|Birth: ||Jun. 2, 1918|
|Death: ||May 28, 2010|
Navajo Code Talker, World War II.
Active in sports during his early years, Lemuel Yazzie played high school football at the Albuquerque Indian School where he graduated in 1939. Also a boxer, he won five AAU championship titles in his weight class. After high school he got his professional boxing license, boxing throughout California. He won all 35 of his professional matches until a hand injury ended his boxing career.
Returning to northern Arizona he married Dorothy Hardia in 1940.
He joined the U.S. Marine Corps in September 1944, serving in the 4th Marine Division and the 6th Marine Division as a radio telephone operator, and was honorably discharged in April 1946.
For the next 20 years, Lemuel Yazzie worked as a diesel machinist for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway until he resigned to attend the Indian Bible Academy in Cottonwood, Arizona.
Graduating from the Indian Bible Academy in 1966, he and his family moved to Flagstaff, Arizona where he worked at the Mount Elden Conference grounds. Both Yazzie and his wife were commissioned in 1971 by the Conservative Baptist Home Mission Society of Wheaton, Illinois as missionaries to the Navajo people.
Ordained as the Reverend Lemuel B. Yazzie, he moved with his family to the Whitecone area where he established the Tse' Bii' Osteel Bible Church. He remained in the area working as a rancher and continued to serve as a missionary until retiring from the Baptist Home Mission Society in 1987. The Indian Bible College of Flagstaff bestowed him with an honorary doctorate degree.
He was an active member of the Navajo Code Talkers Association, traveling and participating in Code Talker events. He received the Congressional Silver Medal for his service in 2002.
Upon his death, Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley, Jr. ordered flags on the Navajo Nation to be flown at half-staff in his honor from June 3 thru June 6, 2010. Said Mr. Shirley in a proclamation issued June 3, "The late Reverend Lemuel B. Yazzie was a renowned Navajo Code Talker who served the United States of America, the U.S. Marine Corps, and the Navajo Nation during World War II with courage, honor and distinction. The Reverend Yazzie endured the horrors of combat during the occupation of China and was in a radio platoon in a forward echelon against hostile forces."
Reverend Yazzie died at his home at the age of 91. His wife preceded him in death in 2007.
Funeral services were held June 5, 2010 at the Tse' Bii' Osteel Bible Church.
Funeral Escort by the Navajo-Hopi Honor Riders.
Fort Defiance Veterans Memorial Cemetery
Created by: O'side Native
Record added: Jun 16, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 53759703