Navajo Nation radio personality buried in Utah

Hannah Grover

FARMINGTON – Navajo Nation radio personality George Werito was buried Thursday afternoon in Montezuma Creek, Utah, following a funeral service at the Farmington Civic Center.

Werito was the station manager for KNDN, a Farmington-based radio station that broadcasts in the Navajo language. He died Sunday at age 66.

Prior to the service, a motorcycle escort accompanied a vehicle carrying Werito’s casket from Shiprock to Farmington. People from around the Four Corners stood in a line that extended to the street as they filed into the civic center. Some of them were friends or relatives while others knew him from listening to the radio.

Attendees filled the civic center and some people waited outside during the service. Navajo Nation Council members took a short recess to attend the funeral before resuming session Thursday afternoon in Window Rock.

Daryl Blackhorse, a friend of George Werito, speaks at the Farmington Civic Center during Werito's funeral on Thursday.

The funeral included short speeches by dignitaries such as Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye and Farmington Mayor Tommy Roberts as well as San Juan County Executive Officer Kim Carpenter.

In his speech in Navajo and English, Begaye credited his election as president to the support he received from Werito.

Mourners watch as the funeral procession for George Werito, a popular Navajo radio personality, leaves the Farmington Civic Center on Thursday.

“The legacy of George will live on forever through you,” Begaye told Werito’s grandchildren.

After his speech, the Office of the President and Vice President presented a Navajo Nation flag and a blanket to Werito’s family.

“The whole community, we’ve lost a great man,” Begaye said.

Carpenter also talked about his memories of Werito.

A line of mourners waits outside the Farmington Civic Center during the funeral for George Werito, a popular Navajo radio personality, on Thursday.

A community is derived and built by pillars … and George was one of those pillars,” Carpenter said.

After the service, the funeral procession, which included Navajo Nation police officers, escorted the family to the Dishface Family Cemetery in Montezuma Creek. The family has set up a GoFundMe account to help pay for the funeral expenses. The account had raised nearly $500 by Thursday afternoon.

Hannah Grover covers Aztec and Bloomfield, as well as general news, for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.