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Navajo Code Talker Fleming Begaye, Sr. dies at 97

Posted at 5:09 PM, Jun 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-03 20:10:01-04

One of the last remaining Navajo Code Talkers passed away this week.

According to Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, Fleming Begaye, Senior passed away at his home in northeastern Arizona on Friday. He was 97.

“The Navajo Nation has lost another brave and selfless Diné warrior, who sacrificed more than we’ll ever know to defend our country,” Nez said in a statement. “We offer our heartfelt appreciation to the family for sharing his life with us. May the Creator bless you and your family with strength and comfort.”

Begaye served in the Marine Corps from 1943 to 1945 and fought at the battles of Tarawa and Tinian. After the war, he operated a trading post in Chinle, Begaye's Corner, and raised three children. His wife, Helen, died in 2008.

He was one of three Code Talkers recognized by President Trump in an event at the White House in November 2017.

Funeral services and arrangements for Begaye are still pending, Nez said.