- By Native News Online Staff
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – Flags across the Navajo Nation will be flown at half-staff from Feb. 3-6 to honor the life and memory of Navajo Code Talker Joe Vandever, Sr. who passed away last Friday. Vandever was 96.
“As we mourn the loss of Navajo Code Talker Joe Vandever, Sr., we also honor and remember all his great sacrifices for our Navajo people and the entire country. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends as they lay him to rest this week,” said Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez.
Vandever enlisted with the U.S. Marine Corps in Santa Fe, N.M. on March 26, 1943 and was honorably discharged as Corporal on Jan. 22, 1946. He served in northern Solomons, Bougainville, Emirau Islands, Guam, Marianas Islands, Okinawa, Ryukyus Islands, Occupation of Japan, and Occupation of China. In 2001, he received the Congressional Silver Medal for his service as a Navajo Code Talker in World War II.
He was born on Feb. 5, 1923 into the Red Running Into the Water People clan, born for Two Who Came to the Water clan. He was married for 73 years to his wife, Bessie D. Vandever, who passed on Sept. 24, 2019.
Survivors include his sister Mary Vandever Delgarito; sons Gary, Tracy, Obie, Joe Jr., and Lester Vandever; daughters Beth Nez, Phegie Vandever Slim, Sheila Vandever Nez; 36 grandchildren, 55 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. He was preceded in death by his parents Emma and Walter Vandever; his wife Bessie D. Vandever; son Anthony Vandever; and grandsons Charleston, Antonio, and Travis Vandever.
The viewing for Navajo Code Talker Joe Vandever, Sr. will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 4 at 3:00 p.m. at Cope Memorial in Gallup, New Mexico. The funeral service will be held on Wednesday, February 5, at 10:00 a.m. at the El Morrow Theatre in Gallup, New Mexico. The burial will be on Thursday, February 6, 1:30 p.m. at the Santa Fe National Cemetery in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
More Stories Like ThisLawsuit Filed by Fort Belknap Indian Community Against Greenberg Traurig, LLP Reads Like a Movie Script
Special Edition Native Bidaské: Oglala Composer Mato Wayuhi
Ho-Chunk Trucker Spreads MMIP Message, Offers Safe Haven from Domestic Violence
Native News Weekly (September 24, 2023): D.C. Briefs
Assemblyman Ramos Honored with Award for Long Service to California Native American Commission
Native News is free to read.
We hope you enjoyed the story you've just read. For the past dozen years, we’ve covered the most important news stories that are usually overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the rise of the American Indian Movement (AIM), to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous People (MMIP) and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools.
Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps. Most readers donate between $10 and $25 to help us cover the costs of salaries, travel and maintaining our digital platforms. If you’re in a position to do so, we ask you to consider making a recurring donation of $12 per month to join the Founder's Circle. All donations help us remain a force for change in Indian Country and tell the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked.
Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.