Obituaries for Jan. 21, 2021
Hope Y. Harrison
CAMP NAVAJO, Ariz. — Graveside service for Hope Y. Harrison, 93, will be held Friday, Jan. 29, at 10 a.m., at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Camp Navajo, Arizona.
Hope was born Oct. 15, 1927, in Bird Springs, Arizona, to Marie and Charlie John. She was the second oldest of 13 children.
Hope was Bįįh bitoodnii (Deer Spring Clan), born for Tsi’naajinii (Black Streak Wood People Clan). She passed away Jan. 14, 2021, leaving behind hundreds of family and friends who loved her dearly.
Hope married John B. Harrison and they raised their children at the Navajo Army Depot in Bellemont, Arizona. She then returned to Bird Springs, where she spent the rest of her life.
Hope will be remembered for her sense of humor, stories told over cooking, love of weaving, and the softest grandma hands that brought endless comfort.
Hope is survived and will be remembered by her daughters, Esther (Bob) Miller, June (Mauri) Jim, Ruth Harrison, Delores (Ernest) Murray, and Melinda Harrison; and 13 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.
Hope is preceded in death by her parents; three siblings; husband, John; son, John B. Harrison Jr.; daughter, Evelyn Harrison; and grandchildren, Rachael Murray and Bryan Curley.
Hope’s family would like to thank the staff at Flagstaff Medical Center and at the Haven for taking care of her as she left this world.
A larger celebration of life is being planned for summer 2021.
Irene Rose Singer (March 12, 1938 — Jan. 8, 2021)
SALEM, Ore. — Irene Rose Singer was born March 12, 1938, in Manuelito, New Mexico. She died peacefully in hospice care at the residence of her daughter Michelle in Portland, Oregon, on Jan. 8, 2021, surrounded by loved ones. She was a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, relative, and friend.
Ten years ago in 2011, her youngest son and beloved husband of 51 years both passed within a three and a half month span.
In 2021, her surviving son Michael had an unexpected, sudden death two days prior to her transition. There is no doubt that a powerful bond exists between a parent and a child. The two sets are reunited with their Heavenly Father and loved ones.
Irene was a full-blooded Navajo enrolled citizen of the Navajo Nation. She was from the Tódích’íi’nii (Bitter Water Clan), born for Táchii’nii (Red Running Into the Water People Clan). Her maternal grandmother and mother called her by her Navajo name, which translates to “Warrior Woman with Shield,” as she was strong, fearless and resilient in character and in life.
Irene attended Chemawa Indian School in the 1950s where she met the love of her life, Sam, and then worked at Chemawa in home living and food service capacities. She retired from federal service after a lengthy career.
Irene was a longtime resident of Salem, and a member of Calvary Baptist Church for 60 years where she was baptized, married and raised four children with her husband.
Irene was very proud to be Native and was deeply rooted in her cultural heritage. She spoke the Navajo language, her first language, fluently on a daily basis with her husband, Sam, and amongst fellow Navajo speakers. She always wanted to be amongst and to celebrate with the Native community whenever and wherever she could all of her life, as cultural connection was her Warrior Woman shield.
Irene was a grandmother and with her husband supported her son Morales and his three children while he was a stay-at-home parent and caregiver to them. When Morales was tragically killed, she and Sam became guardians of his children in order to keep the cultural value of family-centered alive.
Sam’s passing left Irene a widow, never abandoning her infinite love for her children, grandchildren and in the last three years, great-grandchildren. To her family, she is known as “Shima” (my mom in Navajo) and the matriarch.
In the last few years and in her last days, she was “Warrior Woman with Shield” — fighting to live — but she lives on in spirit with her legacy through the next generations. She emphasized the Navajo teaching of remembering where you come from, its importance in life, and to value connections in life as gifts. She led by that example every day. Today, she lives on in those who were blessed to have met her.
Irene is survived by her daughters, Marcie (Josh) and Michelle; daughter-in-law, Carolyn; and four grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and many relatives.
Irene is preceded in death by her husband, Samuel; sons, Morales and Michael; parents, John and Maggie Billy; and siblings, stillborn sister, John Scott Billy, Mary Billy, Tully Billy, John Begay, and John Kenneth Billy.
To honor Irene, a public viewing and live stream was held Jan. 16 at the Howell-Edwards-Doerksen Funeral Home in Salem. The live stream recording can be found on the HED Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/HowellEdwardsDoerksen.
Visit Irene’s Dignity Memorial website to offer condolences and memories for the family at https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/salem-or/irene-singer-9994698.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date at Calvary Baptist Church.
Michael Samuel Singer (Aug. 19, 1965 — Jan. 6, 2021)
SALEM, Ore. — Michael Samuel Singer was born in Salem, Oregon, on Aug. 19, 1965 and raised there. His 55-year-old life came to a sudden end on Jan. 6, 2021. He was a husband, father, son, brother, uncle, and a friend.
