LUKACHUKAI, ARIZ.

Jerry ClasChee Begay Sr.

Dec. 8, 1924 -May 26, 2008

Jerry ClasChee Begay Sr., 83, of Lukachukai, Ariz., passed from this life into eternal rest Monday, May 26, 2008. He was born Dec. 8, 1924, in Sheep Springs, to Clas Chee Begay and Mudman's Daughter.

Jerry attended Toadlena Boarding School and Fort Wingate High School. He proudly served his country in the United States Marine Corps 297th Platoon, 2nd Marine Division, as a famed and revered Navajo Code Talker during WWII in the Pacific Arena, where he received a Purple Heart Medal and certificate, Sharpshooters Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with Bronze Star, a World War II Victory Medal and a Presidential Unit Commendation Ribbon.

Jerry then worked 33 years for the Phelps Dodge Corporation. He was a member of the Navajo Code Talkers Association and the Disabled American Veterans.

Jerry was preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Evangeline Begay Alvarez; and brothers, Kilmer McLaine and Harry C. Begay.

He is survived by his loving wife, Ella A. Begay; sons, Jerry C. Begay Jr. and Daniel C. Begay; daughters, Priscilla Coutu and Verna Lopez; 10 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 9 to 10 a.m. before Mass of Christian Burial, which will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Friday, May 30, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Farmington, with Father Gilbert Schneider as celebrant. Christian Burial will follow at Memory Gardens of Farmington, with Military Honors provided by VFW Post 2182.

Pallbearers are Travis Begay, Norman Hubbard, Alex Lopez, Jason Lopez, Michael Sorrell and Jose Sotelo. Alternate pallbearer will be Anthony Begay.

Honorary pallbearers will be Navajo Code Talkers, Julius Miller, Louis Clah and David Westbrook, as well as Donald Bilagody, Specialist Brandon Bilagody, Raymond Coutu and Freddie Miller. A special recognition to Samuel Sandoval and wife, Malula.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to the Navajo Code Talkers Association.

Arrangements are entrusted to the care of Cope Memorial Chapel, 404 W. Arrington St.; (505) 327-5142.