Jun 072013

Richard S. Begay, 69, passed away on Saturday, June 1, 2013, in Panguitch, Utah. Funeral services were held June 5 at Greer’s Mortuary Chapel in Winslow. Interment followed at Desert View Cemetery in Winslow.
He was born July 15, 1943, in Piñon. His clans were Tłiziłani, born for Hash kąą hadzohí. His Nali is Kinyá anii and his Chei is Ma’iideeshgiizhnii.
Richard graduated from Chilocco Indian School, where he lettered in many sports and was in the National Honor Society.
He worked for Southwest Industries for 10 years. He was self-made entrepreneur and businessman specializing in Navajo silversmithing. He is credited as the first to do storyteller bracelets and channel work. He was a master of mosaic inlay and double layer inlay. One of his Concho belts is displayed in the permanent collection at the National Museum of the American Indian at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. His work can also be found in the permanent collection at the Heard Museum in Phoenix. He has work published in Gregory Schaaf’s book American Indian Jewelry I. He was also a Navajo composer and recording artist, and was nominated for a Grammy.
Survivors include his wife, Rita Begay; seven children, Beverly Begay, Philbert Begay, Ivan Begay, Amos Begay, Delbert Begay, Regina Blackhorse and Renita Begay; and 18 grandkids, Brittany Begay, Chayenne Begay, Tyana Begay, Nicholas Begay, Zachary Begay, Alexandria DuMarce, Vanessa Begay, Lawrence Begay, Terrance Begay, Andrew Begay, Seneca Begay, Talon Begay, Ashleigh Begay, Matthew Begay, Kaylee Begay, Nataanii Blackhorse, Makayla Herrera and Tahnibaa Herrera.
He was preceded in death by his father, Attakai Begay; his mother, Jane S. Begay; his sister, Lena Begay; his brother, Nelson Begay; and his sister, Serena Ben.