Obituaries for Jan. 23, 2020
Dolly Bertha Woodie
ST. MICHAELS, Ariz. — Funeral services for Dolly Bertha Woodie, 83, of Steamboat, Arizona, were held Jan. 22 at the St. Michaels Catholic Church in St. Michaels, Arizona, with Father Pio O’Connor officiating. Interment followed in Steamboat.
Dolly was born Sept. 16, 1936, in Steamboat, into the Tótsohnii (Big Water Clan), born for Kiyaa’áanii (Towering House Clan). She passed away Jan. 17, 2020, in Phoenix.
Dolly received a GED in 1974 and was employed with the BIA Greasewood Boarding School as a food service worker from 1963 to retirement. She enjoyed weaving Navajo rugs and assisted her father in his canvas teepee making and design.
Dolly is survived by her husband, Thomas James Woodie; sons, Amerson Woodie Sr., Clifford Woodie, Dewayne Woodie and Everett Woodie; daughters, Bonita Woodie, Tomicita Woodie and Ophelia Bernally; and 15 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Dolly is preceded in death by her father, Camillous Cleveland; mother, Evelyn Redhorse; and brothers, Benny Cleveland, Danny Cleveland Sr. and Alfred Cleveland Sr.
Pallbearers were Craig Alcott, Darrin Woodie, Brandon Gorman, Kevin Bernally Jr., Joshua Bernally, Amerson Woodie Jr., Michael Suarez and Dylan Micheal Moriarty.
Honorary pallbearers were Amerson Woodie Sr., Clifford Woodie, Dewayne Woodie, Everett Woodie, Kevin Bernally Sr., Loy Goh, Billy Jones Jr., Johnson Jones, Bobby Jones, Art Redhorse, Frances Etsitty, Ray Etsitty, Melvin Etsitty, Norman Etsitty, Hardy Cleveland and Morgan Cleveland.
A reception was held at the Steamboat Chapter House, following services.
Summit Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Rosella Collins Largo
GALLUP — Funeral services for Rosella Collins Largo, 84, were held Jan. 21 at Rollie Mortuary in Gallup. Interment followed at the Collins Cemetery in Iyanbito, New Mexico.
Rosella was born May 22, 1934, in Fort Wingate, New Mexico, into the Kinyaa’áanii (Towering House Clan), born for Tsenabahilnii (Sleep Rock People Clan). Her nali is Tó’aheedlíinii (Water Flow Together); chei is Nihoobáanii (Gray Streaked-Ends). She passed away Jan. 15, 2020, in Iyanbito.
Rosella completed elementary-level education and focused on raising and nurturing her family for much of her life. She was a member of the Elim Haven Church and was active in the Iyanbito Chapter Community Affairs until her health began to decline.
Rosella enjoyed weaving rugs and gardening. Of everything, her true passion was studying the Bible in both the English and Navajo language.
Rosella is survived by her husband, Buck J. Largo; daughters, Evalena Largo and Iva Wilson; parents, Lenora and William Collins Sr.; brothers, William Collins Jr., Frank Collins, Edward Collins and Louis Collins; and sisters, Grace Collins Charleston and Martha Collins.
Pallbearers were Jordan Manuel, Anson Chee, Ivan Chee, Steven Collins, Francis Collins and Forrest Collins II.
Rollie Mortuary was in charge of arrangements.
Donavan Kevin Barney
GALLUP — Funeral services for Donavan Kevin Barney, 25, will be held today, Jan. 23, at 10 a.m. at Rollie Mortuary in Gallup. Burial will follow at the Gallup City Cemetery.
Donavan was born Oct. 11, 1994, in Gallup, into the Tódích’íi’nii (Bitter Water Clan), born for Táchii’nii (Red Running Into the Water People Clan). His nali is Áshiihí (Salt People); chei is Tsi’naajinii (Black Streak Wood People). He passed away Jan. 8, 2020, in Gallup.
Donavan attended Tohatchi Elementary School, Chooshgai Community School and Tohatchi High School, receiving a GED in Gallup. He enjoyed listening to rap music, playing with his niece and nephew, and hanging with his friends.
Donavan is survived by his parents, Rosita Tom and Daniel Barney; and sister, Jessica Barney.
Donavan is preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, Rose Morgan and Jack Tom; and paternal grandparents, Emma Watchman and Joe Barney.
Pallbearers will be Daniel Barney, Harlan Spencer, Dakota Namoki, Adrian Rios, Fermin Rios and Sheldon Laughlin.
Honorary pallbearers will be Aaron Tom, Darrell Hardy and Jonah Hardy.
Rollie Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.
Daniel Ely Willie
THOREAU, N.M. — Funeral services for Daniel Ely Willie, 24, will be held Friday, Jan. 24, at 10:30 a.m. at the Thoreau Church of God in Thoreau, New Mexico. Burial will follow at the Gallup City Cemetery, located on the west side of Gallup.
Daniel was born Jan. 19, 1995, into the Kiyaa’áanii (Towering House Clan), born for Tódích’íi’nii (Bitter Water Clan). He passed away Jan. 18, 2020, at the Lovelace Medical Center in Albuquerque.
Daniel attended Gallup High School and was employed with Hampton Inn in Gallup. He had a passion for heavy metal music, attending rock concerts, skateboarding and loved to be with family.
Daniel is survived by his mother, Angelita Willie of Gallup; sister, Samantha Willie of Gallup; brothers, Jordon Yazzie, Ernest Willie Jr., Aaron Willie and Merle Willie, all of Gallup; and paternal grandmother, Mary Alice Willie.
