June 17-20, 2022 - Half-Staff Alert - Navajo Nation

Posted by Half-Staff Alerts Staff on Jun 20, 2022

June 17-20, 2022 - Half-Staff Alert - Navajo Nation

On Thursday, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer issued a proclamation ordering all flags on the Navajo Nation to be flown at half-staff to honor the memory and service of the late Edward T. Begay, former Vice Chairman of the Navajo Nation and Speaker of the Navajo Nation Council, from Friday, June 17 through Monday, June 20, 2022. Begay passed away in Albuquerque, N.M. on Sunday at the age of 87.

The funeral service for Begay is scheduled to be held on Monday, June 20, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. MDT at the Rehoboth Christian Reformed Church in Rehoboth, N.M. The burial will be at the Rehoboth Cemetery after the funeral service, followed by a reception at Red Rock State Park Convention Center in Church Rock, N.M.

“We honor and remember our leader as a very loving and compassionate person who gave of himself to help many of our Navajo people and his work lives on through much of the progress and improvements that we see in our communities to this day. The proclamation issued today is a tribute to his life of service and the legacy that he built for his family and all of our people. We will continue to honor him as the fearless leader and devoted family man that he was. He set a great example for all Navajo leaders to follow. His family, former colleagues, and friends remain in our thoughts and prayers during this time,” said President Nez.

Begay is Tódích’íi’nii and born for the Tl’ogi clan, his maternal grandfather was Táchii’nii and his paternal grandfather was Kinyaa’áanii. He grew up in the Nose Rock area of what is now called “Superman Canyon” in New Mexico. Begay married his high school sweetheart, Cecilia M. Damon, in 1961. Together, they had two daughters, Sharlene Begay-Platero and Sandra Begay, and a sonin-law, John Platero, Jr. Begay’s beloved wife, Cecilia, died in 1991.

From 1971 to 1983, Begay represented the Church Rock and Breadsprings Chapters on the Navajo Tribal Council. During his career as Council Delegate, Begay chaired the Advisory Committee, the Education Committee, the Economic Development and Planning Committee, the Budget and Finance Committee, and the Federal Restructuring Task Force. In 1982, Peterson Zah and Begay successfully campaigned for the offices of Navajo Nation Chairman and Vice-Chairman, serving Navajo Nation from 1983 to 1987. As Vice-Chairman, Begay gained a national perspective on issues affecting Native Americans, particularly the Navajo people. 

“Ed T. was a loving husband, caring father, and gracious grandfather, but to many, he was Cheii. We will miss him at our dinner table, sitting next to us in church, and listening to his stories of the journeys his life has taken him on. We are extremely proud of his service to the Navajo Nation, the State of New Mexico, and his tribal home communities,” his family stated. 

“Our words are not enough to express the appreciation we have for the life of the Honorable Edward T. Begay. He laid his hands to such great work during his lifetime and many of our people continue to benefit from his service and contributions to our Nation. We will always cherish him in our hearts and minds as we continue to offer prayers for comfort and strength for his family and community,” said Vice President Lizer.