Ten years ago in 2011, his brother and father both passed within a three-and-a-half-month span.
In 2021, a son and a mother walked on within 48 hours of each other, a special mother-son bond not to be broken in life or beyond.
Michael, or “Mike” to many of his friends, was a full-blooded citizen of the Navajo Nation, a lifelong resident of Salem, and was baptized as a Christian at Calvary Baptist Church.
Mike graduated from Sprague High School and worked at Chemawa Indian School while working with youth with disabilities as a volunteer. He was a dedicated member of the Courthouse Athletic Clubs, an Oregon Ducks superfan, a seasonal North Fork regular, and a master barbecue host for guests.
Mike loved animals, most especially his two furry sons, Nacho and Winslow, and a furry daughter, Kitty Singer, with which he had a close bond.
Mike’s pride and joy was his 10-year marriage to Carolyn, his daughter Shaelee, and the Singer family. His memories and connections to the Navajo Nation, his relatives and the Native community were important to him.
As a Navajo, Mike was Tódích’íi’nii (Bitter Water Clan), born for Tó’áhaní (Near the Water Clan) — the clans of his mother and father. He exuded his Native pride and he valued his circle of friends whom he met over time in and around the Salem area and beyond. He left an impression on many and will be missed.
Mike is survived by his wife, Carolyn; daughter, Shaelee; siblings, Marcie (Josh) and Michelle; nephews, Cody and Elijah; and niece, Jaliene.
Mike is preceded in death by his father, Samuel; brother, Morales; and mother, Irene, who passed two days after Mike’s untimely death.
To honor Mike, a public viewing and livestream was held Jan. 16 at the Howell-Edwards-Doerksen Funeral Home in Salem. The live stream recording can be found on HED’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/HowellEdwardsDoerksen.
Visit Mike’s Dignity Memorial website to offer condolences or to add a memory for the family at https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/salem-or/michael-singer-9994604.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date at Calvary Baptist Church.
Eleanor G. Thomas
REHOBOTH, N.M. — Graveside service for Eleanor G. Thomas, of Fort Defiance, will be held Thursday, Jan. 28, at the Rehoboth cemetery in Rehoboth, New Mexico, with Stanley Jim officiating.
Eleanor was born Nov. 1, 1945, in Naschitti, New Mexico, to James and Stella Begay, into the Honágháahnii (One-walks-around Clan), born for Tábąąhá (Water’s Edge Clan). She passed away peacefully on Jan. 6, 2021, at the Abrazo Central Campus Hospital in Phoenix, due to complications from the effects of COVID-19.
Eleanor grew up on the Navajo Reservation attending Rehoboth Christian School and went on to earn her bachelor’s and master’s degree in education at Arizona State University. She began her education career as a full-time mother, but went on to be employed with the Department of Diné Education as an education specialist and then as program manager for the Navajo Nation Johnson O’Malley Program.
Eleanor lived a wonderful full life dedicating her time and service to her family and friends. She was always there to offer words of advice and to listen when a friendly ear was needed.
Eleanor enjoyed golfing with her husband and sons, spending time with her grandchildren, and traveling to see new places. She was a woman of strong faith who devoted her life to God and was an active participant at Window Rock Christian Reformed Church.
Eleanor is survived by her husband, Gary Thomas; sons, Duane Thomas, Russell Thomas and Justin Thomas; brother, Anthony Begay; sister, Evelyn Burton; grandson, Logan Thomas; granddaughter, Jubilee Thomas; and numerous nieces and nephews.
The Thomas family would like to thank family and friends for their condolences and prayers during this difficult time.
Memorial donations in memory of Eleanor Thomas can be made on gofund.me/96f8dbdd and flower arrangements may be sent to Rollie Mortuary, who is handling final arrangements.
A celebration of Eleanor’s life will be scheduled for a later date.
Esther J. Spencer
RED ROCK, N.M. — Graveside service for Esther J. Spencer, 66, of Gallup, will be held Friday, Jan. 22, at 10 a.m., at the Spencer family plot in Red Rock, New Mexico, with Pastor Wilkinson Sage officiating.
Esther was born Nov. 12, 1954, in Rehoboth, New Mexico, into the Haltsooí (Meadow People Clan), born for Kinyaa’áanii (Towering House Clan). She passed away Jan. 13, 2021, in Albuquerque.
Esther completed the 10th grade at Gallup High School and attended Nazarene Bible College in Albuquerque. She worked at Anasazi Traders, Wholesale Indian Jewelry, and Touch of Santa Fe as a silversmith.
Esther enjoyed driving the tractor, working outside, doing creative arts, and building everything. She loved family gatherings and singing Christian songs.
