Obituaries for June 23, 2022
JEDDITO, Ariz. – Funeral services for Hoskie Yazzie, 85, of Jeddito, Arizona, were held April 5, 2022. Interment followed at the Jeddito community cemetery. Pallbearers were his family.
Hoskie was born Nov. 15, 1937, in Jeddito, into the Kiyaa’áanii (Towering House Clan), born for Tódích’ii’nii (Bitter Water Clan). He passed away March 29, 2022, at Sage Memorial Hospital in Ganado, Arizona.
Hoskie worked at the Keams Canyon store, Steamboat store and Burger King. He enjoyed going for walks, helping his loved ones and taking care of his partner, Nora Chee.
Hoskie was a kind person who was nice and greeted everyone with a warm smile. He was a humble person and meant so much to people who never had the opportunity to tell him.
Hoskie is survived by his sons and their families – Danny, Ricky, Harold and Philip.
Additionally, Hoskie was also a stepfather to his partner, Nora Chee’s, children and families – Sarah, Earl, Mike, Loretta and Carmelita.
Summit Funeral Home oversaw arrangements.
Betty T. Bitsie
GALLUP – Funeral services for Betty T. Bitsie, 92, of Mexican Springs, New Mexico, will be held today, June 23, at 10 a.m., at Rollie Mortuary in Gallup. Burial will follow in Mexican Springs.
Betty was born Feb. 5, 1930, in Mexican Springs, into Bit’ahnii, born for Tódích’ii’nii. She passed away June 19, 2022, in Gallup.
Betty earned a GED on May 9, 1969. She was employed as a housekeeper and enjoyed beading, weaving and cooking.
Betty is survived by her sons, Edward M. Bitsie and Curtis Bitsie; daughters, Loretta Mescal, Floracita Mike and Pearl Sandoval; and 21 grandchildren and 41 great-grandchildren.
Betty is preceded in death by her husband, Milton R. Bitsie; son, Timothy Bitsie; and parents, Faye and Jim Thomas.
Pallbearers will be Kolt Mike, Caleb Sandoval, Pacen Sandoval, Beau Bitsie, Lindsey Mescal, and Tommy Mike.
Honorary pallbearers will be Edward M. Bitsie and Curtis Bitsie.
A drive-thru reception will take place at NHA Housing No. 34 in Mexican Springs, following services.
Rollie Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.
Gary J. Witherspoon
TOHATCHI, N.M. – Funeral services for Gary Jay Witherspoon, 78, of Fort Mohave, Arizona, will be held Friday, June 24, at 10 a.m., at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Tohatchi, New Mexico, with Dwight Witherspoon officiating. Burial will follow in Naschitti, New Mexico.
Gary was born July 27, 1943, in Baltimore, Ohio, to Ellsworth Jay Witherspoon and Anna (Stoughton) Witherspoon. He passed away June 16, 2022, in Kingman, Arizona.
In 1962, while attending Ohio State University as a history major, Gary was called to serve a two-year LDS mission in the Southwest Indian Mission. He spent the next two years on the Navajo Reservation working with Navajo elders and learning to speak the Navajo language.
Amidst 15 years residence and work on the Navajo Reservation, Gary’s academic pursuits led to work on a master’s in Indian education at Arizona State University and a master’s and Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of Chicago.
Gary taught at Yale University and the University of Michigan and most recently was a professor of anthropology and American Indian studies at the University of Washington, Seattle.
Gary’s publications include six books and more than 25 professional articles. His most noted publication, “Language and Art in the Navajo Universe,” won several awards and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. The book was listed by the New York Review of Books as one of the top 100 books published in the field of anthropology in the 20th century.
In the spring of 1964, Gary met Nellie Nabahe during the time he was a missionary in Shiprock from February to May of 1964. Nellie and Gary met at a funeral where both had been asked to give a talk.
Gary had known of Nellie before when he was a companion with Kenneth Nabahe in Piñon in 1963. At one point, Gary asked Kenneth who was sending him letters with $20 bills in them. Kenneth said it was his sister, Nellie, and Gary said, “Someday I am going to meet and marry her.”
After Gary finished his mission in August 1964, he returned to Shiprock to see Nellie. They went to a movie in Farmington and then the next day they went to the Navajo Nation Fair in Window Rock.
Gary enrolled at BYU in September 1964. He made several visits to Shiprock during that fall and Nellie made a couple of visits to Provo. During her first visit to Provo, Gary gave her an engagement ring. They were married in the Salt Lake Temple on Dec. 14, 1964, and married in a Navajo ceremony in Naschitti, about a week later. His beloved wife of 56 years passed away in May 2021.
Nellie and Gary had five children. Dwight was born in Shiprock in 1965, David was born in Gallup in 1967, Deanna was born in Chicago in 1968, Gary Jr. was born in Ganado in 1970, and Johnny Kenneth was born in Gallup in 1973.
