Former President of the Navajo Nation Thomas Atcitty has died at age 86.
Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer made the announcement Wednesday, saying former President Atcitty died of natural causes on Sunday, Oct. 11.
Atcitty, who was born in 1933, served as Vice President of the Navajo Nation from 1995 to 1998 before serving as President in 1998. He also served seven terms as a member of the New Mexico House of Representatives from 1980 to 1994. From 1972 to 1977, Atcitty served as the President of Navajo Community College, which later became Diné College.
He also served in the U.S. Marine Corps.
“The passing of Honorable Thomas Atcitty is a great loss for our entire Nation. His contributions to our communities and our Nation will never be forgotten. We will always cherish his leadership, compassion, and love for the Navajo people. During this difficult time, we pray for his wife, children, and many other loved ones,” stated Vice President Lizer.
“To his wife Vicky, his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, we offer our prayers and condolences during this difficult time. Honorable Thomas Atcitty leaves behind a great legacy and many long-lasting memories for his family, friends, and all Navajo people. We ask our Creator to bless his family with strength and comfort at this time,” said President Nez.
Funeral services are set to take place Wednesday in Shiprock, New Mexico.
Atcitty leaves behind his wife of 54 years, Vicky, three children, four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.