Esther is survived by her husband, Larry Spencer; sons, Darrell Spencer, Clyde Spencer and Vernon Spencer; daughters, Alicia Mendoza, Jennifer Spencer and Corvina Spencer; brother, Jonah Bowie; sisters, Hannah Bowie of Grants, New Mexico, June Pego of Mount Pleasant, Michigan, and Edith Barker of Kingman, Arizona; and 12 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Esther is preceded in death by her mother, Alice Bowie; father, Joe Jerry Bowie; brother, Joe Bowie Jr.; and son, Orlando Spencer.
Pallbearers will be Vernon Spencer, Clyde Spencer, Darren Spencer, Jose Mendoza, Luis Mendoza, and Randy Billy.
Honorary pallbearers will be Darrell Spencer, Quincy Spencer, Joseph Mendoza, and Isaiah Rosetta.
There will be no reception, due to COVID-19.
A memorial service will be held at a later time.
Rollie Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.
SAND SPRINGS, Ariz. — Graveside service for Alta Edison, 63, of Sand Springs, Arizona, will be held Saturday, Jan. 23, at 10 a.m., in Sand Springs.
Alta was born July 18, 1957, in Sand Springs, into the Bįįh bitoodnii (Deer Spring Clan), born for Ta’neeszahnii (Tangle Clan). Her nalí is Kiyaa’áanii (Towering House); cheii is Táchii’nii (Red Running Into the Water People). She passed away Jan. 17, 2021, in Flagstaff.
Alta was employed with Coconino County Elections for 41 years.
Alta is survived by her sons, Mario Edison and Roderick Edison; daughter, LaDonna Edison; father, Alvin Hosteenez; brother, Nathan Hosteenez; sisters, Prisilla Redhair, Alama Nez, Victoria Smith, Kathleen Hosteenez, and Terry Hosteenez; and 10 grandchildren.
Alta is preceded in death by her mother, Louva Hosteenez; and brother, Leo Hosteenez.
Pallbearers will be Mario Edison, Roderick Edison, Jeremy Smith, Tommy Tso, Jayson Blackhair, Ryan Tso, Corey Tso, Jared Edison, and Lelander Henry.
Norvell Owens Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.
Jerry Big John
KIRTLAND, N.M. — Graveside service for Jerry Big John, 80, of Shiprock, was held Jan. 19 at the Kirtland cemetery in Kirtland, New Mexico.
Jerry was born May 1, 1940, in Aneth, Utah, into the KinŁichíi’nii (Red House People Clan), born for Bit’ahnii (Folded Arms People Clan). He passed away peacefully Jan. 10, 2021, in Shiprock.
Jerry worked for Phillips Petroleum for 36 years and then went to work in the uranium mines. He was one of four children born to the late Big John and Elaine Sckeezy, and was the beloved husband of Louise John for over 24 years.
Jerry was an NAC roadman and traditional Navajo medicine man. He loved listening to NAC music and enjoyed traveling, helping others, solving word find puzzles, being with his family, his homecare nurses, respiratory therapist from Roots Home Heath Care, his numerous friends from the NAC families, and former co-workers.
Jerry will be deeply missed and forever remembered by his wife, beloved children, treasured grandchildren, great-grandchild, and nalís, along with countless other friends and family who were blessed to know him.
Jerry touched the lives of many people with his smile, generosity, and maintained his sense of humor all the way to the end.
Jerry is survived by five daughters, three sons, sister, Emma Begay, 19 grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.
Jerry is preceded in death by Big John, Elaine Sckeezy, Curley John, and Howard John.
Pallbearers were Devlin Castillo, Jeffrey Williams, Louell Williams, Clarence Curley Jr., Tom Nystrom, and Jared Foutz.
Honorary pallbearers were Louise John, Keldon Tsosie, Kara Dodge, and a great-grandchild.
Jerry’s family wishes to extend their sincere thanks to Farmington Funeral Home, Roots Home Health Care, and the staff at Northern Navajo Medical Center in Shiprock.
Jerry’s family would like to thank everyone for attending and celebrating the life of their beloved. Words cannot express how grateful we are for the outpouring of love, sympathy and thoughtfulness during this time of grief. Your kindness is sincerely appreciated and will always be remembered.
Eugene Harvey Murphy
GALLUP — Funeral services for Eugene Harvey Murphy, of Querino Canyon, Arizona, will be held Friday, Jan. 29, at 10 a.m., at Cope Memorial Chapel in Gallup. Burial will follow at the Houck community cemetery in Houck, Arizona, with immediate family.
