Obituary: Helen Begay Oct. 25, 1933 – Oct. 12, 2021

HELEN BEGAY Oct. 25, 1933 – Oct. 12, 2021

Helen Begay Navajo Clans: Naakaii Dine’é  (Mexican Clan) born for Áshįįhí (Salt Clan)

In beauty may I walk
All day long may I walk
Through the returning seasons may I walk
Beautifully will I possess again
Beautifully birds….
Beautifully joyful birds….
On the trail marked with pollen may I walk
(Diné Prayer)

A wonderful, caring, loving, giving, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother passed away at the age of 87 on October 12, 2021. Helen is now taking her spiritual journey home.

Her passing has been a devastating loss to her family and friends who loved and respected her deeply. Helen’s matriarchal legacy will continue with her family who will maintain her traditional culture and values which were very important to her.

Helen Begay was born October 25, 1933, at Shiprock, New Mexico, on the Navajo Indian Reservation. Her mother Grace Benir was Diné and her father Evans Smith was also Diné.

In 1952, she married Dr. Fred Begay Sr. and they had seven children.

She is survived by her loving family and many relatives from Diné and Ute Mountain tribes; children: Fred Jr., Joyce (Phil), William, Janet (Steve) Terry, Christina, Carolyn (Scott); grandchildren Amber, Crystal , Jade, Justin (Aubry), Yana (Chris), Jeremy (Brandi) Benjamin (Brenda), Kalika, (Jake) Winona, Stephen (Kelly) , Jason (Courtney), Sarah (Patrick), Erick (Bonnie), Michael, Deezbaa, Amanda (Alex), Elizabeth (Manuel); great grandchildren Jacqueline, Helena, Soren, Ivy, Wyatt, Oliver, Everett, Triana, Jace, Brantley, Jade, Kai, Saffron, William, Margaret, Ryan , Krista, Abagail, Adam, Belle, Hannah, Noah, Naomi, Nathaniel, Maddox, Aria, Chiara, Ella, Joseph, Lily, Leah, Jaxon, Abegail, Alyssa, Archer, Jordan and Jewel.  

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting you please send your condolences to: Helen Begay Family, 2480 36th Street, Los Alamos, NM 87544. 

A private burial service has taken place and a memorial service will take place at a later date. You can also contact Joyce Begay-Foss (daughter) at

Spider Rock in Canyon de Chelly in Arizona. Photo by Joyce Begay-Foss