WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — The Navajo Nation is mourning the loss of Thomas Atcitty, who served as president and vice president of the Navajo Nation. Atcitty was also a former state lawmaker, who served seven terms in the New Mexico House of Representatives. He passed away on Sunday, Oct. 11 of natural causes. Atcitty was 86.

“To his wife Vicky, his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, we offer our prayers and condolences during this difficult time. Honorable Thomas Atcitty leaves behind a great legacy and many long-lasting memories for his family, friends, and all Navajo people. We ask our Creator to bless his family with strength and comfort at this time,” Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said. 

Navajo Nation Council Speaker Seth Damon commented on the passing of Atcitty.

“On behalf of the Navajo Nation Council, I offer my most sincere condolences to the family and relatives of Honorable Thomas Atcitty. When a great Navajo leader journeys on, we recognize their efforts and contributions to the development of the Great Navajo Nation. Thomas Atcitty served honorably and continues to serve as a figure of great compassion and duty to the Navajo People. We follow in his footsteps to build a stronger and more secure Navajo Nation so that our future generations can be confident in their pursuit of the betterment of all Navajo people. His dedication is remembered and honored by many people, and we recognize him today as Navajo leaders,” Speaker Damon said.

Atcitty served as the vice president of the Navajo Nation from 1995 to 1998, and as president from February 1998 to July 1998. Prior to serving the Navajo Nation, he served seven terms as a member of the New Mexico House of Representatives from 1980 to 1994. From 1972 to 1977, Atcitty served as the President of Navajo Community College, which later became Diné College. 

Atcitty resided in Shiprock and was also a member of the United States Marine Corps.Atcitty was born on Nov. 1, 1933 and was a lifelong resident of Shiprock, N.M. Prior to his public service, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps and graduated from Taylor University. 

Thomas Atcitty is survived by his wife of 54 years, Vicky Atcitty, their three children, four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. His funeral service was held on Wednesday in Shiprock. 

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