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SANTA FE Funeral services for Navajo Code Talker Frank Chee Willeto, who died last Saturday will be held tomorrow, Thursday, June 28 at 11:00 am mdt at Tse Yi Gai High School in Pueblo Pintado, New Mexico.
Fallen Navajo Code Talker Frank Chee Willeto
Mr. Willeto died at home in Pueblo Pintado at the age of 87.
Born and raised in Crownpoint, New Mexico, Willeto enlisted in the US Marines 6th Division in January 1944. Following eight weeks of Navajo Code Talker training, he served in the Pacific Theater in the Saipan and Okinawa campaigns.
Upon returning from World War II, Willeto worked from 1946 to 1974 for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, with the roads department, and then with the US Department of Education.
In 1974, Willeto was elected as a Navajo tribal councilman and served in this role until 1986 when he was elected president of Pueblo Pintado Chapter. Willetto was later appointed to serve as a judge on the Navajo Supreme Judicial Council. From August 1997 to January 1998, he was appointed vice president of the Navajo Nation. Willeto is a recipient of the Congressional Silver Medal.
Last year on November 16, 2011, Mr. Willeto was a panelist member on "The Way of the Warrior: Native Americans' Commitment to Country, Community, and Communication." The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs hosted the event in honor of Veterans Day and National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month.
Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly has ordered the Navajo Nation flag to be flown at half staff from June 25 through June 28.
posted June 27, 2012 3:10 am edt