Eugene was born June 7, 1945, in Querino Canyon, into the Tódích’íi’nii (Bitter Water Clan), born for Naasht’ézhí dine’é (Zuni People Clan). His nalí is ’Áshįįhí (Salt People); cheii is Kiyaa’áanii (Towering House). He passed away Jan. 4, 2021, at the Rehoboth Hospital in Gallup.
Eugene attended Sanders Elementary/Middle School and Pleasant Grove High School in Pleasant Grove, Utah. He worked with the railroad and was self-taught in fixing engines/mechanics.
Eugene enjoyed watching wrestling, listening to KTNN and KGAK, and spending time with family.
Eugene is survived by his sons, Michael Murphy, Glenn Burnside and Chris Largo-Joe; daughters, Regina Murphy, Eugena Murphy, Delgina Murphy, and Margene Bitsuie; brother, Alvin Murphy Sr. of Querino Canyon; sister, Lola Goldtooth of Cedar Point, Arizona; and 30 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
Eugene is preceded in death by his parents, Elizabeth and George Murphy; children, Tyrone, Jasper, Cerone, and Brian; and siblings, Georgia, Dorothy Six, Martha, Wayne, Willie, Elliott, and Curtis, all of Querino Canyon.
Pallbearers will be Michael Murphy, Ivan Murphy, Victor Yanez, and missionaries of Sanders LDS Church.
Honorary pallbearers will be Michael Murphy and Ivan Murphy.
Curbside food will be served following services (mask and social distancing required).
Cope Memorial Chapel is in charge of arrangements.
Arnold Leonard Bitah
KIRTLAND, N.M. — A service of remembrance for Arnold Leonard Bitah will be held Friday, Jan. 22, at 10 a.m., at Cope Memorial Chapel in Kirtland, New Mexico. Burial will follow at the Kirtland cemetery.
Arnold was born Sept. 10, 1950. He passed away unexpectedly Jan. 15, 2021.
Arnold graduated with the Valley High School Class of 1968 in Albuquerque. Following graduation, he served in the United States Air Force for four years during the Vietnam War and was stationed in Thailand.
Arnold later married Carol Tsosie of Teecnospos, Arizona. They celebrated their marriage of 42 years.
Arnold went on to work for the Navajo Tribe as a social worker for five years, retiring from Arizona Public Service Company after 33 years. He went on to serve his community as vice president for Teecnospos Chapter, then served as vice commander for Teecnospos veterans.
Arnold was very passionate about his sports, basketball, football, golf, and was one of the biggest Raiders fan.
Arnold is survived by his wife, Carol J. Bitah; sons, Cedric Tsosie, Elden Tsosie and Matthew Bitah; daughters, Arnalda Soce (Brian), Kerlissa Bitah (Jimmy Billy), Arlana Bitah (Arsenio Paytiamo), and Leandra Bitah (Rio Pioche); and 10 grandchildren.
Arnold is preceded in death by his parents, Leonard and Nazbah Bitah; and brothers, Paul and Lee Bitah.
Pallbearers will be Logan Billy, Trayvian Billy, Brody Scott, Doyle Kady, Isaiah Begay, and Matthew Bitah.
Honorary pallbearers will be Kerlissa Bitah, Jimmy Billy, Carol Bitah, Matthew Bitah, Elden Tsosie, Arlana Bitah, Leandra Bitah, Cedric Tsosie, and Arnalda Soce.
Point of contact: Cedric Tsosie, P.O. Box 561, Teecnospos, AZ 86514; 928-656-3287; or email@example.com.
Cope Memorial Chapel is taking care of arrangements.
Melvin W. Silversmith
ST. MICHAELS, Ariz. — Graveside service for Melvin W. Silversmith, 69, of Oak Springs, Arizona, will be held Tuesday, Jan. 26, at 10 a.m., at the St. Michaels cemetery in St. Michaels, Arizona.
Melvin was born Aug. 12, 1951, in Rehoboth, New Mexico, into the Tódík’ózhí (Salt Water Clan), born for Honágháahnii (One-walks-around Clan). He passed away Jan. 14, 2021, at the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque.
In his younger days, Melvin attended school in Crystal and Wingate High School until he got his GED in Window Rock. He worked on the railroad and security in various places.
Melvin was a homebody and was happily married for 51 years. He was an outdoorsman who loved camping in the mountains, watching football and boxing, and was a Las Vegas Raiders fan. He was a loving and caring person who enjoyed laughing, telling jokes/random stories, and spending time with his family.
Melvin is survived by his wife, Della M. Silversmith; sons, Merwyn Silversmith, Sgt. Darren Silversmith and Nelson Happy; daughters, Sharon Silversmith, Sherrie Silversmith, Sherlyn Hoskie, Sheryl Silversmith, Sharona Silversmith, and Melvina Silversmith; brother, Dennison Silversmith; and 12 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Melvin is preceded in death by his mother, Betty Silversmith; father, Tom Silversmith; brother, Frederick Silversmith; and sisters, Cheryl Begay and Loretta Smith.
