Navajo Nation Council observes passing of Sophie Yazzie at 105

Pictured: Sophie Yazzie, Navajo Nation, c. 1914 – Jan. 25, 2020.(Photo: 24th Navajo Nation Council - Office of the Speaker)

Press Pool

Sophie Yazzie passed away on January 25, 2020

News Release

24th Navajo Nation Council - Office of the Speaker

Sophie Yazzie (c. 1914 – Jan. 25, 2020), 105, passed on Saturday, January 25, 2020. Sophie is remembered as a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother who was a member of the Navajo Nation that served in World War II.

“On behalf of the 24th Navajo Nation Council, I wish to express the solemn observance of the passing of Miss Sophie Yazzie. It is with hearts full of deep regard for her service to our Nation that we recognize the true blessing her soul was to our People. May her legacy continue to be a guiding light of service, dedication, and the ultimate fulfillment of a life truly well-lived,” said Speaker Seth Damon.

Pictured: A youthful Sophie Yazzie in uniform during her term of service in the Women’s Army Corps in World War II. Sophie passed at the age of 105 on January 25, 2020.
Pictured: A youthful Sophie Yazzie in uniform during her term of service in the Women’s Army Corps in World War II. Sophie passed at the age of 105 on January 25, 2020.(Photo: 24th Navajo Nation Council - Office of the Speaker)

Sophie Yazzie was a decorated veteran of the Women’s Army Corps, formerly called the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps. She enlisted in 1943 and rose to the rank of Technician Fourth Grade (Sergeant) in the 734th WAC. She was trained as a cook and nurse.

“It is sad to learn that we have lost a Navajo woman warrior. We express our sincere condolences and offer support to her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. It is with great gratitude to know she served with great honor and was a noble example to her family and extended relatives. We join them to remember her as a Navajo Veteran and many Navajo veterans who to this day protected our right to free speech, the right to vote, to assemble and freely exercise our beliefs.,” said Health, Education, and Human Services Committee Chair Daniel E. Tso.

Sophie Yazzie had her home in Canyon De Chelly, which was also described as her birthplace, recounted Chinle Chapter Council Delegate Eugene Tso.

“Sophie was well known, and she was a person who inspired many people. She motivated many lives and was kind and generous to all. She attended community meetings and got her issues and concerns across in a strong, kind hearted manner. We knew Sophie as a loving family lady that was admired by whoever she met,” said Delegate Eugene Tso.

Sophie Yazzie married Jordan B. Yazzie in 1945 and together they had four children. After she was honorably discharged, she became a cook at Wingate Boarding School until her retirement. She is acknowledged as the longest-living veteran in the State of Arizona.

The Navajo Nation Council extends its recognition to Sophie Yazzie on her long life.

“It is said that living to see the age of 102 is one of the greatest blessings in our Diné (Navajo) worldview. Są’ąh naaghéí ashkii dóó bik’eh hózhó at’ééd (the Diné figures of Long Life and Happiness) are present in our sacred ceremonies. In this way, Sophie’s presence among our People was also a prayer and a blessing,” said Tónaaneesdizí (Tuba City) Chapter Governance Council Delegate Otto Tso. “Sá Baahóózhó Yik’iiyáá, she came across and lived a very good life,” he said.

Those seeking to provide donations of support may submit them to: Karen Kuciver C/O Kathleen Lampert, 6110 East 30th Street, Tucson, Arizona 85711.

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(Image: 24th Navajo Nation Council - Office of the Speaker)
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