Obituaries for July 8, 2021
Doris Mae Begay White (May 29, 1926 — June 29, 2021)
PARKER, Ariz. — Funeral services for Doris Mae Begay White, 95, of Parker, Arizona, will be held Saturday, July 10, at 8 a.m., at the Parker Dignity Funeral Home in Parker, followed by burial at Parker Cemetery. Viewing will take place Friday, July 9, at Parker Dignity Funeral Home from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Doris was born May 29, 1926. She was a member of the Colorado River Indian Tribes. Her maternal Navajo clan is ‘Áshįįhí (Salt People) and her paternal clan is Bįįh bitoodnii (Deer Spring). She went to be with the Great Spirit on June 29, 2021, while in residence at The Polidori House in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.
Doris attended Tuba City Boarding School, graduating in 1944 as valedictorian. While in school, she played on the girls’ basketball team. After graduation, she worked at the Navajo Ordinance Depot in Bellemont, Arizona, during World War II before becoming employed as a telephone operator for the government at Tuba City Boarding School.
In April 1950, Doris moved from the Navajo Nation to become a member of the Colorado River Indian Tribes under the Indian Relocation Act. She assisted her husband, George White, in farming land. Together, they grew alfalfa, barley, wheat, cotton, and melons. She was a 4-H leader for the first Haymakers and Homemakers 4-H Club from 1955 until 1975.
Doris was also a girls’ basketball coach for such teams as the Poston Tribettes, Poston Cotton Queens and others from 1964 until 1974.
Doris obtained her associate degree from Arizona Western College in 1975 and was a Colorado River Indian Tribes Head Start teacher from 1967 until she retired in 1994. She would later volunteer as a cook for St. Vincent de Paul in Parker, from 2002 until 2006.
In recent years, Doris enjoyed her daily lunchtime visit to the Parker Senior Center with her son, George. An avid sports fan, her favorite teams were the Phoenix Suns and Arizona Diamondbacks. Her entire family will miss enjoying her award-winning Navajo fry bread.
Doris is survived by her sons, George White Jr. of Parker, and Bobby (Barbara) White of Gallup; daughters, Karen (Gene) White Sellers, Jacqueline (Robert) Reaves and Lynnetta White, all of Parker; and five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Doris is preceded in death by her daughter, D. Candi Williams; mother, Frances Begay; and father, Julius Begay.
Rita Moreno Cornfield
CORTEZ, Colo. — Memorial services for Rita Moreno Cornfield, 78, a longtime resident of Cortez, Colorado, will be held Saturday, July 10, at 2 p.m., at the Cortez Seventh Day Adventist Church (540 W. 4th St.) in Cortez. Burial will follow at the Cortez Cemetery (2727-2741 E. Empire St.).
Rita was born June 3, 1943, in Shiprock, to Willie and Eula M. Ahkeah, into the Nihoobáanii (Gray Streaked-Ends Clan), born for Tódích’íi’nii (Bitter Water Clan). Her nalí is Bit’ahnii (Under His Cover); cheii is Táchii’nii (Red Running Into the Water People). She passed away peacefully at home on June 29, 2021.
Rita was a Native American from the Navajo Tribe. She spent most of her early childhood in Rico, Colorado. She had two sisters and seven brothers.
Rita graduated from Aztec High School and decided to continue her education in El Segundo, California, where she attended business school. She met her late husband and the love of her life, Tony John Cornfield, while attending school and living in California. They married and will have celebrated their 57th wedding anniversary on July 10, 2021.
Rita was a mother to two children, Tammy Ann Cornfield and Timothy Julias Yazzie. She was a proud grandmother to four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. She was also an aunt and parent figure to many nieces and nephews. She cherished her friendship and enjoyed spending time with her family members.
Rita was a long-term member of the Cortez Seventh-Day Adventist Church and faithfully attended every Sabbath. She loved greeting people before the services, participating in worship, Bible studies, and ministering to others. She was a prayer warrior and had a strong belief in God. She knew where she was going and encouraged others along the same path, including her husband, Tony.
Before his passing, Tony and Rita were inseparable. Rita led Tony to Christ and Tony joined Rita in fellowship, serving the Lord until their death.
Rita enjoyed her time as mom and full-time homemaker. While her children were attending school, she worked as a teacher assistant for the Rico School District. After her children became adults, she went back to work as cook prep for Aramark at Mesa Verde National Park for many years until she retired.
Rita loved to read, cook, bake, and listen to country music. According to her family, she made the best Navajo tortillas. She was also the family historian and kept records of family lineage dating back about a century.
Rita was a kind and generous woman with many friendships within her community. She gave without expecting anything in return and even when she did not have much to give she gave more, because in her words “God will provide.”
Rita was a true matriarch and left a lasting legacy of values, traditions, and unconditional love. She left an impression on everyone she met and her imprint will forever be on their hearts.
Rita is survived by her daughter, Tammy Ann Cornfield of Cortez; son, Timothy Julius Yazzie (spouse Dantzelle) of Cortez; sister, Arlene Lee of Shiprock; brothers, Arnold Ahkeah of Grand Junction, Colorado, Sammy Ahkeah of Shiprock, and Roger Ahkeah (wife Pat) of Shiprock; and four grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Rita is preceded in death by her father, Willie Ahkeah; mother, Eula M. Ahkeah; husband, Tony John Cornfield; siblings, Wallace Ahkeah, Donald Ahkeah, Curtis Ahkeah Scott, David Ahkeah Scott, and MaryAnn Yazzie; and nephews, Michael Billy, Lionel Lee and Lanier Maxwell Ahkeah.
