Obituaries for June 16, 2022
Edward T. Begay
REHOBOTH, N.M. – Funeral services for Edward Thomas Begay (Ed T), 87, of Gallup, will be held Monday, June 20, at 10 a.m., at the Rehoboth Christian Reformed Church in Rehoboth, New Mexico, with Rev. Keith Bulthuis, retired pastor of Bethany Christian Reformed Church of Gallup, officiating. Burial will follow at the Rehoboth cemetery.
Begay was born Jan. 8, 1935, in Tse Yaaniichii, New Mexico, into the Tódích’ii’nii Clan, born for Tl’ogi Clan. His maternal grandfather is Táchii’nii and his paternal grandfather is Kinyaa’áanii. He passed away June 12, 2022, in Albuquerque.
Begay grew up in the Nose Rock area of what is now called “Superman Canyon” in New Mexico. He graduated from Rehoboth Christian School and attended Calvin College and later graduated from Albuquerque Business College. He received honorary doctorate degrees from the College of Ganado and Calvin College.
In 1958, Begay began serving in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Fort Jackson, South Carolina. He was honorably discharged after two years of service.
Begay married his high school sweetheart, Cecilia M. Damon Begay, in 1961. Together they had two daughters, Sharlene Begay-Platero and Sandra K. Begay.
Shortly after, Begay began running the Navajo Nation’s Data Processing Department for nearly 10 years. During this time, he noticed many issues that needed to be addressed within the community of Church Rock. He sought and was elected president of Church Rock Chapter. He served in that capacity from 1968 to 1970. After much urging from community members, he successfully ran for a position on the Navajo Tribal Council.
Begay’s life and work reflect the evolution and maturity of the Navajo Nation, its government, and the Navajo people.
From 1971 to 1983, Begay represented the Church Rock and Breadsprings chapters on the Navajo Tribal Council. During his career as Council delegate, he chaired the Advisory Committee, the Education Committee, the Economic Development and Planning Committee, the Budget and Finance Committee, and the Federal Restructuring Task Force.
Begay was also elected the first president of the Navajo Area School Board Association. His work as president of the Fort Wingate School Board and the Eastern Navajo School Board Association led to his involvement with NASBA.
As NASBA president, Begay worked closely with Councilwoman Dr. Annie Wauneka, Dr. Donald Noble and others to improve the Navajo school curriculum, especially in science. Their goal was to get students educated for positions such as doctors, nurses, teachers, lawyers and scientists by going to college.
Begay also served the citizens of McKinley County and was elected as a McKinley County commissioner in 1979. He served as commission chair from 1981 to 1983. In 1992, he was appointed by the New Mexico governor to serve on the New Mexico District 6 Highway Commission and the New Mexico Commission of Indian Affairs.
In 1982, Peterson Zah and Begay successfully campaigned for the offices of Navajo Nation chairman and vice chairman, serving Navajo Nation from 1983 to 1987.
As vice chairman, Begay gained a national perspective on issues affecting Native Americans, particularly the Navajo people. He was presented an opportunity to become acquainted with influential individuals at all levels of government from the chapters to the counties, states, and Congress.
He worked closely with Zah and the Navajo Nation Council to renegotiate mineral, coal, oil, and gas leases with major energy companies to better benefit the Navajo people. He helped to create the Permanent Trust Fund, now valued at several billion dollars, that continue to provide a source of income for future generations.
After the Zah-Begay administration, Begay decided to return to the Navajo Nation Council and successfully sought re-election in 1991. His return to the Council proved beneficial to his constituents as he had the opportunity to participate in the formation and subsequent adoption of landmark legislation, including the Local Governance Act. In 1999, he was elected speaker of the Navajo Nation Council. As speaker, he led the 88-member Council in formulating, debating, and enacting legislation for the Navajo people.
Serving two terms as speaker, Begay successfully sponsored several pieces of landmark legislation including Diné Bi Beehaz’áanii Bitsé Siléí – The Foundation of the Diné, Diné Law, and Diné Government, the New Mexico Gaming Compact, Arizona Gaming Compact, the Legislative Redistricting, the United Nations’ Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Individual Indian Money Accounts, the Local Governance Trust Fund, the NNOGC Oil and Gas Special Revenue Fund, the Navajo Agricultural Products Industry, and the Navajo Nation Water Rights Claim Fund.
