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Obituaries for Oct. 27, 2022

Richard Mason

Richard Mason

GALLUP — Funeral services for Richard Mason, 85, of Crownpoint, were held Oct. 21 at the Cope Memorial Chapel in Gallup. Interment followed at the Rehoboth Missionary Cemetery in Rehoboth, New Mexico.

Richard was born Sept. 2, 1937, in Crownpoint. He was born for Ta’neeszahnii (Tangle Clan). His nalí is Nóóda’í Dine’é; cheii is Honágháahnii (One-walks-around Clan). He passed away Oct. 18, 2022, in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.

Richard earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and enjoyed watching TV, traveling, fishing, hunting, running, and watching his grandchildren’s sporting events.

Richard is survived by his wife, Rose F. Mason; children, Cynthia Mason and Cheryl Mason; siblings, Eddie Mason and Rueben Mason; and four grandchildren.

Richard is preceded in death by his son, Ralph Mason; sister, Lorraine James; brothers, Irvin Mason, Danny Mason, and Jimmy Mason; mother, Cecelia Son; and father, Edgar Mason.

Pallbearers were Ralph Groves, Todd Francis, Douglas Clauschee, Harold Mason, Murment Austin, and Dallas Tso.

Cope Memorial-Kirtland oversaw arrangements.

Richard G. Chester

KLAGETOH, Ariz. — Graveside service for Richard Guy Chester, 77, of Klagetoh, Arizona, was held Oct. 20 at the Klagetoh cemetery with Pastor Gary Yazzie officiating.

Richard was born March 4, 1945, in Ganado, Arizona, into the Tsénjíkiní (Honey Combed Rock People Clan). He was born for Tsi’naajinii (Black Streak Wood People Clan). He passed away Oct. 14, 2022, in Phoenix.

Richard received his high school diploma and attended welding trade school. He retired from the Boilermaker Union.

Richard enjoyed riding horses, welding, livestock, spending time with his family and grandchildren, and watching sports, news, and Professional Bull Riding.

Richard is survived by his son, Jonathan Chester, and daughters, Yvonne Chester, Tammy Chester, and Queena Chester.

Richard is preceded in death by his mother, Lucille Chester; father, Jonah Chester; son, Richard Chester Jr.; daughter, Querida Chester; and wife, Margaret Wallace.

Eric Chester, Ernest Kee, Mike Jensen, Gage Goldtooth, Terrill Anderson, and Wilson Coleman were Pallbearers.

Honorary pallbearers were Ray Puente, Jonathan Chester, Robert Curley, Isaac Curley, Albert Chester, and Wayne Curley.

Silver Creek Mortuary was in charge of arrangements.

Jameson B. Mitchell

GALLUP — Funeral services for Jameson B. Mitchell, 73, of Chíl Haajini, Coyote Canyon, New Mexico, were held Oct. 22 at the Rollie Mortuary Palm Chapel in Gallup, with Father Dale Jamison officiating. Interment followed at the Tohatchi cemetery in Tohatchi, New Mexico.

Jameson was born Feb. 11, 1949, in Coyote Canyon, into the Kinyaa’áanii (Towering House Clan). He was born for Haltsooí (Meadow People Clan). He passed away Oct. 17, 2022, in Coyote Canyon.

Jameson attended Tohatchi Elementary School and graduated from Gallup High School in May 1968. He worked for PRRC, Jelco Construction, Navajo Nation Tribal Warehouse, Navajo Engineer Construction Authority, and Coyote Canyon PEP.

Jameson was a rancher who enjoyed rodeos, spending time with his family, and riding horses.

Jameson is survived by his sons, Kendall B. Mitchell and Loren Mitchell; daughters, Natalie Aguilar and Kevy Mitchell; brothers, Benny M. Yazzie Sr., Cornell A. Iyua, Corwin J. Iyua, and Maynard Iyua; sisters, Rita M. Watson, Lorraine M. Yazzie, Genevieve Brewer, and Jennifer M. Yazzie; and six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Jameson is preceded in death by his mother, Alice B. Yazzie; father, Charlie M. Yazzie; and brother, Chester M. Yazzie.

