Obituaries for May 7, 2020
Betty G. Pinto
NAGEEZI, N.M. — Betty G. Pinto, 88, had enough love for the entire family. She was born May 4, 1931 and died April 21, 2020. She loved a good chuckle and her smile was infectious.
Her strength and endurance can’t be matched. Betty spent time with each of us individually at some point in our life, offering love and guidance. Till we meet again.
Family is forever.
Lilly Simpson Peshlakai
BLACK LAKE, N.M. — Graveside service for Lilly Simpson Peshlakai, 92, of Bisti, New Mexico, were held May 5 at a family burial plot in Black Lake, New Mexico.
Lilly was born March 15, 1928, in Bisti, into the Tódích’íi’nii (Bitter Water Clan), born for Ásh??hí (Salt People Clan). She returned to her heavenly home on April 27, 2020. Lilly was raised in Bisti by her parents and lived most of her life tending to her sheep, weaving rugs, butchering sheep, and sewing clothing and quilts.
She was blessed with a large and loving family with six sisters and seven brothers. Lilly married Robert George Peshlakai in 1950. They both raised their six children with patience, discipline and humility.
She was a strong believer of the Bible and the Navajo traditional way of life. Although Lilly had no formal education she was enlightened with day-to-day life skills of challenges, hard work and passion.
She was physically, mentally and spiritually a very strong woman. Lilly enjoyed her family gatherings, weaving, traveling and cooking Navajo traditional food for her loved ones. She was a life coach at heart.
With her kind and soft-spoken words, she always had time to answer a question or solve a problem, no matter how small. Lilly lived a long, humble, amusing and fulfilling life.
We were so grateful that God thought of us to be so worthy to have blessed us with the best Mom, “Masani”, “Nali Girl”, sister and aunt in the world for 92 years. We have many fond memories and stories of our time with her.
She will be deeply be missed by all who knew her. Lilly is survived by her sons, Ernest (Ella) Peshlakai, Ernie Peshlakai and Everett (Verna) Peshlakai; daughters, Arlene Peshlakai and Darlene (Valdez) Valdez; siblings, Bessie Bunion, Wilson Simpson, Mary Benally, Annie Deaguero, Virginia Jones-Benally, David Jones Sr., Paul Jones, Curtis Jones Sr., Herman Jones and their families; and 26 grandchildren and 51 great-grandchildren.
Lilly had a glorious reunion in Heaven with her husband, Robert Peshlakai; beloved daughter, Irene Peshlakai; grandson, Erman Peshlakai; parents, Monroe Simpson and Myrona Jones; stepfather, Taylor Jones; brothers, Thomas Simpson and Jimmy Jones; sister, Dorothy Chavez; uncles, George Simpson and Dick Simpson; aunt, Nellie Antonio; and many more relatives and friends she lost along the way.
The family of Lilly would like to send a special message to the nurses and doctors of Jicarilla Service Unit in Dulce, New Mexico, Life Care Center in Farmington, and all over the world during these unpredictable times: Thank you for being so caring to heal the mind, body, heart, and soul of your patients. You’re the important ingredients for the whole mankind to have a healthy and long-lasting life. The care and compassion of the nurse are just as important as the medicines prescribed by the doctors. And you leave no stone unturned to make your job well done. Thanks again.
David Clah Devore
FARMINGTON — Graveside service for David Clah Devore, 93, of Hogback, New Mexico, was held May 4 at Memory Gardens in Farmington, with Pastor Andy Fine officiating. David was born June 19, 1926, in Teec Nos Pos, Arizona. He passed away April 29, 2020, in Farmington.
Cope Memorial Chapel was in charge of arrangements.
James Cambridge Jr.
FARMINGTON — Graveside service for James Cambridge Jr., 60, of Farmington, was held April 30, 2020, at a private location. James was born Nov. 3, 1959, at the Shiprock IHS in Shiprock, the fourth of seven children, to James Cambridge Sr. and the late Rose Mae Cambridge (Benally). He died suddenly on April 20, 2020, at his residence.
James met the love of his life, the late Evelyn Begay, and together they welcomed three beautiful children, Cheryl Cambridge, Brian Cambridge and Adrienne Cambridge-Brown. James was a hard worker and held many job positions throughout his life.
