Obituaries for Nov. 25, 2020
Elsie Bowman Chase
GALLUP — Graveside service for Elsie Bowman Chase, 82, of Fort Defiance, will be held Friday, Nov. 27, at 11 a.m. in Gallup, with Charles Harper officiating. Elsie was born Jan. 29, 1938, in Coyote Canyon, New Mexico, into the Haltsooí (Meadow People Clan), born for Bit’ahnii (Under His Cover Clan).
She passed away Nov. 15, 2020, in Scottsdale, Arizona. Elsie attended Navajo Methodist Mission School in Farmington, and studied nursing at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado.
Elsie was employed with BIA Greasewood and Hunter’s Point schools, IHS Behavioral Health, Navajo IHS Area Office, and was a patient advocate at the IHS Fort Defiance Hospital.
Elsie was a choir member at her church and missionary with the Community Bible Church. She enjoyed farming, gardening, crocheting, sewing, and cooking/baking. She was a cheerleader and floral designer with artistic talents.
Elsie is survived by her son, Dwayne P. Chase, of Fort Defiance; daughters, Andrea R. Chase of Fort Defiance, and Yvonne L. Chase and son-in-law, Milton Laughing of Albuquerque; and sister, Matilda B. Sutton of Window Rock. Elsie is preceded in death by her husband, Roy H. Chase; sister, Bertha B. Felland; brother, Kenneth P. Bowman; and parents, Bernice and Peter Bowman. Pallbearers will be Dwayne P. Chase, Milton Laughing, Donald Sutton, Brian Sutton, Anthony Chase, and Christopher Piasano.
Honorary pallbearers will be Chester Chase, Donovan Carlisle, Gary Munn, and Leonard Robbins.
A memorial service will be held at a later date in 2021 when it is safe for family and friends to gather.
Rollie Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.
Colleen J. Mannie
PAGE, Ariz. — Graveside service for Colleen J. Mannie, 56, originally from Page, Arizona, was held Nov. 21 at the Page City Cemetery.
Colleen was born in McNary, Arizona, into the Ma’ii deeshgiizhinii (Coyote Pass Clan), born for Tábaahá (Water’s Edge Clan).
She passed away peacefully on Nov. 13, 2020, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, surrounded by her children and niece, Alvira Mannie.
Colleen’s education started at Toyei Boarding School in Steamboat, Arizona, and she participated in the LDS Placement Program, which included schools from both Utah and California, and Ganado, Arizona. Later, she graduated from Mountainview High School in Orem, Utah.
Colleen will be remembered by her upbeat personality, quick wit, and the great love she had for her grandchildren. She’ll be dearly missed by her family and many friends. Colleen is survived by her children, Tanya (Mark), Bryan (Germaine), and Alexis (Demetreus), all of Page; mother, Marie Yazzie of Page; sister, Victoria M. Klain of Page; brothers, Victor Mannie of Page, and Andrew of Denver, Colorado; and eight grandchildren.
Colleen is preceded in death by her husband, Alex D. Tsosie; father, Francis Mannie; sister, Thelma; and brothers, Alfonso, Franklin and Steve Mannie. Pallbearers were Dustin Mannie, John Klain, Jared Klain, Mike Klain, Kobe Mannie, and Carson Mannie. Honorary pallbearers were Victor Mannie, Andrew Mannie, Herman Kee of Steamboat, and Dalex Tsosie of Ganado.
A celebration of life will take place at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: American First Credit Union, 1-800-999-3961, account number 9118373, VENMO@ Alexis Tsosie, Go Fund Me in Colleen’s name.
Mosdell Mortuary of Kanab, Utah, was in charge of arrangements.
Dr. Paul R. Platero
TO’HAJIILEE, N.M. — Graveside service for Dr. Paul R. Platero, 78, of To’hajiilee, New Mexico, was held Nov. 20 at the Platero Heights Family Plot in To’hajiilee, with President Ball officiating.
Dr. Platero was born Oct. 5, 1942, in Borrego Pass, New Mexico, into the Tábaahá (Water’s Edge Clan), born for Tó baazhní’ázhí (Two Who Came To the Water Clan). He passed away Nov. 16, 2020, in To’hajiilee.
Dr. Platero received a doctorate of linguistics and enjoyed raising Angus beef, sheep, gardening, fishing, boating, and family vacations.
