Obituaries for Nov. 24, 2021
Margaret Yazzie (April 8, 1928 — Nov. 15, 2021)
FARMINGTON — Funeral services for Margaret Yazzie, 94, were held Nov. 20 at the United Pentecostal Church in Farmington. Interment followed at the Kirtland-Fruitland Cemetery in Kirtland, New Mexico.
Margaret was born April 8, 1928, into the Tábąąhá (Water’s Edge Clan), born for Tł’ááshchí’í (Red Bottom People Clan). Her maternal grandfather was Hooghan Łání (Many Hogans) and her paternal grandfather was Tódích’íi’nii (Bitter Water). She passed away Nov. 15, 2021, surrounded by family and loved ones.
Margaret learned to weave as a young girl and achieved the highest status attainable in her art form, an award-winning master Navajo weaver, specializing in the Two Grey Hills style of tapestry weaving.
Born and raised in Newcomb, Margaret married Wilson Yazzie. They shared an amazing life together until his death in 1987, raising 10 children and building a home in Newcomb.
Margaret’s skills were derived from a quest for perfection, evident in each one of her rugs. She instilled her rug weaving skills into her daughters and grandchildren. Her weavings were bought by many. A quote by the late Dr. Arch H. Gould, “Dear Margaret, your best rugs are possibly the greatest woven today. You are a great weaver and teacher.”
The majority of Margaret’s rugs were collected by the late Arch H. Gould and donated to the Grand Junction Colorado Museum. Her love of weaving has created many treasures for people who loved her art. She has touched countless lives and made many friends through her unique, extremely rare, highly sought after Two Grey Hills tapestries. Many of her tapestries have been showcased throughout the world in museums and numerous book publications.
Margaret was also an avid seamstress in which she took great pride and creativity. She made her own clothing and for her children. She also made many quilts to raise money for her church.
Margaret was a Gold Star Mother, losing a son killed in action in the Vietnam War has changed her life forever. She was never the same afterwards. She participated proudly in the local Newcomb Veterans Organization.
Margaret was happiest when she cooked a Sunday meal for her entire family, a tradition of family gathering after every Sunday morning church service. She was a devout Pentecostal and proud member of the Newcomb Lighthouse United Pentecostal Church.
She read her Bible every day in Navajo and attended church faithfully until her health made her unable, a habit developed in her mind was always on the Lord. Always bold to share the “Truth” with others and how beautiful it is to serve the Lord and Apostolic of “Oneness.”
Margaret witnessed to many people everywhere she went. She was baptized, along with her children, at Captain Tom Lake in Newcomb, by the late Rev. Bill. D. Havens on June 12, 1966. She never wavered from the Lord. She always made sure the church was cleaned and ready for the next service. She always paid her tithes and made her trips Sunday mornings to pick up people to attend church.
What a legacy, II Timothy 4:7-8 (KJV), “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day.”
Margaret was loved by her family, friends, the community, and the lives she touched through her ministry.
Margaret is survived by her children and their spouses, Sarah Zah (Bruce) of Newcomb, Lula Davis (Simpson) of Farmington, Gilbert Yazzie of Gallup, Ramona Yazzie (Mike) of Newcomb, Rev. Melvin Yazzie (Doris), and Dr. Gladys Tracy of Kirtland; and 20 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
Margaret is preceded in death by her sons, Paul J. Yazzie, Lance Cpl. Jones Lee Yazzie and Arnold Yazzie; daughter, Nora (Wilson) Yazzie; parents, Susie Tom and Jones Shorty Begay; sister, Ruth Teller; and brothers, Raymond Tom, Alvin Tom and Amos Tom.
Letter of condolences can be sent to: Yazzie-Family, 40 CR 6211, Kirtland, NM 87417.
Kirtland Cope Memorial was in charge of arrangements.
Sarah T. White
CORNFIELDS, Ariz. — Graveside service for Sarah Taliman White, 91, of Cornfields, Arizona, was held Nov. 20 in Cornfields, with Pastors Olin and Janelle Bluehouse officiating.
Sarah was born March 25, 1930, in Cornfields, into the Tódích’íi’nii (Bitter Water Clan), born for Tsénjíkiní (Honey Combed Rock People Clan). She passed away Nov. 13, 2021, in Mesa, Arizona.
