Obituaries for Oct. 21, 2021
Bonnie M. Brewer Brown
PAGE, Ariz. — Funeral services for Bonnie Marie Brewer Brown, 74, a longtime resident of Page, Arizona, were held Oct. 15 at the Page 4th Ward Chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Interment followed at the Brown Family Cemetery in New Mexico.
Bonnie was born Aug. 13, 1947, in Vernal, Utah, to Robert Allen Brewer and Ezma LaMar (Karren) Brewer. She passed away at her home on Oct. 9, 2021, surrounded by family.
Bonnie spent much of her youth in Ogden, Utah, where she graduated from Bonneville High School. After high school she attended and graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s degree in education.
While completing her student teaching in Blanding, Utah, Bonnie began courting her future husband, Wally Brown, who worked as a DJ at KUTA. They were married and sealed for eternity in the Salt Lake City Temple on Aug. 21, 1969. They spent their married life on the Navajo Nation and in surrounding communities where Bonnie found joy in learning and teaching. She immersed herself in Navajo culture of the communities she served.
Bonnie and Wally enjoyed taking drives across the reservation on long, bumpy roads. She even co-authored a travel book, “The Complete Family guide to Navajo-Hopi Land.” Through her efforts, the Navajo Village Heritage Center shared the Navajo culture with people from around the world.
Bonnie engaged life deeply. She was the proud mother of eight children and touched the lives of many children as an educator. She cherished meeting past students who loved seeing “Mrs. Brown” around the community.
Bonnie was dedicated to the Lord and was a wonderful example of a daughter of God. She served the Lord valiantly in many church callings and through good Christian service. Somehow she still found time for her personal passions – genealogy, quilting, crocheting, knitting, tatting, and sewing.
Bonnie is survived by her husband, Wally, of Page; children, Marci (Steve Brown) Fillmore of Utah; Emily of St. George, Utah; Sam (Meagan Davis) of Salt Lake City; Cooper (Melissa Henly) of Rio Rancho, New Mexico; Charlsia Raburn of Garden City, Kansas; Shane (Sara Garner) of St. George; and Adrianne Flynn of St. George; mother, Ezma, of Bellevue, Washington; brothers, Jeff Brewer and Dave Brewer (Julia Soder), both of Bellevue; and 18 grandchildren and one great-grandchild born Oct. 7, 2021.
Bonnie is preceded in death by her father, Robert Brewer; daughter, Desbah Dana Brown; and son-in-law, Michael John Flynn.
Geri N. Long
GALLUP — Funeral services for Geri Nicole Long, 39, of Mexican Springs, New Mexico, will be held Friday, Oct. 22, at 10 a.m., at Rollie Mortuary in Gallup, with Pastor Aaron D. Jim Sr. officiating. Burial will follow at the Lone Pine Cemetery in Mexican Springs.
Geri was born July 23, 1982, in Gallup, into the Bit’ahnii (Folded Arms Clan), born for Yoo’ó dine’é (Bead People Clan). She passed away Oct. 8, 2021, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Geri earned an associate’s degree and was employed with Navajo Nation Forestry. She enjoyed spending time with family and playing basketball, softball, bingo, and volleyball. She was also a die-hard Boston Red Sox and Patriots fan.
Geri is survived by her husband, Paul Long Jr.; son, Hunter Long; daughter, Deedra Yazzie; father, Garry Morris; brothers, Gerald Morris and Coltin Morris; and sisters, Genice Slivers, Genelle Morris, Genae Morris, and Iris Morris.
Geri is preceded in death by her mother, Elvira Morris; and grandparents, Caroline and Ernest D. Becenti, and Ophelia and Steven Morris.
Pallbearers will be Gerald Morris, Kendall Mitchell, Carlin Becenti, Donovan Bahe, Christopher Lauglin, and Rodney Begay.
Honorary pallbearers will be Paul Long Jr., Hunter Long, Garry Morris, Coltin Morris, Garrison Morris, Garrett Morris, Steven Becenti, Carlos Becenti, Cardell Becenti, Nolan Becenti, Berkley Becenti, Donovan Nelson, Jonathan Nelson, and Ferrell Becenti.
A drive-thru reception will take place in Mexican Springs, following services.
Rollie Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.
Willie Watch Jr.
FORT DEFIANCE — Graveside service for Willie Watch Jr., 80, of Blue Canyon, Arizona, was held at the Family Church in Fort Defiance, with Kenneth Hielkema officiating.
Willie was born Oct. 8, 1941, in Rehoboth, New Mexico, into the Tótsohnii (Big Water Clan), born for Naakai dine’é (Mexican Clan). He passed away Oct. 18, 2021, in Fort Defiance.