Daniel is preceded in death by his father, Ernest Willie Sr.; and maternal grandparents, Mary W. and Nelson J. Yazzie.
Pallbearers will be Ernest Willie Jr., Jordon Yazzie, Bryan Yazzie, Clarence Begay, Burton Gurber and Brando Etsitty.
Honorary pallbearers will be Merle K. Willie, Aaron C. Willie, Austin Yazzie Sr., Austin Yazzie Jr., Darren Spencer and Demtrius Martin.
Rollie Mortuary in charge of arrangements.
Morty Tom Johnson
PREWITT, N.M. — Funeral services for Morty Tom Johnson, 81, will be held Saturday, Jan. 25, at 11 a.m. at the family residence, located across from the Baca Chapter House, in Prewitt, New Mexico. Burial will follow at the Grants cemetery in Grants, New Mexico.
Morty was born Nov. 30, 1938, in Prewitt. He passed away Jan. 17, 2020, in Gallup.
Morty was a well-known Christian gospel singer all over the Navajo Reservation. He loved to travel and spend time with family and friends.
Morty is survived by his wife, Etta Johnson; daughters, Jean Sarracino, Velma Johnson, Wanda Manygoats and Loretta Johnson; and 11 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Morty is preceded in death by his parents, Tom and Emma Johnson; brothers, Roger Johnson and Freddie Johnson Sr.; and grandson, Marty Valdo.
Pallbearers will be Melvin Valdo, Adam Manygoats, Freddie Johnson Jr., Shay Ahasteen, Shawn Lewis and Steve Delgarito.
Rollie Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.
SHIPROCK — A public memorial service to honor the life and legacy of the late Honorable James Tomchee is set for Saturday, Feb. 1, at 11 a.m. at the Phil Thomas Performing Arts Center in Shiprock.
A pioneer of education reform on Navajoland during 1960–1980, and former Council delegate, James Tomchee, 86, passed away Jan. 7, 2020.
Born and raised in Red Valley, Arizona, Tomchee is Kinlichíi’nii (Red House People Clan), born for Táchii’nii (Red Running Into the Water People Clan). His maternal grandmother is Bit’ahnii (Under His Cover Clan) and his grandfather is Naakai Dine’é (Mexican Clan).
Tomchee attended Red Rock Day School and various boarding schools before graduating from Fort Sill High School in Lawton, Oklahoma.
Tomchee married Marie Clah Brown in 1956 and attended Fort Lewis College before graduating from Utah State University with a bachelor’s degree in 1960 and the University of New Mexico with a master’s degree in education administration in 1970. He was four credits short of obtaining his doctoral degree from Arizona State University.
Tomchee began his career as a teacher in 1960 and rapidly moved up the education ranks of the BIA to become one of the most effective Diné educators of that era. He served as the first Navajo principal at Nazlini Boarding School and Cottonwood Day School, and was promoted to assistant education director and educational liaison.
In 1970, he became the first Navajo superintendent of education for BIA Shiprock Agency until he retired in 1991.
Tomchee served on the 17th Navajo Nation Council (1991—1995) representing Teec Nos Pos Chapter. Concurrently, in 1992, he was elected as the first Navajo superintendent for Apache County Schools where he served until 2005.
Tomchee was bestowed “Honored Professional” of Who’s Who in Executives and Businesses in 2000, a national registry. A practicing roadman, he served as president of Azéé Bee Nahagha of Diné Nation (formerly known as the Native American Church of Navajoland, Inc.) 1984—1988.
From the late 1950s through the1980s, Tomchee’s contributions to ABNDN were significant. His contributions included the establishment of land known as Peyote Garden in Mirando City, Texas, in 1987, for ABNDN, where a Navajo Nation flag is flown.
Tomchee is survived by his wife of 63 years, Marie C. Tomchee; daughters, Elfreda M. Benally of Surprise, Arizona; Lucinda M. Tomchee of Teec Nos Pos, Arizona; Melinda M. Tomchee of Albuquerque; and Christina T. Morris of Farmington; and seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Tomchee is preceded in death by his son, Stanley James Tomchee; and parents, Tom Nakai Chee and Esther Yazzie Chee.
LeWanda C. Francisco
REHOBOTH, N.M. — Funeral services for LeWanda C. Francisco, 59, of Tohatchi, New Mexico, will be held Saturday, Jan. 25, at 10 a.m. at the Rehoboth Christian Church in Rehoboth, New Mexico, with Rob Byker officiating. Burial will follow in Tohatchi.
LeWanda was born May 26, 1960, in Gallup, into the Kiyaa’áanii (Towering House Clan), born for Tábaahá (Water’s Edge Clan). She passed away Jan. 19, 2020, in Albuquerque.
LeWanda attended Tohatchi High School and New Mexico State University. She was employed as a radio personality on various radio stations such as KXTC, KGLX, KGAK, and as “Midnight Cowgirl” on KTNN.
LeWanda enjoyed pottery, weaving and spending time with her grandchildren. She was a supporter of 4H/FFA livestock shows and was a member of the All Indian Rodeo Cowboys Association, Navajo Nation Rodeo Cowboys Association and Central Navajo Rodeo Association.
LeWanda is survived by her sons, Kenworth M. Jones, Pierrce Tuff Jones and Tyi Francisco Jones; brothers, Aldon Francisco of Tohatchi, Walt King of Phoenix, and Kelsey B. Francisco of Tohatchi; and two grandchildren.
LeWanda is preceded in death by Jerome Francisco, Massiquio A. Jones; parents, Kathleen B. and Kenneth R. Francisco; and grandfather, James C. Becenti.
A reception will take place at the Tohatchi Chapter House, following services.
Desert View Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.