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101 years old and going strong

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This is a belated report about my favorite and beloved maternal aunt, Josephine Maire Slinky, who celebrated her 101-year-old birthday party at St. Michaels Mission Hall in St. Michaels, Ariz., July 10 from 2-6 pm.

By her Navajo clanship, she is Riverside and Water Streams Coming Together.

Early in her life, she was uprooted from Chinle Valley Community due to attending Albuquerque Indian School in Albuquerque, N.M. and then moved to Morenci, Ariz., where her husband worked for Morenci Copper Mine until it closed down, and then her final move was to Ft. Defiance, Ariz., where she worked for the Ft. Defiance Indian Hospital until she retired.

She says, “She is enjoying her retirement benefits.”

Many hospital patients who got to know her well as a nursing assistant came to celebrate her birthday and cheered her on for a longer longevity since she comes from a longevity family like her eldest sister who lived to be 107 years old.

She claims that she is in good health according to her doctor, except for getting older day after day.

She attributes her longevity life to being patient and not getting too anxious about life. She also gives a lot of credit to her eldest son, Albert, who resides with her and takes good care of her as a caretaker. Other siblings also come to visit her often and to take care of some of her needs. As a matter of fact, she wants to vote in November for the Navajo Nation and the National Election, but she is not saying whom she wants to vote for since it’s her big secret, perhaps Trump!

In the photo, Josephine is surrounded by her adult children. Standing behind her are her three sons who are: (Left to right) Alex, Fred and Albert and two of her daughters who are sitting with her are: (Left to right) Jeannie and Pearl Day.

Grandma also has several grandchildren and great grandchildren who came to celebrate her birthday.

Many of her blood and clanship relatives came from various parts of the reservation like Chinle, Rock Point, Cross Canyon and Ft. Defiance to celebrate her birthday and they had a lot of Native food to eat like frybread and mutton stew.

She was absolutely happy and grateful that she had a wonderful and joyous 101st birthday celebration.

Irvin Jones,
Gallup, New Mexico