Maynard Iyua, Kolin B. Mitchell, Walter Begay Jr., Philbert Francisco, Kelby Mitchell, and O’Bryan Mitchell were pallbearers.

Rollie Mortuary oversaw arrangements.

Frank Aspaas

FORT DEFIANCE — Graveside service for Frank Aspaas, 61, of Fort Defiance, will be held today, Oct. 27, at 1 p.m., at the Fort Defiance community cemetery with Father Blane officiating.

Frank was born July 9, 1961, in Fort Defiance, into the Tábąąhá (Water’s Edge Clan), born for Tódích’íi’nii (Bitter Water Clan). He passed away Oct. 20, 2022, in Gallup.

Frank graduated from Monument Valley High School in Kayenta and Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute in Albuquerque. He worked for Package Hughes, Ducommun Technologies, and Victron (The Atlas Group) Aerospace Dynamics from 2010 to the present.

Frank loved to travel and enjoyed camping, fishing, watching Nascar and Star Trek, and spending time with family and friends.

Frank is survived by his wife, JoAnn Aspaas; daughters, Schelicia Aspaas and Amanda Aspaas; father, Frank Aspaas Jr.; sisters, Charlene Aspaas and Franklene Smith; and nine grandchildren.

Frank is preceded in death by his mother, Darlene Aspaas, and grandmother, Inez Houswood.

Pallbearers will be Ethan Aspaas, Clintin Aspaas, Quentin Aspaas, Duane Aspaas, and Rowdy Aspaas.

Honorary pallbearers will be Duane Aspaas and Rowdy Aspaas.

Following services, a reception will occur at Frank and JoAnn’s residence (Slick Rock House No. 2) in Fort Defiance. Those unable to attend reception can pick up food with Linda Little Elk (aka Grandma Linda).

Rollie Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.

Jason C. Morgan

GALLUP — Graveside service for Jason C. Morgan, 51, of Gallup, will be held Friday, Oct. 28, at 2 p.m., at the Gallup City Cemetery.

Jason was born April 4, 1971, in Gallup, into the Naakai dine’é (Mexican Clan), born for Tódích’íi’nii (Bitter Water Clan). He passed away Oct. 10, 2022, in Albuquerque.

Jason graduated from Window Rock High School and was a member of the Navajo Nation Band for eight years. He worked at Earl’s restaurant for many years and was the night coordinator with the Navajo Nation for three years.

Jason is survived by his mother, Evelyn Morgan; brothers, Jeffery Morgan, Jon-Davis Morgan, and Terrell Bia; sisters, Janice Morgan, Jackie Young, Jessie-Kay Morgan, and JoNell Bahe; and grandmother, Betty Yazzie.

Jason is preceded in death by William Morgan Jr., Richard Yazzie, William Morgan Sr., Dezbah Morgan, and Jayme Morgan.

Jeffery Morgan, Jerry Kee, Dewayne Tsinnajinni, Jon-Davis Morgan, Elijah Morgan, and Richard Morgan will be pallbearers.

The honorary pallbearer will be J.R. Kee.

Rollie Mortuary oversees arrangements.

Daniel Press

Daniel Press

BETHESDA, Md. – Daniel Press passed away on Oct. 5, 2022, in Bethesda, Maryland, at 79.

Dan worked as an attorney for DNA Legal Services from 1968-1972 and represented the Navajo Nation in various capacities throughout his career after moving to Washington, DC.

While living in Window Rock, he worked with tribal labor leaders, including Kenneth White Sr, to establish the tribe’s first hiring preference ordinance, which required employers to hire Navajo workers for projects on the reservation. He later helped to create the Tribal Employment Rights Office (TERO) program, which used tribal sovereign authority to require employers working on reservations throughout the country to give preference in hiring Native Americans.