A dinner reception will take place at the Cortez Seventh Day Adventist Church, following services.
Flowers may be sent to Cortez Seventh Day Adventist Church and the family will collect donations.
Information: Miriam Barbour, 714- 612-5147.
Pvt. Marriah Alice Shirley Pouncy
CHINLE — Funeral services for Pvt. Marriah Alice Shirley Pouncy, 20, of Chinle, will be held Friday, July 9, at 10 a.m., at the Chinle Potter’s House. Burial will follow at the family plot at Red Reservoir.
Pvt. Pouncy was born in Chinle, into Naakai Łzhíní (African American). Her nalí is Naakai Łzhíní; cheii is Tódích’íi’nii (Bitter Water Clan). She passed away June 21, 2021, at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas.
Pallbearers will be the U.S. Army.
Honorary pallbearers will be Kristopher Pouncy, Aslan Pouncy, Ashriel Pouncy, James P. Jones, Mathias Tracy, and Johnathan Begay.
A drive-thru reception will take place at Elsie Jones’ residence (three miles north of Bashas’), following services.
Summit Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
FORT DEFIANCE — The Montoya family, of Fort Defiance, announces a memorial service for Tommy Montoya on Saturday, July 10, at 11 a.m., at the Navajo Bible Church in Fort Defiance, followed by a reception.
Tommy was born Feb. 5, 1941, in Torreon, New Mexico, into the Ta’neeszahnii (Tangle Clan), born for Táchii’nii (Red Running Into the Water People Clan). He passed away Feb. 5, 2021, in Albuquerque.
Tommy was a Vietnam veteran who served his country in the Vietnam War from 1963 to 1965. He also served the Lord Jesus Christ as a Navajo pastor for 25 years on the Navajo Nation Reservation.
Wilfred Noble Sr.
GALLUP — Graveside service for Wilfred Noble Sr., 55, of Manuelito, New Mexico, was held July 7 at Sunset Memorial Park in Gallup, with Tommy John officiating.
Wilfred was born July 17, 1965, in Gallup, into the Naakai dine’é (Mexican Clan), born for Ta’neeszahnii (Tangle Clan). He passed away June 28, 2021, in Manuelito.
Wilfred attended Gallup High School and was self-employed. He enjoyed playing the guitar, carpentry, working on vehicles, and watching football.
Wilfred is survived by his sons, Wilfred Noble Jr., Breten Noble and Wayne Koshiway; daughter, Danica Noble; parents, Elizabeth and Berlyn Noble; sisters, Darlene Noble and Esther McIntire; and grandson, Joshua Noble.
Wilfred is preceded in death by his grandmother, Mary Tsosie.
Rollie Mortuary was in charge of arrangements.
Chris Carl Platero
GALLUP — Funeral services for Chris Carl Platero, 52, of Bluewater Lake, New Mexico, will be held today, July 8, at 10 a.m., at Rollie Mortuary in Gallup. Burial will follow in Gallup.
Chris was born Feb. 25, 1969, in Gallup, into the Tódích’íi’nii (Bitter Water Clan), born for Deeshchii’nii (Start of the Red Streak People Clan). He passed away June 29, 2021, in Albuquerque.
Chris received a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of New Mexico. He was employed at the University of New Mexico-Gallup Branch as a math professor.
Chris loved making jewelry, cooking, camping, traveling, listening to music, attending concerts, and spending time with family.
Chris is survived by his daughters, Robyn Edsitty and Mallori Edsitty; brother, Philnaldo Platero; and sisters, Larrine Platero, Luana Platero, Desbah Padilla, Ramona Roach, Linda Platero, JoAnn Platero, Patsy Platero, Cheryl Platero, and Michelle Platero.
Chris is preceded in death by his daughter, Andrea Platero; and parents, Louise and Ramon Platero.
Pallbearers will be Jeremiah Foster, Marvin Platero, Michael Platero, Dylan McLaughlin, Norman Roach, and Keith Slinky.
Honorary pallbearers will be Melvin Platero, Merwyn Padilla and Tyler Charley.
A reception will take place at the Platero residence in Bluewater Lake, following services.
Rollie Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.
Tiam Kee Morgan
RABBIT BRUSH, N.M. — Graveside service for Tiam Kee Morgan, 31, of Albuquerque, will be held Monday, July 12, at 10 a.m., at the family gravesite in Rabbit Brush, New Mexico, with Lourie Wells officiating.
Tiam was born Oct. 17, 1989, in Tuba City, into the Naasht’ézhí dine’é (Zuni Clan). He passed away July 3, 2021, in Albuquerque.
Tiam completed high school up to his sophomore year and was employed as a chef at various restaurants in Albuquerque.
Tiam is survived by his daughters, Madelyn Morgan and Kaylee Morgan; brothers, Lydell Chischilly and Kendall Chischilly; and sisters, Muriel Chischilly and Deidra Morgan.
Summit Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
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