Navajo Nation Council pays tribute to the life of former delegate Peterson Becenti Yazzie

Speaker LoRenzo Bates (right) presented an honorary blanket to Honorable Peterson Becenti Yazzie (left) for his service on the 23rd Navajo Nation Council on April 13, 2017 in Window Rock, Arizona.

Published July 3, 2017

WINDOW ROCK – The 23rd Navajo Nation Council sends its condolences to the family of former delegate Peterson Becenti Yazzie, who passed away on Sunday at the age of 67.

“Our prayers are with Peterson Yazzie’s family at this time,” said Speaker LoRenzo Bates. “We will remember our leader for his humble and honorable service to his communities and the entire Navajo Nation – we are grateful to his family and loved ones.”

Yazzie was originally from Tohatchi, New Mexico. He is Tł’ógí (Weavers – Zia Clan) and born for Todích’íi’nii (Bitterwater Clan). His maternal grandfather is Táchii’nii (Red Running Into the Water Clan), and his paternal grandfather is Naaneesht’ézhí Táchii’nii (Charcoal-Streaked division of the Red Running Into the Water Clan).

He served three terms as a member of the Navajo Nation Council from 1999-2011. On Aug. 31, 2016, he was sworn in as a member of the 23rd Navajo Nation Council to serve on an interim basis, representing the communities of Coyote Canyon, Mexican Springs, Naschitti, Tohatchi, and Bahastl’a’a’.

As a member of the 23rd Navajo Nation Council, he served as a member of the Health, Education, and Human Services Committee, State Task Force, and the Síhasin Fund Subcommittee. His service ended on April 13, 2017 when current delegate Steven Begay was sworn-in to represent the five communities on the Council.

Delegate Begay, who represents Yazzie’s community of Tohatchi, remembered him as a respectful and humble leader.

“Yesterday an honorable son, brother, cousin, father, uncle, grandfather, husband, and great leader left this world peacefully in eternal sleep,” said Delegate Begay. “I greeted Honorable Yazzie as my paternal grandfather, as he always respectfully nodded his head in acknowledgement and followed with a kind handshake. His respectful words that he delivered to his people during his service in the Navajo language will be greatly missed by many.”

Yazzie is survived by his wife of 44-years, Isabelle Yazzie, five children, 13 grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

The funeral service will be held on July 6 at 10:00 a.m. at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Gallup, New Mexico. followed by the burial at the Red Willows Farm family plot, located in Tohatchi, New Mexico.


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