However, he was most proud of being a welder. For almost 20 years he welded for an oil field company. He would take pictures of all his welding creations and would share these with his kids to show the work he has accomplished. He would constantly talk about the projects he had to do and even started to teach his son how to weld.
James was on the brink of retirement upon his passing. He enjoyed welding so much he still wanted to continue to weld on his own while in retirement. James was extremely proud of his heritage and it was well known by the clothes he wore, lifestyle and overall character.
He regularly attended powwows and would blast powwow music anywhere he was driving. He was even known to powwow dance in his own home on a regular basis. He was proud of his long black/silver hair and always wore it in a braided ponytail for a majority of his life. He prided himself on being Diné and displayed it to the whole world so they would know.
To say James was an avid Pittsburgh Steelers fan is a dramatic understatement. A lifelong fan, he loved watching televised games with his family and dear friends. His love for the Steelers was amplified when his beloved Steelers made the playoffs every year. You would know if the Pittsburgh Steelers were playing because you would hear him a block away cheering and yelling for his team.
James will be missed and remembered for so many reasons. He was an ornery son-of-a-gun and was often the first to crack a joke no matter the occasion. He had an unwavering determination and he couldn’t be stopped when he put his mind to something. You could not have known a more loving and loyal father, grandfather, son, brother, nephew, uncle and friend. James was extremely generous; his giving knew no bounds.
He was truly protective of his family and the first one they would turn to if they ever needed anything. He was an entertaining storyteller who found beauty and joy in most everything. Simply put, he loved life and loved everyone he knew with his whole heart.
Left to cherish his memory are his daughters, Adrienne (Mitchell) and Cheryl; son, Brian; father, James Cambridge Sr.; stepmother, Bessie Cambridge; sisters, Bernice Foster, Rosalyne Lee and Eva Bitsue; brothers, Daniel Cambridge and Amos Cambridge; and six grandchildren and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. James is preceded in death by his mother, Rose Mae Cambridge (Benally); brother, Ernest Cambridge; grandparents, Asa and Ethel Benally; and uncle, Evans Benally.
Pallbearers were Brian Cambridge, Rames Lee, Jamie Lee and Jameson Cambridge. A Celebration of Life service will be held at a later date due to current circumstances.
NAHODISHGISH, N.M. — Graveside service for Victoria McCray, 58, was held May 6 at the family plot in Nahodishgish, New Mexico. Victoria was born July 29, 1961, into the Tódích’íi’nii (Bitter Water Clan), born for Kiyaa’áanii (Towering House Clan). Chei is Áshiihí (Salt People); nali is Tsi’naajinii (Black Streak Wood People). She passed away April 27, 2020.
Victoria graduated from Wingate High School and worked for Gallup-McKinley County Schools for nearly 20 years. She enjoyed traveling, spending time with her grandchildren and dedicated her life to her family, close relatives and friends. Victoria is survived by her husband, Ted James; son, Lyman Tsosie; daughter, Shondelle James; and granddaughter, Dyanni Choyou.
Victoria is preceded in death by her daughter, Valvina Tso; and parents, Lois and Ned McCray Sr. Pallbearers were Matayle McCray, Lydell McCray, Nathan Begaye, LouVander McCray, Ervin Begay Sr. and Adriano Morgan. Rollie Mortuary was in charge of arrangements.
Emma J. Hill
GALLUP — Graveside service for Emma Jean Hill, 61, of Smith Lake, New Mexico, will be held Friday, May 8, at the Gallup City Cemetery. Emma was born Nov. 18, 1958, in Crownpoint. She passed away May 4, 2020, in Crownpoint. Emma is survived by her son, Eddie Hill Jr.; daughter-in-law, Cheryl Hill; brothers, Kenneth Benally and Dean Tsosie; sisters, Sarah Tsosie, Angline Largo, Sadie Tsosie, Betty Wauneka and Emma Hill; and six grandchildren. Emma is preceded in death by her husband, Eddie Hill Sr.; parents, Lucy and Kenneth Tsosie; and brothers, Alex Long Sr. and Leonard Tsosie. Rollie Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.