After serving two terms as speaker of the Council, Begay was encouraged to throw his hat ring for the Navajo Nation presidency in 2002. He filed his application for candidacy for president of the Navajo Nation on May 3, 2002. A month later, the Navajo Election Administration informed him that he did not meet the residency requirements and was disqualified as a candidate for president.
On June 13, 2002, Begay filed a written complaint with the Office of Hearings and Appeals. On June 25, 2002, the OHA affirmed the decision of the NEA. The decision to disqualify Begay as a candidate was baffling as his previous applications for candidacy for Council and as vice chairman had always been approved. After a successful appeal to the Navajo Nation Supreme Court, his name was reinstated as a candidate for president. However, his name was not included on the printed ballots and had to be written in due to the delays, a factor that may have cost him votes despite his popularity.
Begay served on several boards after his Navajo Nation career. He served on the board of the Navajo Housing Authority, Navajo Gaming Enterprise, and the Navajo Agricultural Produce Industry for various lengths of time.
A devout Christian, Begay served his Bethany Christian Reformed Church (Gallup) as a Council member and as an elder with the national Christian Reformed Church Synod.
Begay was chairman of the board for the American Indian Bank in 1986 and 1987. He also served as a board member of the Blue Cross Blue Shield, Audit & Finance Committee from 1985 to 1995 and the New Mexico Blue Cross Blue Shield from 1983 to 2005.
Begay enjoyed reading his Bible along with daily devotions in addition to his reading the newspapers every day and listening to the local and national news. He enjoyed traveling and eating different and interesting food from around the country and internationally.
Begay, fluent in Navajo and English, was recognized as a respected orator and wore a western hat that became his trademark. He was willing to speak up for issues and work towards the resolution of conflict.
Begay was also admired for being an avid listener and only offered advice if wanted. He enjoyed visiting with family, friends and always gave a warm smile to everyone. He left behind a great legacy for the Navajo people.
Begay is survived by his wife, daughters and son-in-law John Platero Jr. He never stopped grieving the loss of his beloved wife Cecilia, in 1991 and found solace in public service. He took incredible pride in his twin grandchildren, Jennabah Celia and Joshua Edward Platero.
Begay is also survived by his aunt, Bonnie Natanabah of Tohatchi; sisters, Iona Notah of Tohatchi and Julia John of Okeechobee, Florida; brother, Ernie Martin of Tohatchi; and many, many cousin-sisters and brothers.
Begay is preceded in death by his wife, Cecilia M. Damon; father, Willie Nez; mother, Jennabah Hood Nez; and sister, Irene Johnson.
Dennison A. Laughing
ST. MICHAELS, Ariz. – Funeral services for Dennison A. “Skeet” Laughing, 55, of Fort Defiance, will be held Monday, June 20, at 10 a.m., at the Summit Funeral Chapel in St. Michaels, Arizona, with Bishop Holyan officiating. Burial will follow in Fort Defiance.
Dennison was born Aug. 1, 1966, in Fort Defiance, into the Dzil Ghá’á Clan, born for Naakai Dine’é Clan. He passed away June 12, 2022, in Tucson.
Dennison was employed with Durango 3D Corp. He loved to watch old western and action movies, and was a Dallas Cowboys fan.
Dennison is survived by his sons, Kyle Laughing, Dave Nez, Jeremy Begay, Mitchell Laughing and Kyle Willie; daughters, Laneisha Laughing and Mikayla Laughing; father, Tommy Laughing Jr.; brothers, Benjamin Boyd and Daniel Laughing; and sister, Laura Etcitty.
Dennison is preceded in death by his wife, Tammy Laughing; brothers, Benny Boyd, Nathaniel Yoe and Elvis Boyd; and mother, Irene Yoe.
Pallbearers will be Kyle Laughing, Mitchell Laughing, Benjamin Boyd, Jeremy Begay, Kyle Willie, and Tyler Boyd.
Honorary pallbearers will be Alexander Nez, Kendrick Nez and Wyatt Laughing.
A reception will take place at the Laughing residence (Route 12, Red Mesa, House No. 49) in Fort Defiance, following services.
Summit Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Donald R. Petranovich
WINSLOW, Ariz. – Mass of Christian burial for Donald Ray Petranovich, 81, will be held Friday, June 17, at 10 a.m., at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Winslow, Arizona.
Visitation will be held today, June 16, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., at Greer’s Mortuary of Winslow. A honk-out will follow the funeral mass from St. Joseph’s Catholic Church to Winslow High School. The community is encouraged to join us.
