Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye (l) watches as Navajo Nation Vice President Jonathan Nez signs the Navajo Veterans Act on February 13, 2016. Navajo Code Talker George B. Willie, Sr. was in the background.
Published December 5, 2017
WINDOW ROCK – The Navajo Nation is mourning the death of Navajo Code Talker George B. Willie, Sr., who passed away on Tuesday. He was 92.
George B. Willie, Sr.
Originally from Sawmill, Willie resided in the community of Leupp.
“The Navajo Nation Council offers our heartfelt condolences and prayers to the family of Navajo Code Talker George B. Willie, Sr. We remain grateful for his life and the service he provided for the Navajo Nation and our entire country,” stated Speaker LoRenzo Bates (Nenahnezad, Newcomb, San Juan, Tiis Tsoh Sikaad, Tse’Daa’Kaan, Upper Fruitland).
Willie is Tó Dích’iínii (Bitter Water) and born for Tábaahá (Near The Water Edge). He served in the Marine Corps with the Second Marine Division from 1943-1946.
According to his family members, Willie served in the Battle of Okinawa, delivering and receiving coded messages using the Navajo language, which helped the United States win the battle and World War II. For his courageous service, he was awarded the Silver Congressional Medal of Honor in 2001.
Navajo Code Talker George B. Willie, Sr. is survived by his wife Emma Gean Willie. Together they have 10 children and several grandchildren.
The family will accept donations during a celebration of life event for Willie at the Presbyterian Church in Leupp, Ariz. at 6:00 p.m. on Dec. 8. Services for Willie are tentatively for Dec. 9. Details of the services are pending.