Sarah attended Fort Wingate High School and Bacone College in Oklahoma. She retired as a residential aide (dorm parent) from Greasewood Boarding School and worked as a nurse at Fort Defiance Indian Hospital.
Sarah enjoyed Ganado Hornet sports and watching her children and grandchildren from Cornfields/Ganado.
Sarah is survived by her sons, Frederick H. White, Freddy Harold White and Herbert F. White Jr.; daughters, Freida S. White and Herberta S. White; brother, Jimmie Taliman Sr.; sisters, Nellie Kurley and Angela Charley; and 13 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
Sarah is preceded in death by her husband, Herbert F. White Sr.; parents, Tom and Dahaasbaa’ Taliman; sisters, Rose Lincoln, Lillian Brown, Martha Long, Juanita Montoya, and Maria Sangster; and brothers, Charley Taliman and Raymond T. Yazzie.
Pallbearers were Kevin White, Garrett White, Wesley White, Jay Diamond Taliman, Nick McLevain, Chad McLevain, David McLevain Jr., and Katarina McLevain.
Honorary pallbearers were Charleston L. White, Jalen R. White, Hubert White, Christian McLevain, and Charles McLevain.
Rollie Mortuary was in charge of arrangements.
Bertha Mae Lee Gleason
FARMINGTON — Our family wishes to announce the sudden death of our mother, Bertha Mae Lee Gleason, 88 years of age.
Bertha was born to David Lee (Bit’ahnii) and Marie Ute Begay (Hashk’aan hadzoho) in the Red Mesa, Arizona, area around the time of Dec. 13, 1932.
Our mother lived a full life, which began her humble beginnings on the Navajo Reservation in the Red Mesa, Little Water and Teec Nos Pos, Arizona, areas. Her grandmother, nalí Mae Denetchillie, raised her and she would call her grandmother “shi ma.”
All across these lands as a young child Bertha endured the hardships many faced such as no electricity and no indoor plumbing. Her daily life was a life of survival as she tended to herding sheep, collecting firewood and water for her family, but there were times she and her numerous cousins would find time to play as the sheep would graze or as she walked to fetch water and wood.
Bertha completed a 3rd grade education at the Phoenix Indian School when she graduated at age 18. After working as a nanny for a senator in Colorado, she left for a trade school in Cleveland, Ohio, to learn to be a seamstress.
Bertha eventually returned to Teec Nos Pos, Arizona, and then moved to Farmington, where she lived out the rest of her days.
Bertha loved traveling and, for someone who did not own a car nor knew how to drive, she traveled far. Whether on foot, in someone’s car, a train, or plane, she traveled as far west as Hawaii and as far east as West Virginia.
Bertha’s love of music ranged from Hank Williams Sr. to Elvis to The Fenders and traditional Navajo song and dance songs, as well as peyote songs.
Bertha had open arms for anyone who visited her home where she would provide her visitors with a hot meal and a place to sleep if need be. She loved her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren so very much. She could strike up a conversation with anyone and become instant friends. She had endearing names such as Aunt Bert, Grandma Bert, The Secretary, Bertie, Tweet Tweet, and Shi’ma.
We’ll miss our mother but she’s in a far grander place now and is with previously departed loved ones, especially her father and nali. We love you forever Shi’ma.
Bertha leaves behind her daughters, Brenda Lee (Nkwocha) and Sheila Gleason (Taysom); son, Jeff Gleason; siblings, Fred Begay, Wallace Begay, Robert Begay, and Elsie Begay (King); and 14 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Bertha is preceded in death by her siblings, Etta McDonald Tso Garza, Ted Begay and Raymond Begay.
Cope Memorial was in charge of arrangements.
Betty M. Lee
CAMERON, Ariz. — Funeral services for Betty Mae Lee, 70, of Cameron, Arizona, will be held Tuesday, Nov. 30, at 10 a.m., at the Cameron Full Gospel Church. Burial will follow at the Cameron community cemetery.
