William Yellowhair Sr., 94, passed away on Sunday, June 5, 2011 at the home of his daughter in Phoenix, Ariz. while surrounded by his wife, children and grandchildren. Funeral services will commence at 10 a.m. on Thursday, June 9, 2011 at the Flagstaff Assembly Church in Flagstaff followed by interment with military honors at the Flagstaff Citizens Cemetery, Veteran's section.
Mr. Yellowhair lived his entire life on the Navajo Reservation in and around the Tuba City area until his family moved him to Phoenix immediately prior to his death to provide individual hospice care.
He was a veteran U.S. Marine, having trained at the Marine Corps Base in San Diego, Calif. and was honorably discharged in 1945. Major stints of employment throughout his life include that of a Navajo police officer in the 1950s, followed by three terms as a Navajo Council Delegate representing the Coalmine Canyon Chapter. He was also elected, at various times, to chapter-affiliated positions such as Chapter Secretary and Grazing Officer. Upon conclusion of his political calling, he remained close to home and maintained his ranch and tended to his livestock until age-related illnesses would no longer permit him. He was a man of quiet disposition and character and it spoke immensely of him. He leaves behind a legacy of love, integrity, great compassion and generosity, a sense of humor and precious memories that will live in the hearts of his family and those who loved him.
He is survived by his wife of 73 years, Vaughan T. Yellowhair; children Lorraine Williams, Louva Yellowhair, Willie Yellowhair, Willis Yellowhair and Yvonne Yellowhair; and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. Survivors also include his sister, Anita Begay and brother, Charlie Yellowhair, both of Tuba City.
Those of his children who preceded him in death are Nellie Sloan, Sarah Preston, William Yellowhair Jr., Beatrice Kennedy and Julia Williams. Also preceding him in death are his parents, Bidoni and Bitsii Yellowhair, as well as his brothers, the late Honorable Chester Yellowhair, Ross Yellowhair, Harry Yellowhair, Joe Yellowhair, Kee Yellowhair Sr., along with sisters Elizabeth West, Helen Goldtooth and Maryann Begay.
The Yellowhair family wishes to extend their sincere and heartfelt gratitude to Mr. Yellowhair's home caregivers in the years and months prior to his passing. The caregivers are Norma Watson of Tuba City, Ariz. and Bessie Begay of Sanders, Ariz.
Arrangements are under the direction of Norvel Owens Mortuary. Condolences can be sent to the family at www.norvelowensmortuary.com.