Christian 08

Mary Sombrero Begay

September 12, 1931 ~ September 22, 2021 (age 90)


Mary Sombrero Begay was born to Paul Allen and Annie Mable Begay as their 7th child on September 12, 1931, at Shonto Canyon Edge as they brought up a flock of sheep after being dipped/treated.

Her clan are Kinlichiinii, born for Naashtezhi Tabaaha, Honaghaani bi Cheii aadoo Tachiini bi Nali.

She has 6 older siblings who preceded her in death in the 1920ish pandemic. Then she had 5 younger siblings; Susie/deceased as a child, Keith Allen, Kee (Kenneth) deceased in 2018, Susan Y. Tate, Joey decreased in 1973.

Education: Sherman Indian School, Riverside, CA; Stewart Indian School, NV; Culinary Summer School while on summer furlough at Ft. Lewis College, Durango, CO; Albq, NM, Tempe, AZ: Indian Bible College, Flagstaff, AZ; 1978 graduate and Traffic School for minor violations.

Work History: Governess, Governors Mansion, Reno, NV, Tonalea Day School, Tuba City Boarding School, Shonto Boarding School, Kayenta Boarding School, NAU, Flagataff, AZ

1 night at Purina Dog Chow and simply fell asleep on the job so fired.

In 1950 she married James Gene Phillips after he wrote a letter requesting permission from her parents in Carson City, NV.

Her children are Gina Gene Phillips Blake, James Gene Phillips, Jr., our deceased youngest brother Jonathan Orville (1964-2020).

She has 11 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren, and 1 great/great-grandson Jesse who loved taking her grocery shopping as a toddler.

In the late 1950s, she interpreted for the Missionaries named Leland/Sarah Barton, Malcolm/Miriam Robinson, Gerald-Esther Mason, Mr/Mrs. Arnold Studebaker at the Inscription House Mission or on home visits.

We saw our mother do the above-average work with livestock. She tended sheep, round up the Hereford Cattle, and had expert horsemanship. Always helping her folks with the ranch to ensure that one day her siblings would continue passing on the livestock to their children. As they all had 6-8 children in stepladder fashion to keep them occupied. She had the ability to make short work of butchering anything edible from cows, deer/elk, turkey, chicken, rabbit, and porcupine.

And she had her mother’s green thumb. Her cornfield farm in the canyon yielded a variety of apples, peaches, apricots, grapes, squash, corn, and hay to bake for winter.

Our mother was truly a Proverbs 31:10-31, a lady of action. Demonstrated through her ambition, adventurous living, and army-strong discipline yet adored each of her children as favorites.

She had a very active and healthy lifestyle to make it to her 90th birthday and peacefully entered into her Savior’s presence at 7 am on September 22, 2021.

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