Pallbearers will be Sheryl Silversmith, Everett Begay Jr., Sharona Silversmith, Randolph Beyal Sr., Randolph Beyal Jr., and Sharon Silversmith.
Honorary pallbearers will be Della M. Silversmith, Merwyn Silversmith, Sgt. Darren Silversmith, Sherlyn Hoskie, Reginald Hoskie, and Sheridan Smith.
Summit Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Floyd F. Tayah
CHINLE — Floyd F. Tayah, 67, of Chinle, and Albuquerque, died Jan. 13, 2021, at his beloved wife’s home. He was born in Chinle, as a proud member of the Navajo Nation.
Floyd graduated high school in Chinle, and immediately answered the call to serve his beloved country. He joined the United States Army where he began an illustrious career that would send him all over this planet.
Floyd was sent to Dallas, Texas, where he married his loving wife, Barbara, and was blessed with a daughter named Earnestine.
Then in 1974, he was sent to Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina. While at Fort Bragg, he completed the Special Forces Assessment and Selection, and earned the famous Green Beret as a member of the Army Special Forces. It was here that he found a second love, this time high in the skies. He received his parachute jump wings and proudly became an Army Airborne soldier. While here, he was once again blessed with another child, his son Terry.
From Fort Bragg, Floyd was then sent to Alaska, where he served at Fort Richardson in Anchorage, and Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks. After seven years in Alaska, he was sent back to Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, this time to serve as the parachute jumpmaster for the Army and Special Forces. This position allowed him to teach new soldiers, as well as seasoned Special Forces soldiers the art of HALO (High Altitude-Low Opening) and HAHO (High Altitude-High Opening) parachute techniques.
Floyd completed over 3,000 jumps and had the distinction to have “jumped” all seven continents. He would say that being that close to Heaven in the skies had to be what paradise is all about, and there is no doubt that he now has a second pair of wings as he looks down from the heavens. Floyd Tayah earned those wings.
Floyd had many passions in his life, but three that always stuck out were his love for the Army, his love of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the love for his family.
Floyd leaves behind his beautiful wife, Barbara Tayah; beautiful daughter, Earnestine Brown (Ernie-Bird); and his strong son, Terry Tayah (named after a famous 1970s quarterback from the Pittsburg Steelers).
Floyd also leaves behind his brothers, Marlin Tayah and Hank Tah; sisters, Agnes Jenkins, Regina Tah-Morgan and Tina Tah; and two grandchildren.
A Celebration of Life dinner will be held in May.
“De Oppresso Liber”… Rest in Peace, Floyd Tayah.
ALBUQUERQUE — On Jan. 12, two days before his 62nd birthday, Eddie Benally died peacefully with his loving wife, Kelly Willis-Benally, at his bedside and his daughters, Andrea Marsh, Raelle Hamilton and Cheyanne Benally, via Zoom, at the Lovelace Hospital.
Eddie was born Jan. 14, 1958, in Rehoboth, New Mexico, into the Tódích’íi’nii (Bitter Water Clan), born for the Kinlichíi’nii (Red House People Clan), the Táchii’nii (Red Running Into the Water) and Haltsooí (Meadow People).
Eddie devoted his life to the preservation, protection and conservation of wildlife. He was in law enforcement for 38 years as a police officer and a wildlife conservation officer. He was instrumental in bringing attention to wildlife crimes and getting successful prosecutions.
Eddie convinced the U.S. District Attorney to take a case for prosecuting eagle poaching, which led to the first prosecution in the U.S. of eagle poaching, thanks to his investigatory work and persistence. He worked closely with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service throughout the country and was known as “Boss” because he got things done — no matter how hard. Much of his work was done undercover.
Eddie also worked with the undercover narcotic task force in Gallup for 15 years and was key in starting the Navajo Nation Annual Youth Hunt after a Navajo boy in Sheep Springs approached him with questions about the Fish and Wildlife Seal on his vehicle. The boy then told Eddie he wanted to learn to hunt, but no one in his family knew how. As a result, in 2005 the first mentored youth hunt was held, which has been held every year since, except in 2020, due to the pandemic.
Eddie loved fly-fishing and enjoyed traveling. He had his own style of loving and loved his family deeply. When he loved you, you knew it.
Eddie is survived by his wife, Kelly Willis-Benally; sons, Tracey Benally and Myron Benally; daughters, Andrea Marsh, Raelle Hamilton and Cheyanne Benally; brothers, Howard Benally, Albert Benally and James Benally; sisters, Annie Tom, Julie Carlton and Judy Buffalohead; and six grandchildren.