Dr. Platero is survived by his wife, Linda Platero; sons, Nathan Platero, Jerrod Platero and Enoch Platero, all of Albuquerque; Jeremy Platero, Ted Platero, Randy Platero, Alexander Platero, Jonathan Platero, and Lamoni Platero, all of Chandler, Arizona; and Timothy Platero of To’hajiilee; daughters, Brenda Platero of To’hajiilee, Sharon Yellowhair of Window Rock, and Karen Platero and Melissa Grey, both of Albuquerque; brother, Tony Platero; sister, Amy Tallow; and 27 grandchildren.
Dr. Platero is preceded in death by his parents, Doris and Ramon Platero; brothers, Fred Platero, Joseph Platero and Jerry Platero; sisters, Darlene Foster and Mae Platero; and grandchildren, Matthew and Joshua Yellowhair.
Pallbearers were Tim Platero, Alexander Platero, Johnathan Platero, Jerrod Platero, Lamoni Platero, and Sheridan Yellowhair. Honorary pallbearers were Nathan Platero, Jeremy Platero, Randy Platero, Tony Platero, Carson Platero, Roy Platero, Kyley Tallow, and Derwin Tallow.
Compassion Mortuary was in charge of arrangements.
Delora Cheryl Roanhorse
PHOENIX — A Celebration of Life for Delora Cheryl Roanhorse, 63, was held Nov. 20 at the Phoenix Christian Reformed Church. Interment followed Nov. 23 in Rehoboth, New Mexico.
Delora was born June 7, 1957, in Rehoboth, the third child of what was to be eight children, to John Jr. and Grace Roanhorse. She passed away Nov. 16, 2020, in Phoenix, due to complications of the COVID-19 virus.
Delora was raised on the Navajo Reservation to a large and devoted family near Window Rock. She was as proud of her Diné heritage — maternal clan, Ta’neeszahnii (Tangle) and paternal clan, Kinyaa’áanii (Towering House) — as she was a loyal Seattle Seahawks fan.
Delora graduated from St. Michael Indian High School in May of 1976 and attended Phoenix College, graduating with an associate’s degree.
At the time of her death, Delora was employed at the Carl T. Hayden Veterans’ Administration Medical Center where she worked for over 30 years. Previous to that, she worked for the Phoenix Indian Medical Center.
Delora leaves behind her beloved daughter, Lauren Mitchell; sisters, Verree Roanhorse and Vivienne Roanhorse; brothers, Darwyn Roanhorse and John Roanhorse III; and seven nieces and nephews, and many extended family members.
Woodrow J. Wagner Jr.
CHINLE — Graveside service for Woodrow J. Wagner Jr., 66, of Chinle, will be held Friday, Nov. 27, at 10 a.m. in Chinle, with Bishop Jogie Miller officiating.
Woodrow was born Oct. 8, 1954, in Los Angeles, California, into the Tó’aheedlíinii (Water Flow Together Clan), born for Ma’ii deeshgiizhinii (Coyote Pass Clan). He passed away Nov. 22, 2020, in Albuquerque.
Woodrow was employed with Chinle Unified School District at Chinle High School as a welding teacher.
Woodrow is survived by his wife, Caroline Wagner; sons, Nathan Wagner Sr., Nick C. Wagner, Neil J. Wagner, and James Lee; daughters, Andrea Wagner, Aurelia Willie, Charmaine Lowe, and Bree Tah; parents, Evangeline and Woodrow Wagner Sr.; brother, Ernest Wagner; sisters, Verna Bethel, Lorraine Terrell, Wanda Clark, Carmelita Yazzie, and Karen Yessilth; and 14 grandchildren.
Pallbearers will be Nathan Wagner Sr., Nick Wagner, Neil Wagner, Nathan Wagner Jr., and James Lee. Honorary pallbearer will be Ernest Wagner.
Due to COVID-19, there will be no reception. Summit Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
NASCHITTI, N.M. — Graveside service for Alex Thomas 75, of Naschitti, New Mexico, will be held Friday, Nov. 27, at 10 a.m. at the Naschitti community cemetery.
Alex was born Feb. 17, 1945. He passed away Nov. 20, 2020, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Alex is in the care of Desert View Funeral Home in Shiprock.
Sgt. Johnson Kee John
GALLUP — Graveside service for Sgt. Johnson Kee John, 73, of Gallup, was held Nov. 24 at the family plot.
Sgt. John was born Nov. 2, 1947, in Fort Defiance, into the Kinyaa’áanii (Towering House Clan), born for Dibélzhíní (Black Sheep Clan).
He passed away Nov. 17, 2020, in Albuquerque. Sgt. John served in the Army and is a Vietnam veteran. He retired as a foreman from BNSF Railroad and enjoyed attending church.
