Navajo Nation Mourns Loss of Code Talker Samuel T. Holiday

Navajo Code Talker Samuel T. Holiday speaking at Camp Pendleton on Sept. 28, 2015.

Published June 12, 2018

WINDOW ROCK – On behalf of the 23rd Navajo Nation Council, Speaker LoRenzo Bates offers his condolences to the family of Navajo Code Talker Samuel T. Holiday, who passed away Monday evening at the age of 94 at the Southern Utah Veterans Home in Ivans, Utah. He was born in Monument Valley, Utah on June 2, 1924 and resided in the community of Kayenta, Arizona.

“The Navajo Nation and our entire country has lost a very special person who sacrificed more than we’ll ever know for our country and our people,” said Speaker Bates. “We offer our deepest condolences and prayers for him and his family at this time.” 

As a Navajo Code Talker, Holiday served in World War II with the 4th Marine Division, 25th Regiment, and used the Navajo language to send and receive coded messages that helped the United States win the war. He received a Congressional Silver Medal and the Purple Heart for his brave service.

Council Delegate Nathaniel Brown, who represents the Kayenta community on the Navajo Nation Council, thanked Holiday’s family for the care that they provided him in his later years and added that his legacy will continue to live on throughout the Navajo Nation.

“Ultimately, this reminds the entire Nation of the importance of maintaining our Navajo language, which helped win World War II. I ask all of our Diné people to keep our hero in your thoughts and prayers and to keep his legacy alive forever,” stated Delegate Brown.

He also recalled that in November 2017, the Kayenta Middle School named the school’s library in in honor of Holiday and held a parade and ceremony in recognition of his service.

Navajo Code Talker Samuel T. Holiday during the Navajo Code Talker Day Parade in Window Rock, Ariz. on Aug. 14, 2016

In September 2015, members of the Navajo Nation Council accompanied Code Talker Holiday to Camp Pendleton where Major General Daniel J. O’Donohue, who serves as the Commanding General of the 1st Marine Division, honored Holiday for his service in World War II. The event marked the first time that he returned to Camp Pendleton since enlisting with the Marine Corps when he was 19-years-old.

His wife, Lupita Mae Isaac, preceded Code Talker Holiday in death. Together, they have eight children, 33 grandchildren, 28 great grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren.

Details of funeral arrangements for Navajo Code Talker Samuel T. Holiday are pending.

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