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Obituaries for Jan. 9, 2020

Erwin Bryon Smith

GALLUP — Funeral services for Erwin Bryon Smith, 34, will be held Friday, Jan. 10, at 12 p.m. at Rollie Mortuary in Gallup. Burial will follow at the Gallup State Veterans Cemetery.

Erwin was born Nov. 8, 1985, in Albuquerque, into the Tódích’íi’nii (Bitter Water Clan). He served in the U.S. Navy.

Erwin is survived by his mother, Charlotte Smith; and grandfather, Irvin C. Smith.

Pallbearers will be Lyle Smith, Shawn Smith, Jason Joe, Chuck Morgan, Kyle Smith and Leora Smith.

Rollie Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.

Melford B. Chavez


Melford B. Chavez

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. — Memorial service for Melford B. Chavez, of Casa Grande, Arizona, will be held Saturday, Jan. 11, at the Apostolic Tabernacle (432 W. Saguaro St.) in Casa Grande. The body will be handled through private disposition.

Melford was born Aug. 23, 1955, in Fort Defiance, into the Ta’neeszahnii (Tangle Clan) and the Sandhill Crane/Turkey Clans of the Zuni. He passed away Dec. 7, 2019, in Tucson.
Melford attended Gallup High School and Albuquerque High School where he ran cross-country, later taking second place in the state tournament while at Albuquerque High. He also ran for his unit in the Marine Corps where he earned several meritorious achievements.
Melford served as a sergeant in the Marine Corps from 1972 to 1979. He was stationed at Camp Pendleton California, Uijeonjbu South Korea, Okinawa Japan, and Vietnam. While in the Corps, Melford worked as the unit commander’s jeep driver, infantry squad leader, and as a reconnaissance Marine.
Upon his discharge, he worked for General Dynamics, Convair Division, San Diego, California, as an aircraft parts heat treater from 1979 to 1991, and later as a meat cutter for Bashas’ in Sells, Arizona, from 1992 to 2002. He later retired.
Melford is survived by his sons, Eric, Aron, Joseph and Daniel Chavez; daughter, Teresa Chavez; brothers, Tommy Etsitty and Burton Chavez; sisters, Jeannie Toppah, Melda Brown and Maryan Peshlakai; and 13 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Melford is preceded in death by his mother, Nellie P. Chavez; father, Leo B. Chavez; brother, Melvin B. Chavez; and sister, Geneva Parker.

Joseph Michael Snell


Joseph Snell

GANADO, Ariz. — Funeral services for Joseph Michael Snell, 50, of Garland, Texas, will be held today, Jan. 9, at 10 a.m. at the LDS Church in Ganado, Arizona. Burial will follow in Kinlichee, Arizona.

Joseph was born Oct. 29, 1969, in Dallas, Texas, into the Áshiihí (Salt People Clan), born for Choctaw. He passed away Dec. 29, 2019, in Dallas.
Joseph received an associate’s degree from ITT Technical Institute in Phoenix, and studied automotive technology and culinary arts at Navajo Technical University in Crownpoint. Joseph loved making people laugh, taking care of his mother and grandmother, and being a good big brother. He enjoyed cooking and cheering on the Dallas Cowboys.
Joseph is survived by his mother, Elsie Charles Snell; brothers, Julius Snell Jr. and Samuel Snell; and sisters, Lorrinda Inez Snell, Nakina Snell, Shasheen Snell, Sholeena Snell and Shey-Anne Charles Snell.
Joseph is preceded in death by his father, Julius Snell Sr.; brother, David Chatea-u Snell; maternal grandparents, Sam and Martha Charles; and paternal grandparents, Bert and Mary Snell.
Pallbearers will be Julius Snell Jr., Samuel Snell, Dale Sombrero, Donovan Charles, Edward Gadson and Cleveland McCabe. Honorary pallbearers will be James Charles, Sam Charles, Timothy Charles, Earl Charles and Daryl Hartin.
A reception will take place at the Kinlichee Chapter House, following services at 12 p.m. Silver Creek Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.

Bob Sparapani

CROWNPOINT — Memorial service for Bob Sparapani, 81, of Thoreau, New Mexico, will be held Saturday, Jan. 11, at 10 a.m. at the St. Paul Church in Crownpoint.
Bob passed away Nov. 10, 2019, in Albuquerque.
Bob worked at St. Bonaventure Mission and Rehoboth McKinley Christian Hospital. A potluck lunch reception will take place at the St. Paul Parish Hall, following service.

John C. Devore Sr.

CROWNPOINT — Funeral services for John C. Devore Sr., 95, were held Jan. 6 at the LDS Church in Crownpoint.
John was born Aug. 2, 1924, in Crownpoint, into the Ta’neeszahnii (Tangle Clan), born for Tsenabahilnii (Sleep Rock People Clan). He passed away Dec. 29, 2019, in Albuquerque.
John enrolled in school at 11 years old at Fort Wingate School and was drafted into the Army, serving in World War II and the Korean War. After being discharged, he became a Navajo Nation police officer and security guard with Crownpoint IHS.
John is survived by his sons, Ricky Devore, Rocky Devore, Leonard Devore and John Devore Jr.; daughters, Margie D. Craig and Geneva Herrera; and sisters, Phyllis Thomas and Helen Devore-Waukazoo.
John is preceded in death by his wife, Ruth E. Devore; brothers, Herbert Devore, Wilson Devore and Harry Devore; and sisters, Grace Devore and Dorothy Devore.


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