Donald was born Jan. 28, 1941, in Gallup. He moved to Winslow at the age of 9 and was a caring father, husband, friend and coach. He left this world peacefully on June 8, 2022.
Donald attended school in Winslow and graduated from Winslow High School. He pursued his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education graduating from Northern Arizona University. After graduation from NAU, he returned to Winslow and began his lifelong passion of teaching and coaching young students in various academic subjects, as well as various sports.
Throughout his storied career, Donald received numerous local, state and national awards. He led his girls’ basketball teams to eight state championships, eight state-runner ups, as well as many conference titles.
Donald earned many Arizona coaching awards along the way and was inducted into the Arizona Coaches Hall of Fame, Navajo National Basketball Hall of Fame and the National High School Coaches Hall of Fame. He was recognized by the Phoenix Suns as Coach of the Century for girls’ high school basketball. He also served on the Arizona Interscholastic Association Executive Board.
Donald is survived by his second wife, Gerri Petranovich; sons, Mike and Erick; Gerri’s daughter, Robyn; sister-in-law, Linda (Mike) O’Haco; and five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, as well as numerous other family members and friends.
Donald is preceded in death by his first wife, Rosella Claylene Burgett Petranovich; father, Anthony Petranovich; mother, Alta Petranovich; nephew, Carl Petranovich; sister-in-law, Nixie Petranovich; and brother, Glenn Petranovich.
Winslow has lost a legend. Donald will be greatly missed by his family and friends, and all the players and relationships he developed over the years. Every girl who played for him were his daughters whom he cared for deeply. His memory will live forever in our hearts.
In lieu of flowers, Donald has requested that donations be made to the Winslow High School Girls’ Basketball Team, P.O. Box 580, Winslow, AZ 86047. Go Bulldogs!
David K. Flake
SNOWFLAKE, Ariz. – Funeral services for David K. Flake, 85, of Snowflake, Arizona, were held on June 11, 2022, at the Snowflake Main Street Chapel. Burial was at R.V. Mike Ramsay Memorial Cemetery.
Flake was born on Jan. 19, 1937. He passed away on June 4, 2022.
Flake obtained his master’s degree in history at Brigham Young University. He was retired. His interests were his church callings, and reading.
Flake is survived by his children, David, Gordon, Elizabeth, Russell, Alan, Cathaleen, Patricia, Rebecca and Robert; siblings, Cleone Solomon and Steve Flake; 21 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.
Flake is preceded in death by his loving wife, Margaret C. Flake.
Pallbearers were David Flake, L. Gordon Flake, J. Russell Flake, Alan R. Flake, Robert C. Flake, Joseph Enfield, Robert Guevara, and Steven Brinkerhoff. Honorary pallbearers were Isaac Flake, Lachoneus Flake, Tyler Flake, Travis Flake, Toby Flake, Julian Flake, Jeremiah Flake, Jacob Guevara, David Guevara, Daniel Brinkerhoff.
Silver Creek Mortuary oversaw arrangements.
MEXICAN SPRINGS, N.M. – Funeral services for Emma Etsitty, 84, of Mexican Springs, New Mexico, were held on June 11, 2022, at 10 a.m. at Rollie Mortuary (Gallup). Mark Thomas officiated services. Burial was held at Lone Pine Cemetery in Mexican Springs.
Etsitty was born on Nov. 23, 1935, in Coyote Canyon, New Mexico. She passed away on June 3, 2022, in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Her clan was Tachii’nii.
Etsitty was a minister at the Mexican Springs Community Church.
Etsitty is survived by her sons, Virgil Dixon, Christopher Dixon and Adrian Etsitty; daughters, Yvonne Batchelor, Sharon Pete, Emily Dixon Dennis and Colleen Lemaintewa; brothers, Gilbert Shorty and Mark Thomas; sister, Geraldine Thomas; 18 grandchildren; and 21 great-grandchildren.
Etsitty is preceded in death by her husband, Emerson Etsitty; sons, Darryl Etsitty, Egbert Etsitty and Brian Etsitty; brothers, Jimmy Thomas and Larry Thomas; and sister, Edna Nunez.
Pallbearers were David Yazzie, Joshua Dennis, Elijah Ashley, Richard Thomas, Gilbert Shorty Jr., and Marlon Shorty.
Honorary pallbearer was Kal-e Yazzie.
Rollie Mortuary oversaw funeral arrangements.