Betty was born Aug. 22, 1951, in Tacoma, Washington, into the Dziłt’aadí Kinyaa’áanii (Near the Mountain Clan/Towering House Clan), born for Tsi’naajinii (Black Streak Wood People Clan). She passed away peacefully in her sleep on Nov. 18, 2021, at her home in Cameron.
Betty suffered from an illness known as dementia that had a huge affect in her health and everyday life. Although this disease took our mother away from us, she never gave up and fought for her life until the very end.
Betty was a hardworking woman. She worked many years at Cameron Trading Post as a cleaning lady. Due to her health she had to stop working and stayed home.
Betty loved being a grandmother. She was a strong Christian woman and always believed in God. She attended the Cameron Full Gospel Church and Nazarene Church.
Betty was married to Jimmie Lee for over 40 years. She loved to sing gospel music and spend time with her husband. Together they had four children and traveled many places.
Betty loved life, but most of all, she loved her family and seeing her children all together in her home was her dying wish. She will be dearly missed.
Betty is survived by her husband, Jimmie Lee; children, Merle Lee, Yolinda Mejia, Miranda Saganitso, and Belinda Lee; siblings, Richard Tracey, Laura Yazzie, Annie Curtis, and Stewart Tracy; and 21 grandchildren.
Betty is preceded in death by her mother, Mary Little Smith; father, Phillip Tracy; and grandson, Bryan Joe.
Pallbearers will be Lance Worker, Lane Worker, Greyson Maloney, Jeremiah Lee, Marcus Lee, and Ayden Lee.
Honorary pallbearers will be Jimmie Lee, Merle Lee, Gary Chavez, Dana Jim, Richard Tracey, and Stewart Tracy.
A drive-thru reception will take place at the Lee residence (one mile northwest of Cameron Trading Post), following services.
Donations will be accepted through Zelle at 602-489-9281. Checks can be written to Valley Ridge Mortuary and cash can be dropped off at the Lee residence. For more information, contact the family at 928-401-7234.
A car wash and food sale will be held Saturday, Nov. 27, with location to be determined.
The Lee family would like to thank everyone for their love and support in their time of need.
Valley Ridge Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.
BURNT CORN, Ariz. — Graveside service for Gene Claschee, 95, of Burnt Corn, Arizona, was held Nov. 23 at the family plot in Burnt Corn.
Gene was born Sept. 15, 1926, in Burnt Corn, into the Mą’ii deeshgiizhinii (Coyote Pass Clan), born for Tł’ááshchí’í (Red Bottom People Clan). He passed away Nov. 15, 2021, in Chinle.
Gene worked for the Santa Fe Railroad from the time he was 16 years old until 1970. He loved his cattle and dogs, enjoyed herding sheep and being outside.
Gene is survived by his wife, Mabel Claschee; sons, Ernest Clauschee and Ty Benally; daughter, Cynthia Benally; and four grandchildren.
Gene is preceded in death by his daughter, Delene Pinto; and son, Nicholas Claschee.
Pallbearers were Ty Benally, Jordan Benally, Winston Begaye, Stanley Badoni, Glen Dawes, and Dante Minaker.
Honorary pallbearers were Alvin Chee, Kelly Badonie, Knute Minaker, Tom Badonie, and Ernest Clauschee.
Tse Bonito Mortuary was in charge of arrangements.
John Carroll Radcliffe Jr.
PRESCOTT, Ariz. — John Carroll Radcliffe Jr., of Prescott, Arizona, died Oct. 20, 2021. He was born Sept. 8, 1943, in Waco, Texas, a descendent from third- and fourth-generation Texas pioneer families and sixth- and seventh-generation Wisconsin pioneer families.
John’s family moved to Tempe, Arizona, in 1959 where he was a catcher on the Tempe High School varsity baseball team for three years.
After high school, John married Sylvia Begay and moved to Los Angeles to attend the University of Southern California. He graduated from USC with a degree in industrial design. One of his first jobs was as a computer programmer for a CAM manufacturer of aerospace parts in Los Angeles.
In the 1970s, John and his family moved to Window Rock, where he retired from the Navajo Nation Department of Water Resources in 2008 after 25 years.
John was very artistic. He designed and made pottery, constructing his own kiln at his home in Window Rock, and designed and made furniture and jewelry.