Sgt. John is survived by his daughters, Priscilla Begay, Jennifer Yazzie, Rosely Slivers, and April Dennison; brother, Emmanuel John; sisters, Sarah Ashley, Thelma John, Barbara John, and Louise Stewart; and 14 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Sgt. John is preceded in death by his wife, Lorraine John; son, Leslie John; mother, Liza Yazzie; father, Kee John; and brother, Harry John. Pallbearers were Brandon Lopez, Christopher Martin, Wacey Slivers, Almonzo Dennison, Darrell Yazzie, and Kenneth Ashley.
Honorary pallbearers were Juan Begay, Montre Begay, Sean Slivers, Corvin Yazzie, Mathew Begay, and Jefferson S. Joe. Silver Creek Mortuary was in charge of arrangements.
CHINLE — Graveside service for Emmett Francis, 77, of Chinle, was held Nov. 23 in Chinle, with Pastor Martin Haven officiating.
Emmett was born March 12, 1943, in Chinle, into the Kiyaa’áanii (Towering House Clan), born for Honágháahnii (One-walks-around Clan). His nali is Tábaahá (Water’s Edge); cheii is Tódích’íi’nii (Bitter Water). He passed away Nov. 17, 2020, in Window Rock.
Emmett graduated from Wingate High School and went on to earn degrees from the University of Arizona. He earned a bachelor’s degree in public administration in 1972 and a master’s degree in urban planning in 1974.
After obtaining his graduate degree, Emmett took his first job as a city planner with Pima County in Tucson. Shortly after returning to the Navajo Nation, he was appointed by Peterson Zah to establish the Navajo Nation’s first Tax Commission Office, serving as its first executive director and assisting Zah in establishing the nation’s Permanent Trust Fund with tax revenues, including back taxes, collected from corporations doing business on the nation.
These taxes were initially challenged — unsuccessfully — by powerful corporations in the U.S. Supreme Court.
Emmett was later appointed by the mayor of the City of Albuquerque to serve as the intertribal relations director. He spent the final years of his executive management career working for the Navajo Nation’s Office of Management and Budget as the senior budget officer for the tribe.
He provided 25 years of public service to the Navajo Nation. Emmett was a proud and generous father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He was revered by his family for his educational, professional and personal accomplishments.
Though he was typically known to be a reserved man, Emmett was anything but that around his first and only 21-month-old great-grandson and namesake. His great-grandson shares his grin and spirit, and that’s been comforting to Emmett’s family.
Emmett was a lifelong athlete — a cyclist, golfer and runner. In recent years, he created many friendships on the golf course where he was always perfecting his golf swing or putting stroke.
And though he stopped running marathons and cycling after he turned 50, he still jogged regularly to maintain his health. Emmett was also a loyal and fierce sports fan to the extent that he was once escorted out of a local high school boys basketball game for loudly disagreeing with refereeing calls during a Chinle High School boys state playoff game, but he was allowed to re-enter the gym after he promised not to scare the referees for the rest of the game. Not only was he protective of his Chinle High basketball teams, but he also was supportive of all reservation and border town teams with aspiring Navajo athletes hoping to play college ball.
He travelled to as many state playoff games as he could manage.
Unsurprisingly, Emmett, a University of Arizona graduate, had the same fierce fan loyalty for his Arizona Wildcats. He was arguably the biggest Wildcat fan on and off the Navajo Reservation.
His life was always more about action than words, and that’s how we will remember him.
Emmett is survived by his son, Edward Todd Francis; daughter, Karen Francis-Begay; sisters, Rose Mason of Albuquerque, Dottie Hobson of Phoenix, and Sharon Gorman of Chinle; and four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Emmett is preceded in death by his son-in-law, Marcelino Figueroa III; mother, Ida H. Francis; father, Edward Francis Sr.; sister, Ada Clauschee; and brothers, James Francis, Keedah Francis, Manuel Francis, and Edward Francis Jr. Pallbearers were Bernard B. Begay, Keith B. Begay, Bryan B. Begay, Raul A. Figueroa, Douglas Clauschee, and David Clauschee.
Honorary pallbearers were Emmett P. Begay, Christopher L. Francis, Alex Yazza, Kevin Hailstorm, Andrew Yazza, Levi BigGoose, Walter Gorman, Richard Mason, Art Hobson Jr., William Hobson, Darrell Clauschee, Dwayne Clauschee, Darwin Clauschee, Andrew Hobson, Michael Francis, and Perry Francis. Summit Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.