News Release

Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President

24th Navajo Nation Council - Office of the Speaker

Navajo Nation Judicial Branch

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, Vice President Myron Lizer, 24th Navajo Nation Council Speaker Seth Damon, and Chief Justice JoAnn B. Jayne, offer condolences to the family of Navajo Code Talker William Tully Brown, who passed away on Monday at the age of 96.

He was born on Oct. 30, 1922 in Black Mountain, Ariz, located approximately five-miles north of Tselani/Cottonwood Chapter. Brown was Tó’aheedlííníí (The Water Flow Together Clan) and born for Tł’ááahchí’I (The Red Bottom People Clan).  

“On behalf of the Navajo people, we offer our thoughts and prayers for the family, loved ones, and community members who had the honor of knowing and sharing the life of Code Talker Brown. The Navajo Nation has lost another great Diné warrior,” said President Nez. 

In 1944, Brown enlisted with the Marine Corps and was honorably discharged in 1946. He received the American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, Navy Occupation Service Medal, World War II Victory Medal, and Honorable Service Label Button. 

“On behalf of the 24th Navajo Nation Council, we extend our most heartfelt condolences to the family of Navajo Code Talker and local civic leader William Tully Brown. We will always honor and remember the sacrifices he made at Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima in the protection of freedom and liberty. Mr. Brown’s contributions to the Tselani/Cottonwood community and the Navajo Nation will always be cherished,” said Speaker Damon.  

Chief Justice JoAnn B. Jayne said, “On behalf of the Judicial Branch and as Chief Justice of the Navajo Nation, I send condolences to the family and friends of William T. Brown. To his family, he was a beloved father, uncle, grandfather, but to many of us, he was a hero. Mr. Brown was a humble man who did not seek recognition but the world now knows of his service to his Nation and his country. We have the power to not forget the contributions of our Navajo Code Talkers. I ask of our people to honor the legacy of our Code Talkers by speaking, learning and teaching our language every day. In this way, they will always be honored and remembered.” 

Brown is the third Navajo Code Talker to pass away since the month of May. 

Vice President Lizer stated, “The Navajo Nation mourns for the loss of our warriors, who utilized our sacred Navajo language to protect the country and Navajo land during World War II. The Navajo Code Talkers shared their lives with each of us and we will forever be thankful.” 

The viewing will be held on Thursday, June 6 at 8:00 a.m. at the Church of Latter-day Saints Chapel in St. Michaels, Ariz., followed by a funeral service at 10:00 a.m. at Fort Defiance Veterans Memorial Cemetery. A reception will follow at the Church of Latter-day Saints Chapel in St. Michaels, Arizona.