Notable Deaths ›

Dan Akee (1919 - 2016)

Wikimedia Commons / Grand Canyon NPS

Dan Akee (1919 - 2016)

Dan Akee, a World War II veteran and Navajo Code Talker, died Friday, Oct. 14, 2016, according to The Associated Press. He was 96.

No cause of death was given, but Akee died at a hospital with family members at his side, according to Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye.

Akee served in the 4th Marine Division during World War II. He was part of a military program that used native Navajo speakers to transmit codes in the Pacific theater. He took part in operations on four islands, including the Battle of Iwo Jima.

For the vital role they played in the war effort, Navajo Code Talkers are highly respected veterans and tribal members.

Later in life, Akee’s home fell into disrepair. In 2015, he received a $70,000 home renovation from the nonprofit Red Feather Development Group.

“He was just really overcome with emotion when he saw there were people who appreciated his service,” Begaye told The Associated Press.

Akee is survived by his family, including son Dan Akee Jr.

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