Eddie is preceded in death by his parents, Sadie and Mike Benally Sr.; and brothers, Mike Benally Jr. and Herbert Benally.
Per Eddie’s wishes, he will be laid to rest in Charlevoix Michigan, near his wife and children.
Donations for transportation and the memorial service are appreciated: https://tinyurl.com/EddieBenally.
Winchester Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes was in charge of arrangements.
Visit www.mortensenfuneralhomes.com to see a photo album and share your memories with the family in an online guest book.
An outdoor memorial service is being planned in Michigan in the spring.
THOREAU, N.M. — Graveside service for Harrison Keith, 58, of Thoreau, New Mexico, will be held Monday, Jan. 25, at 1 p.m., at the Thoreau community cemetery.
Harrison was born June 27, 1962, in Shiprock, into the Táchii’nii (Red Running Into the Water People Clan), born for Hashtl’ishnii (Mud Clan). He passed away Jan. 12, 2021, in Albuquerque.
Harrison attended Newcomb High School and was employed as a pipeliner, labor worker and self-employed artist. He enjoyed marathons, sculptures, fishing, and spending time with family and friends.
Harrison is survived by his wife, Charlotte Mariano Keith; son, Heston Keith; daughters, Kourtney Keith and Kalandra Keith; sisters, Bernice Keith, Lisa Keith, Larrisa Tauglechee, Lucia Tauglechee, Lavina Tauglechee, and Luella Tauglechee; and six grandchildren.
Harrison is preceded in death by his mother, Lucy Tauglechee; and father, Willie Benally.
Pallbearers will be Heston Keith, Richard Vigil, Isiah King, Shakur Bitsilly, Zackariah Yazzie, and Maguel Yazzie.
Honorary pallbearers will be Harold Mariano and Vernon Kien.
A curbside reception will take place following service.
Rollie Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.
John M. Silversmith
SHEEPSPRINGS, N.M. — John M. Silversmith was born Sept. 23, 1974, to Debbie Smallcanyon and Edward Silversmith, in Farmington. He grew up on the Navajo Reservation in Red Lake, near Navajo, New Mexico, and went to school at Window Rock, Chuska Boarding School, and Bloomfield.
John lived in multiple states: New Mexico, Arizona, Florida, Texas, Chicago, Massachusetts, New York, and Washington.
John was a very outgoing, loving, caring individual. He loved to travel and was very adventurous. He was very sociable and had many great friends. In his spare time, he was a talented performer, loved music, dance, and most importantly, he loved his family.
John was a devoted caregiver in the health care industry. He is a true hero to us all as he helped save many lives in the front lines of health care during this Covid pandemic. He was in Vancouver, Washington, for work where his life was unexpectedly taken.
John is survived by his mother, Debbie Smallcanyon; stepfather, Darrell Yabeny; father, Edward Silversmith; stepmother, Annie Silversmith; brothers, Edward Silversmith and Shay Silversmith; sisters, Crystal Silversmith and Kim Silversmith; maternal grandparents, Marie and Wilder Smallcanyon; paternal grandmother, Mary Benally; and six nieces and four nephews.
John will be laid to rest on the family plot in Sheepsprings, New Mexico.
Pallbearers will be Edward Silversmith Sr., Edward M. Silversmith, Shay Silversmith, Sotah Silversmith, Mushashi Silversmith, Lambert Benally, Lemuel Wilson Jr., and Casey Taylor.
Honorary pallbearers will be Wilder Smallcanyon, Darrell Yabeny and James Gurule.
The family of John M. Silversmith wishes to extend their heartfelt gratitude for all the condolences, prayers and donations.
Shiprock Desert View Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.
Virgil Robert Burnside Jr.
CHAMBERS, Ariz. — Graveside service for Virgil Robert Burnside Jr., 29, of St. Michaels, Arizona, will be held Friday, Jan. 22, at 10 a.m., at Cedar Point in Chambers, Arizona, with Pastor David Hilderman officiating.
Virgil was born May 27, 1991, in Phoenix, into the Naaneesht’ézhi Táchii’nii (Charcoal Streaked Division of the Red Running Into the Water Clan), born for Tá’bąąhá (Water’s Edge Clan). He passed away Jan. 8, 2021, in Navajo, New Mexico.
Virgil attended Window Rock High School and Tulsa Welding School and Technology Center. He was employed as a pipefitter, welder, construction worker, and maintenance worker.
Virgil enjoyed riding and training horses, hiking, the outdoors, welding, cooking, baking, barbecuing, and mechanic and tractor work.
Virgil is survived by his parents, Idah and Virgil Burnside Sr.; brothers, Jeffrey Kirk, Jerrold Kirk and Kelly Wayne Burnside; sisters, Savannah Burnside-Joubert, Vanissah Burnside and Kimberly A. Kirk; and grandparents, Leo Keeto, Alice and Frank Burnside Sr., and Lavonne Slusher.
