Navajo Code Talker Roy Hawthorne, Sr., passed away on Saturday at the age of 92. Navajo Code Talker Hawthorne was born in Ganado, and resided in the community of Tsé Si áni, also known as Lupton, Ariz.
“Code Talker Hawthorne is highly respected,” Navajo Nation President Begaye said. “He was not only a hero and a warrior, but also as a true spokesman who worked on behalf of the welfare of the Navajo Code Talkers consistently. It is a privilege to have known him and I extend my condolences to his family, his fellow Navajo Code Talkers and his comrades.”
“The Navajo Nation Council offers our appreciation and prayers to the family of Roy Hawthorne, for his countless contributions and distinct service for our Navajo people and our country,” stated Speaker LoRenzo Bates.
Hawthorne is Kinłichíí’nii (Red House People Clan) and born for Bilagáana (White People).
He enlisted with the Marine Corps at the age of 17 and began his service as a Code Talker in World War II. Following World War II, Hawthorne then enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in the Korean War.
In September 2015, Hawthorne and Code Talker Samuel Holiday returned to Camp Pendleton where the Navajo Nation Council honored them along with Major General Daniel J. O’Donohue, who serves as the Commanding General of the 1st Marine Division, for their honorable service in World War II. The event marked the first time the two had returned to Camp Pendleton since enlisting with the Marine Corps as young men.
During the event at Camp Pendleton, Hawthorne was presented an honorary coin from the Marine Corps. He spoke during the event and recalled the challenges that he and his fellow Code Talkers dealt with when leaving their homelands and in battle.
“The longer we live, the more we realize the importance of what we did, but we’re still not heroes – not in my mind,” said Hawthorne in 2015.
Council Delegate Raymond Smith, Jr., who represents the community of Tsé Si áni on the Council, also extended condolences to the family of Hawthorne and recalled him as a humble person, who sacrificed for his people and his country.
Code Talker Hawthorne was preceded in death by his wife, Jayne Hawthorne. He is survived by five children and 13 grandchildren.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, April 26 at 5:00 p.m. at Rollie Mortuary in Tse Bonito, N.M., followed by a funeral service on Friday, April 27 beginning at 10:00 a.m. at Tsé Si áni Baptist Church in Lupton, Ariz.