Today, over 300 tribes and Alaska Native villages have TERO programs, many of which Dan helped to establish.

More recently, Dan served as pro bono counsel for the Dine Trauma Project, an organization that addresses historical and childhood trauma using approaches developed by Western medicine and traditional Navajo practices for managing trauma.

He is survived by his wife, Joyce, his children, Jacob, and Deborah, his three grandchildren, and his friends on the reservation, including the Denetsone/Newman family and White family.

Jim Sam

Jim Sam

Jim Sam, beloved husband, father, grandpa, son, brother, uncle, and friend, passed away peacefully on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022, in Gallup, New Mexico. Jim was born on Aug. 1, 1940, in Hunter’s Point, Arizona, to Mary Nez Sam and John Sam Sr.

Jim grew up in Hunter’s Point, Arizona, and attended Intermountain Indian School in Brigham City, Utah. He lived a traditional Navajo way of life and was baptized into the Catholic Church early in his life. He married his wife, Loretta Ann Roanhorse, on Oct. 15, 1967.

Throughout his life, Jim took care of his family and community. People were drawn to him and his animals— the sheep, horses, cattle, dogs, and cats. He was passionate about community service and wanted to help his community members in the Oak Springs Chapter area and the greater Navajo Nation.

He loved to laugh and tell jokes. One year, he won the Joking Contest in Fort Defiance, Arizona, bringing a trophy. He liked to tell his stories to teach you what you might learn. He was a welder and learned from Baer Welding in Brigham City.

He made all kinds of metal items, like fencing, gates, chairs, jewelry, and anything he could find to repurpose. He learned the art of jewelry making and made some jewelry pieces over the years. He loved to cook.

He usually had a pot of stew or his favorite, beans, to share at family and community gatherings. He enjoyed traveling and being with family, playing games, going to movies like the old westerns, and cooking out at aspen canyon or Báaghai.

All his life, Jim worked hard. His early career started with Navajo Nation Water Works, drilling many of the Navajo Nation water wells still in use today.

He worked his way up quickly to be a supervisor over a group of employees. Then he went to work for NTUA as a foreman supervising his crew.

During this work, he wanted to serve the Oak Springs community and was elected to be a Navajo Nation Council Delegate from 1979-1987. After being a delegate, he went back to school in Phoenix to earn his Journeymen license to be an electrician professional in 1987. He worked on the reservation as an electrician to light up the world.

All the while, Jim has done over 60 years of community work, serving in many positions for the Oak Springs Chapter and the Navajo Nation. He worked as a chapter president, vice president, and grazing committee member.

He left his service as a community leader in 2019. But many people still went to him for different guidance, advice, and leadership.

Jim was a devoted brother to his five brothers and two sisters. He had a great laugh and a big smile to make everyone feel exemplary and special. Jim was preceded in death by his father, John Sam Sr., and his mother, Mary Nez Sam; brothers, Claven Sam Sr., Ned Sam, Herbert Sam, and John Sam, Jr.; his sisters, Aileen Sam and Marilyn Yazzie.

He is survived by his wife, Loretta; daughter, Sharon Tapahe (Eugene), his son, Darryl Sam (Katherine), his daughter, Cheryl Graham; his son-in-law, Mark Graham; his grandchildren: Erin Tapahe, Dylan Graham, Dion Tapahe, Jonah Graham, Ada Sam, Landon Sam, Liam Graham, Margo Sam, Tanner Sam, and Garrett Sam.

Jim is also survived by his brother, Raymond Berchman (Shirley), many nieces and nephews, and countless others who loved him.

The services were held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Michaels, Arizona, on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022.

The funeral service was at 10 a.m. The burial was at the family plot. A reception followed at the Oak Springs Chapter House. His family would like to thank the people who contributed to the services and those who came to celebrate Jim’s life.

The Navajo Times publishes obituaries free of charge as a public service. If you have an obituary you would like to submit, follow this link to the online submission form. We look forward to serving you.


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