Obituaries for Jan. 31, 2019
Mathew Brian Benally
REHOBOTH, N.M. — Funeral services for Mathew Brian Benally, 34, will be held today, Jan. 31, at 10:30 a.m. at the Rehoboth Christian Reformed Church in Rehoboth, New Mexico. Burial will follow at the Sunset Memorial Park in Gallup.
Mathew was born Sept. 23, 1984, into the Bit’ahnii (Under His Cover Clan), born for Kinlichíi’nii (Red House People Clan). His nali is Haltsooí (Meadow People); chei is Naakai dine’é (Mexican). He passed away Jan. 24, 2019, in Phoenix.
Mathew graduated from Window Rock High School in 2003 and joined the U.S. Marine Corps in August 2003. He was honorably discharged in 2008.
Mathew graduated from the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy in November 2008 and was employed with the Gallup Police Department from 2008 to 2013.
Mathew enjoyed playing the guitar, reading history, target shooting and spending time with family and friends.
Mathew is survived by his mother, Maggie Benally; father, Notah Benally; sister, Kim Benally; and brother, Jason Benally.
Pallbearers will be Jason Benally, Gerald Todacheenie, William Martin, Jeff Barker, Jeremy John, Steven Co, Alex Manygoats and Orlando Carrillo.
Raymond “Schmitty” Arthur
FRUITLAND, N.M. — Funeral services for Raymond “Schmitty” Arthur, 65, of Fort Defiance, were held Jan. 26 at the Riverside Bread of Life Church in Fruitland, New Mexico, with Rev. Raymond Henry officiating. Interment followed at the Kirtland cemetery in Kirtland, New Mexico.
Raymond was born June 17, 1953, in Farmington, into the Nóóda’í dine’é (Ute Clan), born for Tódích’íi’nii (Bitter Water Clan). He passed away Jan. 21, 2019, in Albuquerque.
Raymond graduated from Navajo Methodist Mission School in 1972 and was employed with Navajo Tribal Utility Authority for 33 years. He was a proud member of the Native American Church and was an accomplished silversmith and master beadworker.
Raymond is survived by his wife, Anna Arthur; daughters, Sonja Werito of Albuquerque, and Chantana Josley of Tempe, Arizona; brothers, George Arthur of Ya-Ta-Hey, New Mexico, and Robert Arthur of Lower Fruitland, New Mexico; sisters, Priscilla Arthur-Imel of Tucson, and Eva Ann Tso of Lower Fruitland; and two grandchildren.
Raymond is preceded in death by his mother, Evangeline LaMone; father, John Arthur Sr.; sister, Loretta J. Arthur-Bennett; and brothers, Johnny Arthur, John Arthur Jr., Harris Arthur, Buddy Arthur and Ernest LaMone.
Cope Memorial was in charge of arrangements.
Vera Mae Hale
ST. MICHAELS, Ariz. — Funeral services for Vera Mae Hale, 52, of St. Michaels, Arizona, were held Jan. 30 at the St. Michaels Catholic Church with Father Juan officiating. Interment followed at the St. Michaels community cemetery.
Vera was born Sept. 7, 1966, in St. Michaels, into the Honágháahnii (One-walks-around Clan), born for Tódík’ózhí (Salt Water Clan). She passed away Jan. 27, 2019.
Vera graduated from Window Rock High School and attended Diné College and Northern Arizona University. She was a life coach and mentor who enjoyed sewing, puzzles, attending church, cooking and photography.
Vera is survived by her brother, Vernon Hale Jr.; and sisters, Verna Hale-Tabaha, Laverne Emerson, Velma Hale, Verlena Hale and Vernonda Howard.
Vera is preceded in death by her parents, Sadie and Vernon Hale; maternal grandparents, Maggie and John King; and paternal grandparents, Ahadesbah Hale and Raydayah Frank.
Pallbearers were Brittany Chee, Virgil Begay Jr. and Frederick Tabaha.
Honorary pallbearers were Vernon Hale Jr., Norman Chee, Frankie Kee, Keith Howard, Bronston Chee and Newman Chee.
Silver Creek Mortuary was in charge of arrangements.
LEUPP, Ariz. — Graveside service for Billy Fuson, 91, was held Jan. 30 at the family plot in Leupp, Arizona.
Billy was born March 15, 1927, in Tolani Lake, Arizona. He passed away Jan. 26, 2019, in Leupp.
Billy is survived by his daughters, Emily Tsosie and Delores Lee; brother, Joe Fuson; and two grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Billy is preceded in death by his brothers, Tom Fuson and Ben Fuson Sr.; sisters, Zonnie Begay, Bonnie Fuson, Zonnie Yazzie and Jane Keyonnie; and daughter, Josephine Talayumptewa.
Greer’s Mortuary of Winslow was in charge of arrangements.
Micheal Gene Chance
HOUCK, Ariz. — Funeral services for Micheal Gene Chance, 47, of Sanders, Arizona, were held Jan. 25 in Houck, Arizona. Interment followed in Houck.
Micheal was born Dec. 17, 1971, in Tuba City, into the Tsi’naajinii (Black Streak Wood People Clan), born for Caucasian. He passed away Jan. 18, 2019, in Gallup.
Micheal is survived by his brother, Victor Banta of Flagstaff.
Micheal is preceded in death by his mother, Elizabeth Ann Yazzie-Chance; and father, Frank Gene Chance.
Pallbearers were Victor Banta, Wilbur Watson, Jeremy Lee, Gary Arviso and Jeffery Begay.
Honorary pallbearers were Christopher J. Largo and Benjamin Shirley.
Silver Creek Mortuary was in charge of arrangements.
Lenita R. Lee
STEAMBOAT, Ariz. — Funeral services for Lenita R. Lee, 63, of Cornfields, Arizona, will be held Saturday, Feb. 2, at 10 a.m. at the Bethel Navajo Baptist Church (5.5 miles west of Burnside junction) in Steamboat, Arizona, with Pastor Matthew Noble officiating. Burial will follow in Cornfields.
Lenita was born Sept. 30, 1955, in Ganado, Arizona, into the Naaneesht’ézhi Táchii’nii (Charcoal Streaked Division of the Red Running Into the Water Clan), born for Honágháahnii (One-walks-around Clan). She passed away Jan. 28, 2019, in Phoenix.
Lenita graduated from Holbrook High School and received a business administration degree at Northland Pioneer College. She worked as a community service coordinator for Cornfields Chapter and retired from the Ganado Unified School District and Northland Pioneer College.
Lenita was a creative baker and florist. She enjoyed sewing and was an active member on various rodeo associations.
Lenita is survived by her son, Charles James; daughters, Catherine Lee and Joleen Wagner-Berry; father, Thomas Smith; brothers, Dickie Smith, Julius Smith, Wilbur Smith, Lawrence Cleveland, Johnny Curley and Leo Curley; sisters, Sylvia David, Orlanda Hodge, Ruthie Nez, Norma Noble, Rachel Locaspino, Linda Youvella and Rebecca Quintana; and 11 grandchildren.
Lenita is preceded in death by her mother, Ruth Smith; daughter, Kimberly Lee; brother, Rudy Smith; and grandparents, Edward Todacheenie and Katherine and John Stevens.
Pallbearers will be Aaron Brown, Dave Kirk Jr., Peyton Ma’o, Elijah Smith, Francis Noble and Lennox Locaspino.
Honorary pallbearers will be Dickie Smith, Julius Smith, Wilbur Smith, Chase Begay, Ryder Begay, Gregory Holmes and Charles James.
A reception will take place at the Cornfields Chapter House following services.
Silver Creek Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.