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Obituaries for March 8, 2018

Benjamin Tso

Benjamin Tso

SANTA FE — Funeral services for Benjamin Tso, 75, of Star Lake, New Mexico, will be held Friday, March 9, at 11 a.m. at the Santa Fe Church of Latter Day Saints in Santa Fe, with Bishop Anderson officiating.

Burial will follow at the Santa Fe National Cemetery.

Benjamin was born May 30, 1942, in Star Lake, into the Tsénjíkiní (Honey Combed Rock People Clan), born for Naaneesht’ézhi Táchii’nii (The Charcoal Streaked Division of the Red Running Into the Water Clan). He died March 2, 2018, in Flagstaff.

Benjamin graduated from Cuba High School in 1961 and attended Diné College, graduating in 1996. He was employed as a mental health counselor at Indian Health Services in Fort Defiance, retiring in 2007.

Benjamin was a roadman with the Native American Church and served on the Fort Defiance Veterans Honor Guard.

Benjamin is survived by his wife, Ruth Tso; daughter, Vanessa Tso; brothers, Daniel Tso, Franklin Tso and Donald Tso; sisters, Nora Lossiah, Diane Blackwell and Ina Tso; and four grandchildren. Benjamin is preceded in death by his sister, Lenora Martin.

Pallbearers will be Jarvis Mullahon, Timothy Tso, Brendan Jones, Gary McCabe, Albert Natonabah and Myron Eriacho. Honorary pallbearers will be Daniel Tso, Franklin Tso, Donald Tso, Richard Jones, Tony Hale, Kyle Tsosie, Bryan Jones and Dylan Jones.

A reception will take place at the Santa Fe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints following services.

Daniels Family Funeral Services is in charge of arrangements.

Larry Brown

Larry Brown

GALLUP — Funeral services for Larry Brown, 65, will be held Friday, March 9, at 10 a.m. at the Gallup Church of Christ (1000 E. Green). Burial will follow at Sunset Memorial in Gallup.

Larry was born Jan. 29, 1953, in Rehoboth, New Mexico. He died March 2, 2018, in Gallup.

Larry was an all-around handyman and was employed as a dental assistant at Wingate Dental.

Larry is survived by his daughters, Sylvania Brown, Salina Brown and Sheila Brown; and 12 grandchildren.

Rollie Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.

Johnny Kelly Thompson

Johnny Thompson

LEUPP, Ariz. — Funeral services for Johnny Kelly Thompson (born John Kelly), 79, of Leupp, Arizona, will be held Friday, March 9, at 10 a.m. at the Leupp Presbyterian Church.

Viewing will take place one hour prior to service at 9 a.m. Burial will follow at the old Leupp Presbyterian Cemetery.

Johnny was left motherless shortly after birth, so his father, Herbert Kelly (deceased), gave him to James and Elvira Thompson to raise, both of whom predeceased him. He loved them both very much and never forgot them.

Johnny was of the Áshiihí (Salt People Clan), born for Tsé deeshgizhnii (Rock Gap Clan). His chei was Tl’ízí lání (Many Goats); nali was Hashk’aa hadzohí (Yucca Fruit-Strung-Out-In-A-Line). He passed away peacefully Feb. 25, 2018, in Payson, Arizona, as his wife and oldest daughter held his hands. Johnny started school and started learning English when he was 12 years old.

A carpenter by trade, he was a much loved and respected member of the Leupp community. He served his family, church, friends and community in several capacities: lay preacher, chapter president, school board member for Leupp Schools, Inc., and elected tribal grazing official. He was grazing official at the age of 73 when he fell in the corral and suffered traumatic brain injury.

Johnny is survived by his wife of 45 years, Rae F. Thompson (née Apple); children, Lita (David Gomez) Thompson, Samuel Thompson, Kerry (Ryan Wilson) Thompson, J. Kelly Thompson Jr. and Jovana Thompson. Also surviving are a large and loving extended family, including sister and brother with whom he was raised, Mary K. Courtney and Jackson Williams and their families; sisters, Marilyn and Marlene; nephew, Calvin (Eunice) Kelly; stepsisters, Susie, Nora and Eva; 13 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren; and many more relatives in Leupp, Birdsprings, Tolani Lake, and Cameron, Arizona.

Johnny is preceded in death by his brothers, Ray Kelly, JB (Brownie) Kelly, Guy Kelly and Joe Kelly; aunt, Mary Lou Williams; niece, Rachel Long (née Kelly); stepbrothers, Willard Kelly and James Kelly; and stepsister, Rosebelle Kelly.

Donations in Johnny K. Thompson’s memory may be made to Rim Country Health, 807 W. Longhorn Rd., Payson, AZ 85541 or Arizona Care Hospice, 1100 N. Beeline Hwy., Payson, AZ 85541.

Arrangements are being handled by Greer’s Mortuary of Winslow, Arizona.

