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Famous Chilocco Indian School Graduates

Famous Chilocco Indian School Graduates
February 09
08:37 2018

Though Yellow Horse played several more years of minor league baseball, arm injuries ended his career. He returned to Oklahoma, working menial jobs. Then, in 1945, he quit drinking cold turkey. He was re-embraced by his tribe and lived the rest of his life without touching another drop of alcohol. Yellow Horse died in 1964.

Page resident Reuben D. Begay, Sr., (Class of 1963) was such an outstanding student that his Chilocco teachers wanted him to go to medical school. But Begay – who reads Carl Sagan, for fun! – opted not to leave his homeland. He retired after nearly 30 years as a chemist for the Navajo Generating Station.

His wife, Bernice Austin-Begay, also had the chance to leave Dinetah. After graduating from Chilocco in 1965, she was offered the chance to join NASA, but turned it down. Austin-Begay spent 48 years as a teacher, the last 22 as the first Navajo language teacher for the Page Unified School District. She is the daughter of noted Navajo medicine man Buck Austin. When Bernice retired, Lake Powell Life News covered the story, visit that in our archives here.

Other notable Chilocco grads include three Medal of Honor winners – Jack Montgomery and Ernest Childers, for World War II service, and Charles George (Korean War) – two former Seminole chairmen, Mitchell Cypress and Howard Tommie, Pawnee silversmith Marlene Riding-InMameah, Navajo Code Talker Keith Little and football player William “Lone Star” Dietz.  The first Navajo graduate of Chilocco was Bertha Shipley in 1915.

 

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