Willie attended Sherman Indian Boarding School, Christian Faith Bible College and Albuquerque TVI. He worked for Promise Land Quarry Incorporated and for Pentecostal Ministry for 30 years. He enjoyed gardening, bible study and bull riding.
Willie is survived by his wife, Louise Watch; son, Ronald Watch; daughters, Tisha Watch, Tamara Watch, Samantha Haskey, Amanda Watch, and Marcie Watch; sister, Sadie Watch; and 22 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Willie is preceded in death by his parents, Alice and Willie Watch Sr.; brother, Andy Watch; sister, Grace Shorty; and daughter, Terri Atcitty.
Summit Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
David B. Silversmith
GALLUP — Funeral services for David Bruce Silversmith, 74, of Manuelito, New Mexico, were held Oct. 19 at Rollie Mortuary in Gallup, with family officiating. Interment followed at the family plot in Manuelito.
David was born March 7, 1947, in Fort Defiance, into the Kinyaa’áanii (Towering House Clan), born for Tódích’íi’nii (Bitter Water Clan). He passed away Oct. 15, 2021, in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
David attended Oklahoma University of Arts and Sciences, earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He worked for the Navajo Nation Division of Transportation.
David enjoyed sports, nature, reading, photography, drawing, art, silversmith work, family, and helping the community.
David is survived by his wife, Deborah Silversmith; sons, Donovan Silversmith, Notah Silversmith, Tayah Silversmith, and Tashquinn Draper; daughters, Dawn Silversmith, Latisha Draper and Shondiin Silversmith; sisters, Annie Silversmith, Ardis Silversmith, Antoinette Silversmith, Anita Chee Silversmith, and Rose Chee Silversmith; and 11 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
David is preceded in death by his sisters, Josephine Silversmith, Fanny Silversmith and Joe Ann Silversmith; and parents, Ida Mary Smith and Joe Chee Silversmith.
Pallbearers were Mark Silversmith, Notah Silversmith, Tayah Silversmith, Romondo Bia, Deigo Silversmith, and Nikolas Silversmith.
Honorary pallbearers were Tashquinn Draper and Donovan Silversmith.
Rollie Mortuary was in charge of arrangements.
PHOENIX — A Celebration of Life for Philbert Skeet “The Fisherman” was held Oct. 16. He will be remembered as a loving spirited person and a supportive father.
Philbert was born Jan. 14, 1968, in Gallup, to Tommy and Nellie Cook Skeet. He passed away Oct. 3, 2021, at the Valley Wise Hospital in Phoenix.
Philbert attended South West Indian School and graduated from Central High School. He worked as a manager at 22 at Bashas’ and as a frozen food manager for Fry’s in Phoenix for over 12 years.
Philbert lived as a simple man with many interests and hobbies, including fishing, music, and sharing stories. He lived his life as a free spirit and went where the fish swam wild.
Philbert leaves behind four daughters, Jasmine Jodi, Shanice Kimberly, Codi Sade, and Phyllis Jaciquline Skeet; and eight siblings, Etta being the eldest, Ernie, Ben, James, Ray, Rhoda, Sarah, and Lorreta as his youngest sister.
Philbert also fathered three stepdaughters and four stepsons. He was an uncle, friend, and a grandfather to 36 grandchildren.
Helen Begay, a wonderful, caring, loving, giving mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother passed away at the age of 87 on Oct. 12, 2021. She is now taking her spiritual journey home.
Helen was born Oct. 25, 1933, in Shiprock, to Grace Benir and Evans Smith, into the Naakai dine’é (Mexican Clan), born for Áshįįhí (Salt People Clan).
In 1952, Helen married Dr. Fred Begay Sr. and they had seven children.
Helen’s passing has been a devastating loss to her family and friends who loved and respected her deeply. Her matriarchal legacy will continue with her family who will maintain her traditional culture and values, which were very important to her.
Helen is survived by her loving family and many relatives from Diné and Ute Mountain tribes; children, Fred Jr., Joyce (Phil), William, Janet (Steve) Terry, Christina, and Carolyn (Scott); and 17 grandchildren and 37 great-grandchildren.
A private burial service has taken place. A memorial service will take place at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting to send condolences to: Helen Begay Family, 2480 36th Street, Los Alamos, NM 87544.
In beauty may I walk
All day long may I walk
Through the returning seasons may I walk
Beautifully will I possess again
Beautifully joyful birds….
On the trail marked with pollen may I walk
For information, contact Helen’s daughter, Joyce Begay-Foss, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marcella A. Bryant
TOHATCHI, N.M. — Funeral services for Marcella Agnes Bryant, 84, of Naschitti, New Mexico, will be held Friday, Oct. 22, at 10 a.m., at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Tohatchi, New Mexico, with Father Jerry Mesley officiating. Burial will follow in Naschitti.
