Local artist will be missed by many
Reyes Kootswatewa, 37, of Tuba City, Arizona, passed away in Phoenix, Arizona on Sunday, August 20, 2000. He was born on May 20, 1963. Ray is of the Salt Clan-Ashihi, and born for the Eagle Clan-Kwaawungwa. Ray’s schooling began in Nuremburg, Germany when his father was in the military. He then came back to the states and attended the Tuba City Public Schools and later studied at DeVry Institute in Phoenix, attended the Tuba City Public Schools and later studied at DeVry Institute in Phoenix, Arizona. His academic strengths were in math and science and he enjoyed tutoring in these areas. Ray, being the oldest grandchild on his paternal side, loved to talk with children and is known for his jokes and laughter. He was soft spoken, alert to those who needed help, and was always willing to listen. As in Hopi custom, Ray was cherished, respected and loved by his paternal aunts. “Lomaquahu”—Good Looking Eagle—was bestowed upon him as his Hopi name from his father’s sisters.
Lomaquahu was noted for and received numerous awards and commendations for carving Hopi Kachina Dolls. His carving interests led to his art being displayed in Arizona, Colorado, California, Oklahoma, Washington State and New Mexico. On several annual events his art was shown at the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff and at the Heard Museum in Phoenix. Lomaquahu was employed with Goodwill Industries in Phoenix for the past five years.
Lomaquahu is survived by his mother, Rena M. Gauna, and his three surviving sisters, Michelle Kootswatewa and Monica F. Benally of Tuba City, Ramona C. Yazzie of Phoenix, two nieces Dawn Rae Brown and Magan Benally and a nephew, Bryce Benally. Maternal grandparents are Helen N. Tsinnie and the late Richard H. Tsinnie of Tuba City. Maternal aunts are Angela M. Begay of Tuba City, Rosalind Horace of Phoenix and Darlene Coffland of Camp Verde. His maternal uncles are Orville Tsinnie of Shiprock and Richard K. Tsinnie of Chandler.
Lomaquahu’s paternal grandparents are Byron and Louanna Kootswatewa of Hotevilla. His paternal aunts are Barbara K. Foster of Ben Franklin, Texas, Brenda K. Maloney of Tucson and Esther K Honeyestewa and Lynette Poomasatee of Hotevilla. His paternal uncles are Bruce and Mark Kootswatewa of Tuba City and Fred Kootswatewa of Second Mesa. Other survivors include many cousins, relatives and friends.
Lomaquahu was preceded in death by his father Claude “Keemo” Kootswatewa, grandfather Richard H. Tsinnie, maternal uncle Willis Ross Tsinnie, paternal uncles Timothy and John Kootswatewa, cousin Lawrence J. Honeyestewa and nephew Matthew Claude Kootswatewa.