Julie A. Badonie
TOHATCHI, N.M. – Funeral services for Julie A. Badonie, 79, of Tohatchi, New Mexico, will be held Friday, June 17, at 1 p.m., at Mary’s Catholic Church in Tohatchi with Rev. Dale Jamison officiating.
Julie was born Dec. 15, 1942, in Crownpoint, into the Kiyaa’áanii (Towering House Clan), born for Tódích’ii’nii (Bitter Water Clan). She passed away June 13, 2022, in Albuquerque.
Julie graduated from Albuquerque Indian School and Business College after. She was employed with the Navajo Nation, Division of Finance-Contract Accounting. She retired after 42 years in 2004.
Julie served as a community official for Tohatchi as both chapter vice president and chapter president for two terms. She was also active serving office positions for the Tohatchi Community Land Use Board, Tohatchi Veteran’s Organization, and the Navajo Nation District 14 Agency Council.
Julie also served office positions for the All Indian Rodeo Cowboys Association and the Navajo Rodeo Historical Society.
Julie is survived by her sons, Darryl Badonie of Tohatchi, and Christopher Badonie of Provo, Utah; daughter, Karen Spoke of Albuquerque; brother, Bobbie Willeto of Standing Rock, New Mexico; sisters, Mildred Moore of Tohatchi, Grace Mansfield of Albuquerque, and Irene Franklin of Twin Lakes, New Mexico; and five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Julie is preceded in death by her husband, JC Badonie; parents, Mary and Frank Willeto Sr.; brothers, Frank Willeto Jr. and Johnny Willeto; sister, Rose Cowboy; maternal grandparents, Chischilly and Elizabeth Arviso; and paternal grandparents, Hastiin Litsoii and Bijiibah Willeto Jim.
Rollie Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.
Ezekiel M.J. Strangeowl
HUNTERS POINT, Ariz. – Funeral services for Ezekiel Miles Joseph Strangeowl, 19,of Hunters Point, Arizona, were held on June 14, 2022, at the St. Francis Catholic Church in Gallup, New Mexico. Fr. Pio O’Connor-OFM, officiated services. Burial was at St. Michaels Community Cemetery.
Strangeowl was born on April 8, 2003, in Gallup. He passed away on June 12, 2022, in Window Rock. His clans are Edgewater, born for Red Streak.
Ezekiel liked soccer, football, Halo and wrestling; he enjoyed hiking, track, and cross-country.
Strangeowl is survived by his parent, Lolann Stewart (Skeet); brothers, Elijah and Tyler Strangeowl; sisters, Kre, Sienna and Mawae Stewart; and grandparent, Elaine Skeet.
Strangeowl is preceded in death by his great-grandma Eleanor Skeet.
Silver Creek Mortuary oversaw arrangements.
Emmett Cadman Sr.
GALLUP – Funeral services for Emmett Cadman Sr., 70, of Tohlakai, New Mexico, will be held Friday, June 17, at 10 a.m., at the Lighthouse Church in Gallup, with Genevieve Silversmith officiating. Burial will follow at a private land in Tohlakai.
Emmett was born July 4, 1951, in Fort Defiance, into the Tódích’íí’nii (Bitter Water Clan), born for Kinyaa’áanii (Towering House Clan). He passed away May 31, 2022, in Salt Lake City.
Emmett enjoyed watching sports, leather work, watching his grandchildren compete at sports, and was an avid Kansas City Chiefs fan.
Emmett is survived by his wife, Doris T. Cadman; sons, J.C. Cadman and Trudell Cadman; daughters, Lisa Cadman, Missy Livingston, Dorian Cadman, Kayla Cadman and Katelyn Cadman; brothers, Nelson Cadman, Lorenzo Cadman and Jimmy Cadman; sisters, Janet C. Moore, Irene Leonard, Anna Jones, Rose Jones and Jennie Gordon; and 19 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Emmett is preceded in death by his parents, Alice Ross Jones and Emmerson Cadman Sr.; daughter, Dawna Cee Cadman; and son, Emmett Cadman Jr.
Pallbearers will be Jyrus Cadman, Javin Cadman, Philbert Livingston, Lisa Cadman, McKeever Tom, and Jimmy Cadman.
Honorary pallbearers will be Roshean Cadman, Lorenzo Cadman, Nelson Cadman, and Jarron Cadman.
A reception will take place at the Rehoboth Christian School cafeteria (30 The Yaaniichi) in Rehoboth, New Mexico.
Rollie Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.
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