Marcella was born Sept. 6, 1937, in Naschitti, into the Tódích’íi’nii (Bitter Water Clan), born for Kiyaa’áanii (Towering House Clan). She passed away Oct. 14, 2021, in Gallup.
Marcella attended Albuquerque Indian School and was employed as a dietician at Bernalillo Indian County Hospital. She was also a seamstress and homemaker.
Marcella is survived by her husband, Kenneth Bryant Sr.; sons, Kenneth Bryant Jr. and Dwayne Bryant; daughter, Marita Joe; brothers, Phillip Morris, Franklin Morris and Justin Morris; sister, Josephine Henry; and five grandchildren.
Marcella is preceded in death by her mother, Louise Bocrati Morris; father, Marcellino Morris Sr.; stepmother, Elsie Morris; daughter, Marlene Bryant; and brothers, Steven Morris, George Morris, Marcellino Morris Jr., and Ned Morris.
Pallbearers will be Lance Joe, Lucas Joe, Makaih Long, Tyrell Benally, and Tyron Benally.
Honorary pallbearers will be Kenneth Bryant Sr., Dwayne Bryant, Luke Joe, and Bill Pfeifer.
A drive-thru reception will take place at Kenneth Bryant’s residence, following services.
Rollie Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.
Henry B. Harding
GANADO, Ariz. — Funeral services for Henry Ben Harding, 82, were held Monday, Oct. 18, and what would have been Henry’s 83rd birthday, at the Ganado Glory Temple in Ganado, Arizona. Interment followed at the family plot in Ganado.
Henry was born Oct. 18, 1938, in Ganado, to Benjamin William and Marietta (Kirk) Harding. He died of Alzheimer’s disease on Oct. 11, 2021, in Lakeside, Arizona.
When Henry was just 2 weeks old, his mother died from complications of his birth. As a result of that sad circumstance, he was taken in and reared by his mother’s brother and wife, Leo and Hazel Kirk.
Proud of his heritage, Henry’s father and uncle were part of the infamous Navajo Code Talkers of World War II.
As a child, Henry learned by his family’s example the importance of making an honest living through hard work. For many years, he was employed by Nielson Construction, working as road construction worker in the Four Corners area. He was well-liked by his co-workers and was loyal and dependable to his superiors.
In his younger years, Henry attended Ganado’s Full Gospel Church. In fact, he helped in its construction, which started in his own backyard.
Henry was a self-taught mechanic and loved to help everyone with their auto repairs.
Henry is survived by his wife of 60 years, Laverne (Fuson) Harding; children, Michael (Tina) Lincoln, Marvin Harding (deceased in 2007), Tyrone Harding, Mary E. (Paul Lee Jr.) Lee, Henrietta (Brian) Rager, and Marion (Kevin) Finn; and 26 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren.
Henry is the loving brother to his siblings, Herbert Kirk, Douglas Harding, Anthony Harding, Sylvia Huskie, and Victoria Begay.
Services were handled by Owens Livingston Mortuary in Holbrook, Arizona.
To send private condolences, visit www.owenslivingstonmortuary.
Daniel J. Becenti
IYANBITO, N.M. — Graveside service for Daniel Joe Becenti, 60, of Iyanbito, New Mexico, was held Oct. 19 in Iyanbito, with Pastor Mark Thomas officiating.
Daniel was born in February 1961 in Gallup, into the Ts’ah yisk’idnii (Sage Brush Hill Clan), born for Nihoobáanii (Gray Streaked-Ends Clan). He passed away Oct. 9, 2021, in Albuquerque.
Daniel graduated high school and attended Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute in Albuquerque. He was employed as a carpenter, artist, rock sculptor, sand-painter, and oil painter. He loved to draw and spend time with family.
Daniel is survived by his sons, Denson Becenti, Darrell Martinez, Darren Joe Becenti, and Marthiano Becenti; daughter, Carvonna Danielle Becenti; parents, Rose Mary and Willie Becenti Sr.; brothers, Willie Becenti, George Becenti and Herbert Becenti; sisters, Emma Chavez, Charlene Begay, Norma Charley, Erlinda Becenti, and Deena Becenti; and eight grandchildren.
Daniel is preceded in death by his brothers, Frances Becenti and Martin Becenti; and nephew, Marlon Becenti.
Pallbearers were Garrett Becenti, Broderick Charley, Darrell Martinez, Darren Joe Becenti, Raynell Chavez, and Brian Begay.
Honorary pallbearer was Denson D. Becenti.
Rollie Mortuary was in charge of arrangements.
GALLUP — A Celebration of Life for Deb Misra will be held Saturday, Oct. 23, at 1:30 p.m., at the University of New Mexico-Gallup Calvin Hall, room 248-B.
Misra was a 25-year Navajo Nation tribal employee.
For Zoom access, email email@example.com.
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