.M.

Stanley was born July 24, 1955, in Gallup, into the Bit’ahnii (Folded Arms Clan), born for Táchii’nii (Red Running Into the Water People Clan). His nali is Tábaahá (Water’s Edge); chei is Dibélzhini (Black Sheep). He died July 24, 2017, in Naschitti, N.M.

Stanley graduated from Logan High School in 1973 in Logan, Utah, and was employed as a master carpenter. He worked for numerous outfits and eventually ran his own construction company.

Stanley was an avid modern-day mountain man who loved hunting, fishing and camping. He believed in staying physically fit by running, lifting weights, exercising, and always believed in the power of positive thinking. His passion was rodeo, which took him throughout the western U.S. and Upper Canada, riding broncs and bulls. He held memberships in the PRCA and other associations.

After retiring, Stanley ranched for the remainder of his life and loved being a grandpa to his nine grandchildren.

Stanley is survived by his children, Cody Etsitty, Kimberlee Evans, Melissa Evans, and Melanie Becenti; sisters, Norma Muskett, Janice Chee, Mary Platero, Victoria Brendon, and Rhonda Mallahn; and nine grandchildren.

Stanley is preceded in death by his mother, Louise J. Benally; and father, Stanley Etsitty.

Pallbearers were Cody Etsitty, Ian Silverfox, Jamie Platero, Malcom Francisco, Patrick Richards, and Juan Casuse Jr.

Rollie Mortuary was in charge of arrangements.

Alfred “Al” Benard Begody

(Dec. 18, 1953 — July 15, 2017)

CHINLE – Al, as his friends and grieving family members refer to him, was remembered for his infectious smile and sense of humor. He was equally noted for his work ethic and his ability to resolve Information Technology issues experienced by his co-workers. He enjoyed more than anything going hiking throughout Arizona and would be always taking photographs and showing them off.

Al was born Dec. 18, 1953, with his identical twin brother, Wil, in Brigham City, Utah, to parents, Benson David Begody and Mae Litzen Begody.

As members of the Navajo Nation, the family moved back to the Navajo Reservation where Al and his siblings attended Chinle Elementary School. Al and Wil graduated from Chinle High School in 1972. Both were recognized as accomplished musicians and earned All-Star Band Honors for multiple years. Al began on the tenor saxophone and eventually settled on the baritone horn, which became his instrument of choice. Through their high school career, Al and Wil could be heard throughout their home playing their instruments and entertaining the family with their abilities.

Al initially attended the University of Arizona in Tucson, but transferred to Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. During his college career, Al was a member of the Northern Arizona University Lumberjack Marching band. In addition, he participated as a member of the Navajo Nation Marching Band, which performed at the major Navajo Nation events and festivities.

Al continued his education by attending Muir Technical College with a certificate in computer programming, which he used to pursue professionally with multiple Phoenix companies and most recently with the Arizona state government.

Al converted to Judaism in 2011 and was an active member of the Phoenix Jewish community. His burial service will honor his converted faith. A graveside service was held July 20 at the Chinle community cemetery.

Al passed away suddenly July 15, 2017, surrounded by loving family members, including siblings, nieces and nephews.

Al is survived by his sisters, Alfreda, Winifred (Darrell), and Norma; brothers, Norman (Stephanie) and David (Gloria); nieces and nephews, Denise, Adam, Desiree, Chrystalee, Daryl, Dana, Daniel, Elizabeth, and Chris.

Al is preceded in death by his father, Benson David Begody; mother, Mae Litzen Begody; and his twin brother, Wilfred “Wil” Benjamin Begody.

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