Personna Jadden Edsitty

Personna Edsitty

BECENTI, N.M. — Funeral services for Personna Jadden Edsitty, 42, were held March 3 in Becenti, New Mexico. Interment followed at the family plot in Becenti.

Personna was born Sept. 14, 1974, into the Haltsooí (Meadow People Clan), born for Tsenahabilnii (Sleep Rock People Clan). She died Feb. 26, 2018.

Personna graduated from Wingate High School and was employed as a CNA. While majoring in early learning she was a cook for Becenti Head Start. Personna loved to smile, joke, laugh, listen to music, do puzzles and spend time with her children and her dog, Krazy Bone.

Personna is survived by her father, Ned Edsitty; sisters, Lynette Edsitty and Rashelle Edsitty; sons, Arvin Billy, Arwin Billy and Deshane Chavez; daughters, Aridawnn Billy and Chevelle Chavez; and one granddaughter.

Personna is preceded in death by her mother, Pearl S. Edsitty; and brothers, Nedford Edsitty and Pernall Edsitty. Pallbearers were Arwin Billy, Tielott Martin, Tievas Martin, Steven Collins, Quinn Etcitty and Dorothina Joe.

Rollie Mortuary was in charge of arrangements.

David Graham Murray

David Murray

SANDERS, Ariz. — A memorial service for David Graham Murray, 83, was held March 3 at the Sanders Church of God in Sanders, Arizona.

David was born Aug. 24, 1934, in Freeport, Pennsylvania, the son of John Edwin Murray and Virginia Feru Renouf Murray. He passed away Feb. 24, 2018, in Sanders.

David served his country in the United States Marine Corps as a sergeant from 1953 to 1956 and was in law enforcement for 20 years. He served as Apache County sheriff and board chairman for the Puerco Valley Fire Station. His favorite team was the Pittsburgh Steelers and he loved fishing.

David is survived by his wife, Emily B. Murray; stepdaughters, Cecelia Stewart, Gennie Dennison and Bernadette King; stepsons, Danny Yazzie Jr. and Emmanuel Yazzie; brothers, John Hesselgesser and Edwin Murray; sisters, Ann Wagner and Nancy Price; and 21 grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.

David is preceded in death by his parents; son, Patrick Murray; and sister, Sue Huff. Burnham Mortuary handled arrangements.

To leave an online condolence for David’s family, visit

Leon F. Kirlie Sr.

REHOBOTH, N.M. — Funeral services for Leon F. Kirlie Sr., 81, will be held Friday, March 9, at 11 a.m. at the Rehoboth Christian Church in Rehoboth, New Mexico. Burial will follow at the Rehoboth cemetery.

Leon was born April 12, 1936, in Ganado, Arizona, into the Jemez Clan, born for Honágháahnii (One-Walks-Around Clan). He died March 3, 2018, in Albuquerque.

Leon was a well-known silversmith. He served in the U.S. Air Force and worked for the Navajo Police Department for 17 years.

Rollie Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.

James Gilbert Barlow

DENNEHOTSO, Ariz. — Funeral services for James Gilbert Barlow, 29, of Kayenta, were held March 6 at the Dennehotso Trinity Assembly of God Church. Interment followed at the Dennehotso community cemetery.

James was born June 23, 1988, in Tuba City. He passed from this life Feb. 24, 2018, in Black Mesa, Ariz.

Desert View Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Ella Mae Nez

NEWCOMB, N.M. — Graveside service for Ella Mae Nez, 63, of Newcomb, New Mexico, were held March 3 at the Chaco Wash in Newcomb, with Delbert Johnson officiating.

Ella was born Aug. 6, 1954, in Newcomb, into the Honágháahnii (One-Walks-Around Clan), born for Hashtl’ishnii (Mud Clan). She died Feb. 27, 2018, in Fort Defiance.

Ella was a homemaker and a strong, loving and outspoken Navajo woman. She enjoyed weaving rugs, sewing and spending time with her family and grandchildren.

Ella is survived by her son, Kendall Nez; daughters, Laurelthina Johnson, Sheila Nez, April Nez and Cheryl Nez; brothers, Hubert Johnson Jr., Ervin Johnson, Ralford Johnson and Delbert Johnson; sisters, Eunice Gould, Laura Gould, Norma Begay, Charlotte Johnson, Nancy Johnson and Genieva Johnson; and 17 grandchildren.

Ella is preceded in death by her husband, Walter K. Nez Sr.; parents, Mary and Hubert Johnson Sr.; sister, LaBerta Begay; and brother, Wilbur Johnson.

Pallbearers were Kordell Nez, Kendall Nez Jr., Lyle Francisco, Clayton Brown, Jasiah Eskeets and Micah Begay. Honorary pallbearers were Kendall Nez, Richard Mullahon, Danny Peshlakai III, Delbert Johnson, Ervin Johnson and Hubert Johnson Jr.

Silver Creek Mortuary was in charge of arrangements.

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