Virgil is preceded in death by his grandmother, Desbah Keeto; and grandfather, Robert Slusher.
Pallbearers will be Jerrold Kirk, Kelly Wayne Burnside, Lane Curley, Brandon Benally, Matthew Begay, and Carson Nez.
Honorary pallbearers will be Virgil Burnside Sr., Jeffrey Kirk, Darren Woody, and Kevin Benally.
There will be no gathering, due to COVID-19.
Summit Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Tabaaha Cingliaq Shirley
ALBUQUERQUE — Funeral service for Tabaaha Cingliaq Shirley, 15, of Albuquerque, was held Jan. 12 at the French Mortuary in Albuquerque, with Dr. Paul Martinez officiating. Interment followed at Sunset Memorial Park in Albuquerque.
Tabaaha was born June 8, 2005, in Anchorage, Alaska, into the Yupik Tribe, born for Tá’bąąhá (Water’s Edge Clan). He passed away Jan. 1, 2021, in Albuquerque.
Tabaaha was a high school sophomore and was always surrounded by his friends. He was a podcaster with 8,000 followers. He would hang out with you, and you would leave his presence with a piece of him — his warmth, love and positive vibe. There were many who wrote comments about how loving, giving and generous he was.
Tabaaha’s passion was fishing. He was an expert fisherman who fished in oceans, bays, lakes, rivers, and streams. He caught his first fish when he was 3 years old in Anchorage, and caught his last one in Albuquerque. He honored his Yupik Tribe traditions by sharing his catches with his elders. He understood honor to give to others and feed others with what you harvested from Mother Earth.
Tabaaha’s dad would say to him, “Love you, son,” and he always replied with “Love you, dad.” He lived abundantly and lived it well.
Tabaaha is survived by his parents, Jacqueline Agnew-Shirley and Jon Shirley; uncles, Edward Jr., Leonard, Edgar, and Allen; aunts, Marcella, Cynthia, Glenda, Geraldine, Colette, Mary Jane, and Bernadette; maternal grandmother, Gemma Gaudin; and paternal grandfather, Edward J. Shirley Sr.
Tabaaha is preceded in death by his aunts, Priscilla, Jennifer and Barbara; uncles, Roy, Thomas, Noel, James, Eugene, and Fred Jr.; maternal grandfather, Ken Gaudin; paternal grandmother, Maggie Shirley; and great-grandparents, Alice and Ralph Jones, and Edward Justin and Annie Shirley.
Pallbearers were Jesus Rascon, Joseph Hughes, Alex Covey, Matthew Valdez, Daniel Ivan Ortega, Ivan Arvilla Jr., Malachi Crockett, Danelle Brown, Ariana Lopez, Miguel Olives, Dan Bolles, Cimiun Joseph, and Lorenzo Shirley.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.
Jessie Maria Etsitty
TSELANI SPRINGS, Ariz. — Funeral service for Jessie Maria Etsitty, 86, of Tselani Springs, Arizona, is pending.
Jessie was born Feb. 8, 1934, in Tselani Springs, into the Naadáá’ dine’é Naasht’ézhí Táchii’nii, born for Ma’ii deeshgiizhinii (Coyote Pass Clan). She passed away Jan. 17, 2021, in Flagstaff.
Jessie was employed with BIA as a dorm aide with Chinle Boarding School, retiring in 1990. She wove rugs and made baskets and moccasins.
Jessie’s pastimes included raising sheep and making blue mush and burritos for the senior citizen centers and dialysis patients. She enjoyed spending time with family, especially her great-grandchildren.
Jessie is survived by her sons, Patrick Tsosie, Ritchie Tsosie and Keith Tsosie Jr.; daughters, Deloris Billsie and Regina Tsosie-Martinez; sisters, Nita Begay of Sawmill, Arizona, Tullie Kee of Chinle, and Sadie Kee of Cottonwood, Arizona; brother, John Begay of Many Farms, Arizona; and 17 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.
Summit Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.
Marjorie P. Hildreth
STEAMBOAT, Ariz. — Graveside service for Marjorie P. Hildreth, 85, of Steamboat, Arizona, will be held today, Jan. 21, at 10 a.m., in Steamboat, with Peter Yazzie officiating.
Marjorie was born May 6, 1935, in Steamboat, into the Kiyaa’áanii (Towering House Clan), born for Tá’bąąhá (Water’s Edge Clan). She passed away Jan. 14, 2021, in Mesa, Arizona.
Marjorie worked at Toyei Nursing Home. She was also a homemaker and rug weaver who enjoyed crocheting and playing cards.
