Originally published Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at 10:44a.m.

WINDOW ROCK – Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer offer their heartfelt condolences to the family and loved ones of Navajo Code Talker Fleming Begaye, Sr., who passed away May 10 at the age of 97 in Chinle, Arizona.

“The Navajo Nation has lost another brave and selfless Diné warrior, who sacrificed more than we’ll ever know to defend our country,” Nez said. “We offer our heartfelt appreciation to the family for sharing his life with us. May the Creator bless you and your family with strength and comfort.”

Navajo Code Talker Begaye is Tódích’íi’nii (Bitter Water Clan) and born for Kinłichii’nii (Red House People Clan). He was born on Aug. 26, 1921 in the community of Red Valley, Arizona and resided in Chinle, Arizona at the time of his passing. He had three children with his late wife, Helen M. Begaye, who passed away in 2008.

Begaye served as a Navajo Code Talker in the Marine Corps from 1943 to 1945, and fought in the Battle of Tarawa and the Batter of Tinian and late spent one year in a naval hospital as a result of injuries and wounds he received during his service.

Following his military service, Begaye returned to the Navajo Nation where he owned and operated “Begaye’s Corner” trading post in the community of Chinle, where he also lived with his wife and children.

“Code Talker Begaye was a warrior, a family man, and a business man. In every aspect of his life, he was a loving person who cared greatly for his people. Today, I ask our Diné people to keep his spirit and his family in your prayers as we give thanks for his life and his legacy,” said Vice President Lizer.

Funeral services and arrangements for Navajo Code Talker Fleming Begaye, Sr. are pending.

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