Letter: Tribute to Marvin Wayne Benally

To the editor:

We would like to write a brief tribute to our dear, late brother, Marvin Wayne Benally and thank those who were there with hugs, words of encouragement and monetary support.

Our brother leaves a void that no one else will fill. Like many loved ones we lose, he was unique. He was an artist, sculptor, jeweler and "Commodity Chef." He loved to attend programs and activities hosted by the Promise Keepers, a Christian men's association. He had so much talent and potential. Though he struggled with his disease, we know that he put his faith in the Lord. He was born outside the Navajo Reservation in Bellemont. Everyone knew him by his nickname, "Willow."

Our family was the last to leave the Navajo Army Depot in the summer of 1970. Up to that time, as a child, he would spend [all day] in the woods around the camp in Bellemont. His cousins, who were his friends, would trek the woods, hang out around the cinder pit, build tree forts, raid beehives, capture chipmunks, build pond rafts and so many other things as children. Those are the experiences that made him so special; everything about being in nature was "Willow." His life was filled with so many people, travel, stories, experiences and difficulty.

Our family would like to send a heartfelt thank you to our extended family and dear friends on behalf of our beloved brother.

Marvin Wayne Benally, 50, was born Oct. 28, 1957, the second oldest of five children born to Elsie and the late Wayne Benally. Marv left the world on Sept. 8 and was laid to rest Sept. 15 in Calvary Cemetery in Flagstaff.

Elsie, Christine, Beverly (Yazzie), Lynn (Bergen) and Timothy Benally

St. Michaels, Ariz.

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