John was an excellent painter who specialized in watercolors and was an avid hobbyist, working model kits, making cars and toys out of wood and aluminum cans, exploring radio-controlled cars and airplanes. He enjoyed fishing, gardening, and auto racing.
John is survived by his son, Toby Radcliffe of Phoenix; daughter, Rene Radcliffe of Phoenix; brother, Russell Radcliffe of Portland, Oregon; sister, Cynthia Radcliffe of Springfield, Ohio; former wife, Sylvia Begay Radcliffe; and four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
John is preceded in death by his parents, Martha K. Radcliffe of Waco, and John Carroll Radcliffe Sr. of Eagle River, Wisconsin; and grandson, Harley Jackson of Phoenix.
A private memorial service will be held in Phoenix. Cremation has taken place and his ashes will be scattered at a later date.
Donations may be made in John’s name to: Mountain Artist Guild, 228 N. Alarcon St., #B, Prescott, AZ 86301, https://www.mountainartistsguild.org/donate.
BLACK MOUNTAIN, Ariz. — Funeral services for Billy Nez, 92, of Black Mountain, Arizona, are pending.
Billy was born April 29, 1929, in Red Rock, Arizona, into the Tsénjíkiní (Honey Combed Rock People Clan), born for Tábąąhá (Water’s Edge Clan). He passed away Nov. 21, 2021, in Phoenix.
Billy worked for Santa Fe Railroad and was a representative on the Grazing Committee, a member of the Chinle School District Board, and president of Tselani/Cottonwood Chapter.
Billy is survived by his sons, John Nez, Victor Nez and Joseph Nez; and sister, Jessie Rich.
Billy is preceded in death by his wife, Jean Nez; daughter, Jessie Nez; and sons, Robert Nez and Alfred Nez.
Pallbearers will be his grandchildren, Leon Nez, Jonathan Nez, Joe-Elliott Nez, Joel Nez, Landreaue Nez, and Erwin Chavez.
Honorary pallbearers will be Victor Nez, John Nez, Joseph Nez, and Landen Nez.
Rollie Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.
Damon Henry Tso Sr.
CORTEZ, Colo. — Funeral mass for Damon Henry Tso Sr., 95, was held Nov. 19 at the St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Cortez, Colorado. He was laid to rest in Cortez.
Damon was born in Teec Nos Pos, Arizona, on Sept. 15, 1926, during the fall harvest. He was born into the Hashk’ąą hadzohí (Yucca Fruit-Strung-Out-In-A-Line Clan), born for Kinłichíi’nii (Red House People Clan). He died Nov. 16, 2021, at his home in Buffalo Springs, New Mexico, surrounded by family.
Damon attended school at Emmanuel Mission in Teec Nos Pos, where he went up to the third grade. He left school after the death of his mother at the age of 8. Thereafter, he was lovingly raised by his sisters, grandparents, and numerous aunts and uncles.
Damon worked over 30 years and retired from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. He worked at numerous sites, including Shiprock, Tuba City, Kin Dah Lichii, Fort Defiance, and the old Tohatchi Boarding School, eventually retiring from Chuska School in 1988.
It was during this time Damon met his wife, Annie. They met on a blind date and later married and raised their children in Tohatchi and Buffalo Springs.
Damon held various positions such as custodian, truck driver and maintenance man. He was a rancher, gardener and loved to tease his relatives. He had many friends from all walks of life.
Damon lived the corn pollen path and was traditional. He was a roadman in the Native American Church and worked closely with NAC board members to petition and advocate for the protection and use of peyote and religious freedom for Native Americans.
Damon was also Catholic and a member of St. Mary’s Parrish in Tohatchi, where he celebrated, worshipped and had immense faith in the Creator.
Damon is survived by his children, David Tso (Patricia), Laverne Buffalo (John), Vera Tso (Ben Ahasteen), and Damon Tso Jr.; eight grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild, and numerous nieces, nephews and relatives from the Four Corners area.
Damon is preceded in death by his wife, Annie Leuppe Tso; parents, Hasteen Kolie and Kolie’s Wife; and sisters, Esther Dan, Nancy Tsosie and Jane O’Dale.
Services were entrusted to Desert View Funeral Home in Shiprock.
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