Obituaries for May 9, 2019
FORT DEFIANCE — A memorial service for Nellie Weidmeyer, 94, of Naschitti, New Mexico, will be held Saturday, May 11, at 10 a.m. at The Family Church Assembly of God in Fort Defiance, with Kee Becenti officiating. A reception will be announced.
Nellie was born Feb. 10, 1925, in Naschitti, into the Tódích’íi’nii (Bitter Water Clan), born for Áshiihí (Salt People Clan). She passed away March 26, 2019, in California. Nellie was a homemaker and known for bronc-busting. She enjoyed weaving rugs, cooking and attending church revivals. Nellie is survived by her sons, Kee Becenti of Fort Defiance, and Mike Nez of Phoenix; daughter, Veronica Rogers of Rancho Cucamonga, California; and 10 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren and eight great-great-grandchildren.
Nellie is preceded in death by her parents, Mary Becenti and Charley Weidmeyer; and sister, Bessie Manuelito.
Emmett Bia Sr.
CHINLE — Funeral services for Emmett Bia Sr., 82, of Many Farms, Arizona, were held May 8 at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in Chinle, with Father Blaine Grein officiating. Interment followed in Many Farms.
Emmett was born April 10, 1937, in Black Mountain, Arizona, into the Naakai dine’é (Mexican Clan), born for Tl’ááshchí’í (Red Bottom People Clan). He passed away May 2, 2019, in Glendale, Arizona. Emmett attended Intermountain Indian School in Brigham City, Utah, and worked for Shallow Wells Navajo Nation.
He was also a Navajo Nation Council delegate for 24 years and was a member of the Rough Rock School Board and Many Farms High School Board. Emmett enjoyed cattle ranching, welding, farming, reading, watching wrestling, carpentry, target-shooting and spending time with his grandchildren.
Emmett is survived by his wife, Priscilla Bia; sons, Emmett Bia Jr. and Shaun Bia; daughters, Sharon Bia and Emmelet Burruel; brothers, Thomas Bia, David Bia, Harrison Bia, Donald Bia, Tommy Bia and Johnson Bia; sisters, Lily Whitewater, Evelyn Begay, Nina Beno, Ellouise Goldtooth, Shirley Fields, Selena Davis, Joan Martinez and Pauline Lynch; and 13 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Emmett is preceded in death by his son, Pernell Bia; and parents, Helen and Andrew Bia. Pallbearers and honorary pallbearers were family and friends.
Summit Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
SHIPROCK — Rosary will be recited for Daniel Yazzie, 101, of Cudei, New Mexico, today, May 9, at 9:30 a.m., followed by a funeral mass at 10 a.m., at Christ the King Church in Shiprock. Burial will take place at Memory Gardens in Farmington.
Daniel was born May 15, 1918, in Dennehotso, Arizona, into the Tódík’ózhí (Salt Water Clan), born for Deeshchii’nii (Start of the Red Streak People Clan). He passed away May 5, 2019, surrounded by his family.
Daniel was raised by his aunt, Kinlicheenii bitsi, as his mother, Adzanih-Suie, was deceased at an early tender age. His father, Deeshchii’nii Sani, was a Navajo Police officer. Daniel attended the Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding school in Ignacio, Colorado, but in third grade he ran away driven by homesickness and returned to the Navajo Reservation. As a young adolescent, he worked as a ranch hand, breaking horses to tame and domesticate them.
Eventually, Daniel joined the U.S. Army and fought in World War II that enabled him to travel to Northern Europe, Northern France, Normandy, and Rhineland. He was highly decorated with the American Theater Ribbon, European African Middle Eastern Ribbon, Victory Medal, Good Conduct Medal and Bronze Arrowhead. Daniel was honorably discharged and returned home to the Cudei area, where he farmed and herded sheep for Nataani Tso, the late Joe Coleman.
It was during this time he met and married Nataani Tso’s daughter, the late Minnie Coleman. They resided and were employed at Mesa Verde National Park for four years and later returned to Shiprock. Together they had five children, one son from a previous marriage and four daughters.
Daniel was employed by the BIA for 26 years and retired from civil service after 32 years. Upon retirement, he continued farming and ranching in Cudei. He entered tribal politics and was elected president of Cudei Chapter and served from 1994 to 2002. As president of Cudei, he secured funding for road construction, as well as the facilities and infrastructure for the chapter house, senior citizen center and Head Start. Daniel also served on various boards, including the Farm Board, Land Board and Grazing Board. After his tenure as president, he continued farming and ranching.
Daniel is survived by his son, Mitchell Yazzie of Dennehotso; daughters, Sherrie Nakai of Cudei, Martha Yazzie-Valencia (Chris) of Rio Rancho, New Mexico, Nora Yazzie of Albuquerque, and Lucille Yazzie of Shiprock; and 19 grandchildren, 45 great-grandchildren and 22 great-great-grandchildren.
Daniel is preceded in death by his wife, Minnie Coleman Yazzie; grandson, Videll Nakai; and granddaughters, Jackie M. Birdchief and Kaylyn E. Dixon. A reception and dinner will take place at the Shiprock Chapter House at 1 p.m.
The family wishes to express deep appreciation for the show of comfort, support and love from family, friends and relatives during this difficult time. Daniel is entrusted to Cope Memorial Chapel in Farmington.