Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Currents. Discussion »
WINDOW ROCK, ARIZONA Funeral services for Navajo Code Talker Samuel Tso are scheduled to start at 10 am on Wednesday, May 16 at St. Isabel Catholic Church in Lukachukai, Arizona. Code Talker Tso was 89.
Code Talker Samuel Tso
Code Talker Tso passed away last Wednesday evening surrounded by his family at the San Juan Regional Medical Center in Farmington, New Mexico.
“Samuel Tso lived a life that helped his people and he was a model Navajo citizen. He fought for his country and he returned to help our young people, Samuel Tso was a true Navajo warrior,”
said Navajo President Ben Shelly in commemoration of Code Talker Tso.
Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly has ordered the Navajo Nation flag to be flown at half staff through sundown May 14, to honor Code Talker Tso for his service to the Navajo Nation and his country in World War II.
Enlisting in the United States Marine Corps in March 1943, Code Talker Tso went through basic training and Navajo Code Talker school. Family members said Code Talker Tso wasn't one of the original 29 Navajo Code Talkers, though he was commonly mistaken as being one of the original 29 Navajo Code Talkers. He served in the United States Marine Corps 5th Marine Division.
He signed on with the Recon Company and was sent to the Pacific Theater. He served in Guadalcanal, Bougainville, Pelelui, Guam, and Okinawa.
After his March 1946 discharge, Code Talker Tso continued his education earning a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Utah State University in Logan, Utah. He taught math at Intermountain Indian School in Brigham City, Utah, and transferred to the Bureau of Indian Affairs School in Lukachukai, Arizona, in 1975.
Code Talker Tso worked as a teacher and then as a teacher supervisor for thirty years. After retiring from teaching and his supervisory role, Code Talker Tso remained active in education, serving as a school board member for Many Farms High School in Many Farms, Arizona.
Code Talker Tso traveled throughout most of the US conducting presentations about the Navajo Code Talkers and about his life experiences before and after the war. He holds several relevant documents about the Navajo Code Talkers and contributed to the "Back to the Battlefields" documentary. Code Talker Tso was a member of the Marine Corp League and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1677.
Code Talker Tso was also a leader in the Navajo Code Talkers Association and the Navajo Code Talkers Foundation.
Interment will follow the services at Lukachukai Veteran's Cemetery with a reception to follow at the Lukachukai Boarding School Auditorium.
posted May 14, 2012 6:10 am edt