All of their children finished college with degrees and eight of their grandchildren have either earned college degrees or are currently enrolled in college. Two of their children and seven of their grandchildren have earned Manuelito scholarships. Three of their children and seven of their grandchildren served LDS missions.
During the last year of his life, Gary found happiness with his friend, Rosette Kisitu Sims. They were married Jan. 31, 2022.
Gary is survived by his wife, Rosette Kisitu Sims; sons, Dwight, David and Johnny; daughter, Deanna; and 16 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Gary is preceded in death by Nellie, his beloved wife of 56 years; son, Gary Jr.; and siblings, Naomi, Paul and Larry.
Norvel Owens Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.
MICHAELS, Ariz. – Graveside services for Sheila Lincoln, 78, of St. Michaels, Arizona, were on June 21, 2022. Fr. Pio officiated services.
She was born on April 11, 1944, in Hunters Point, Arizona. She passed away on June 16, 2022, in Show Low, Arizona.
Lincoln was retired. She liked watching “Family Feud” and “Gold Rush.” She enjoyed cooking, sewing, puzzles, and spending time with her grandkids. She also enjoyed the occasional kitchen table conversations.
Lincoln is survived by her husband, Paul Murray Lincoln; sons, Travis Lincoln and Lydell Lincoln; daughters, Yolanda Lincoln, Tamara Lincoln and Anthalina Lincoln; and 9 grandchildren.
Lincoln is preceded in death by her mother, Kinabah Claw; son, Paul Lincoln Jr.; and grandson Tyler Sherman.
Pallbearers were Paul Lincoln, Sheldon Kee, Brandon Lincoln, Edward Nez, Lydell Lincoln and Tim Helton.
Honorary pallbearers were Travis Lincoln, Lydell Lincoln, Chase Sherman, Tim Helton, Trevor Lincoln and Evan Lincoln.
Silver Creek Mortuary oversaw arrangements.
Phillip R. James
HOUCK, Ariz. – Graveside services for Phillip Ray James, 75, of Houck, Arizona, were held on June 20, 2022. Michael Yazzie officiated graveside services in Houck.
James was born on April 21, 1947, in Fort Defiance. He passed away on June 12, 2022, in Gallup.
His clans are Kinyaa’aanii, born for Honaghaanii.
James attended Sanders Valley High and Phoenix Indian High. He was a member of the U.S. Marine Corps, in San Diego, California.
James was employed with Navajo Nation as a police officer and inspector with the Navajo tribal Commerce Dept. in Window Rock. He was also a collection analyst, liaison officer and an administrative assistant with Houck Chapter.
James completed training with the Navajo Police Academy in Window Rock; he also completed trainings with communication school in Phoenix and photography school in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
His hobbies were reading the newspapers and watching his favorite football team, the Arizona Cardinals.
James in survived by his son, Phillip Wilson Jr.; daughters, Pamela Wilson and Shunnondeen James; brothers, Herman Frank, Irvin Frank and Michael Yazzie; sister; Paulene Begay; and 16 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by Agnes S. Yazzie, Teddy James, Delbert James, Beverly James, Gloria Yazzie, Hasbah Silversmith and Charlie Silversmith.
Pallbearers were Derrick James, Darren James, Leon Tsosie, Wilbert Begay, Clete Begay and Johansen Wilson.
Honorary pallbearers were Phillip Wilson, Chadd Tsosie and Blaine Tsosie.
Silver Creek Mortuary oversaw arrangements.
FORT DEFIANCE – Louie Arviso passed away May, 31, 2022, in Phoenix. He was born July 29, 1946. Graveside services will be at Fort Defiance cemetery on Saturday, June 25, 2022, at 3 p.m.
Louie was Hashk’aa hadzohi (Sweet Yucca Strung Out On A Line) and born for Tse’njikini. His grandparent (cheii) was To’dich’ii’nii (Red Running into the Water). His nalí is Tse’njikini (Cliff Dwellers People) doo Naasht’ezhi doo Irish doo Naakaii.
Louie Arviso was a son to Elsie and Kenneth Arviso and grandson to Bah and Charley Arviso of Tohatchi, New Mexico.
Louie attended Albuquerque Indian School, Salt Lake Community College, graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Eastern New Mexico University.
He enjoyed carpentry, silversmith work and traveling to national monuments and parks.
Louie was preceded in death by his parents, grandparents, twin brother Leon Arviso, a graduate of Window Rock High, and Ken Arviso; nephews, Travis Silversmith and Malcom Arviso; and daughter, Pablita Sunshine Arviso.
Louie is survived by Chet Arviso, Ted Arviso of Tohajiilee, New Mexico, and Sandra Arviso and Marcus Arviso of Sanders, Arizona.
Louie is also survived by brother, Tex G. Arviso; sisters, Trudee Arviso and Merlee Arviso; and numerous cousins and relatives.
Pallbearer will be Sandra Arviso. Honorary pallbearer will be Marcus Arviso.
A reception, hosted by Merlee, will follow the service.
Meldrum Mortuary & Crematory is in charge of arrangements.
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