Marjorie is survived by her sons, Jerry Hildreth Jr., Henry Hildreth Sr., Ernest J. Hildreth Sr., and Walter Hildreth; and 23 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren.
Marjorie is preceded in death by her mother, Rose Murray; father, Leo B. Begay; brothers, Henry Peterson Sr., Jonathan Peterson, Phillip Peterson, and Clarence Peterson Sr.; and sisters, Margaret Dishta, Gloria Nelson and Rosie A. Tahe.
Pallbearers will be Judd Hildreth, Jody Hildreth, Henry Hildreth Jr., Kelsey Etsitty, Gregory Dodge, and Jerrick C. Hildreth.
Honorary pallbearers will be Brandon Hildreth, Henry Hildreth Sr., Robert Tahe, Walter Hildreth, Jerry Hildreth, and Ernest Hildreth Sr.
A reception will take place at a later date.
Silver Creek Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.
SANDERS, Ariz. — Graveside service for Dan Begody, 78, of Sanders, Arizona, was held Jan. 20 at the Sanders community cemetery with Jerry Yonnie officiating.
Dan was born Nov. 13, 1943, in Dinnebito Dam, Arizona, into the Ma’ii deeshgiizhinii (Coyote Pass-Jemez Clan), born for Ta’neeszahnii (Tangle Clan). He passed away Jan. 11, 2021, in Sanders.
After high school, Dan worked in construction and education. He enjoyed being out in nature.
Dan is survived by his brother, Henry Begody; and sisters, Elouise Nichee and Jane N. Williams.
Dan is preceded in death by his parents, Mary Cordy Badoni and Jake Jacob Begody; Henry F. Yazzie, Huskie Nezchillie and Marie N. David.
Summit Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Herbert Cowboy Jr.
CROWNPOINT — Graveside service for Herbert Cowboy Jr., 70, of Crownpoint, will be held Saturday, Jan. 23, at 11 a.m., at the private family plot in Crownpoint, with family officiating.
Herbert was born Jan. 1, 1951, in Crownpoint, into the ’Áshįįhí (Salt People Clan), born for Tódích’íi’nii (Bitter Water Clan). He passed away Jan. 15, 2021, in Albuquerque.
Herbert retired from the Navajo Nation and Crownpoint Indian Health Service. He enjoyed ranching and spending time with his grandchildren.
Herbert is survived by his four sons, five daughters, two brothers, seven sisters, 24 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
Herbert is preceded in death by his parents, Emma Jeff Cowboy and Herbert Cowboy Sr.
Rollie Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.
WHIPPOORWILL SPRINGS, Ariz. — Graveside service for Preston Buckinghorse, 66, of Whippoorwill Springs, Arizona, will be held today, Jan. 21, at 10 a.m., at the Whippoorwill community cemetery.
Preston was born March 9, 1954, in Keams Canyon, Arizona, into the Tódík’ózhí (Salt Water Clan), born for Kinyaa’áanii (Towering House Clan). He passed away Jan. 13, 2021, in Phoenix.
Preston attended Many Farms High School and was employed as a security guard and carpenter for Chinle Indian Health Service. He enjoyed watching sports and made Navajo herbal medicine.
Preston is survived by his common-law wife, Ethel M. Yazzie; sons, Beau Mitch Yazzie and Aaron Buckinghorse; daughter, Prestina L. Buckinghorse; brothers, Peter Buck Sr. and Victor Buckinghorse; sisters, Lucy Goldtooth, Betty Tsosie and Laverne Bates; and six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Preston is preceded in death by his parents, Clara and Samuel Buckinghorse; son, Samuel C. Buckinghorse; and siblings, Kenneth Buck, Lawrence Buckinghorse, Loretta Henry, and Phyllis Begay.
Honorary pallbearers will be Peter Buck Sr. and Victor Buckinghorse.
There will be no reception, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Summit Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Tina L. Jones
GALLUP — Funeral service for Tina L. Jones, 42, of Gallup, will be held Wednesday, Jan. 27, at 10 a.m., at Rollie Mortuary in Gallup. Burial will follow at the Gallup City Cemetery.
Tina was born Aug. 22, 1978, in Gallup, into the Kiyaa’áanii (Towering House Clan), born for Dibélzhíní (Black Sheep Clan). She passed away Jan. 13, 2021, in Albuquerque.
Tina attended Gallup High School and worked multiple jobs. She loved her children and grandchildren.
Tina is survived by her son, Shannon Yellowhorse; daughters, Lucella Hunch and Isabella Emi Hunch; father, Terry Shorty; sister, Diane Shorty; grandparents, Sarah and Tom Jones; and three grandchildren.
Tina is preceded in death by her mother, Louise Shorty; and brother, Jason Shorty.
Pallbearers will be Erick Valley, Shannon Yellowhorse and Jaymes Lee.
Rollie Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.