Navajo Code Talker Sidney Bedonie passed away on Sunday June 8, at the age of 87. Bedonie was born on March 10, 1927 in the community of Navajo Mountain in Utah.
Mr. Bedoni leaves behind his wife Lena, four children, seven grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will take place on June 16 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Winslow, Ariz. at 11 a.m. Bedoni will be buried at the Arizona National Cemetery in Cave Creek.
“It is always disheartening to learn of the passing of a great warrior and protector of our people,” said Navajo Nation Speaker Pro Tem LoRenzo Bates on behalf of the Navajo Nation Council. “We are grateful for his tremendous service and sacrifices for our country and our people.”
Code Talker Bedoni bravely enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps at the young age of 15 years old, proudly serving as a Navajo Code Talker from 1942 to 1946. He also served in the U.S. Army and received several medals including the Korean Service Medal, for his courageous defense of our country during the Korean War.
Following his military service, Bedoni was employed as an explosives operator at the Navajo Army Depot and for the State of Arizona before eventually settling in the community of White Cone with his wife Lena Bedoni, and four children.
Council Delegate Elmer Begay (Dilkon, Greasewood Springs, Indian Wells, Teesto, Whitecone), who represents White Cone, also paid tribute and expressed his gratitude.
“On behalf of my communities, I would like to say ‘Ahe’hee’” to the family of Mr. Bedonie and to let them know that they are in our thoughts and prayers,” said Delegate Begay. “We are proud that he used our unique and great Diné language to defend our country.”
In 2001, he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, and later awarded the Silver Medal of Honor for his outstanding and dedicated service as a Code Talker.
Council Delegate Jonathan Nez (Shonto, Navajo Mountain, Oljato, Ts’ah Bii Kin) also extended heartfelt condolences to Bedoni’s family and expressed appreciation for his valuable service.
“Mr. Bedoni lived a proud and honorable life―a life in which he answered the call of duty when his country needed him the most and for which he sacrificed to shield our country and our Navajo way of life,” stated Delegate Nez.
On Monday, President Ben Shelly ordered all flags on the Navajo Nation to be flown at half-staff in honor of Code Talker Sidney Bedoni, from sunrise on June 10 to sunset on June 13.