Samuel-Tom Holiday-Obituary

Samuel Tom Holiday


ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) — Samuel Tom Holiday, one of the last surviving Navajo Code Talkers, died in southern Utah Monday surrounded by family members who raised money through a crowdfunding campaign to be by his side.

He was 94.

Holiday was among hundreds of Navajos who used a code based on their native language to transmit messages in World War II. The Japanese never broke it.

He was 19 when he joined the Marine Corps and became a part of operations in several locations across the Pacific during the war, according to The Spectrum. A mortar explosion left him with hearing loss, but he would later tell family that he always felt safe during battle because of a pouch around his neck holding sacred stones and yellow corn pollen.

He received a Congressional Silver Medal, a Purple Heart and other recognition for his action during the conflict.

After the war, Holiday returned to the Navajo reservation and worked as a police officer, a ranger and later started his own equipment company. He married Lupita Mae Isaac and had eight children. In 2013, Holiday co-wrote a book about his experience as a Code Talker called "Under the Eagle."

Fewer than 10 Code Talkers are believed to be alive today. The exact number is unknown because the program remained classified for several years following the war.

Holiday spent his later days living at the Southern Utah Veterans Home in Ivins, Utah.

Shortly before his death, family members turned to the crowdfunding site GoFundMe to raise $4,000 to be able to visit him in hospice care. The Navajo Nation said he was surrounded by friends and family when he died.

There will be a viewing at the Hughes Mortuary in St. George, Utah, on Thursday and funeral services in Monument Valley on Friday, according to the Navajo Nation Council.

Holiday will be buried at a veterans' cemetery in the Navajo community of Kayenta, Arizona, next to his wife.

The library at the Kayenta Middle School is named for Holiday.

He is survived by six children, 35 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

We invite you to share condolences for Samuel Tom Holiday in his Guest Book.

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Guest Book

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Whenever a Purple Heart Patriot leaves us, we know, only too well, that sacrifice made for his comrades, his loved ones and his Nation. Our members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 549 Monterey Bay render a final Salute.
Respectfully, Gerald Pitman Commander, MOPH Ch. 549, Monterey Bay

Semper Fidelis Brother, Fair Winds and Following Seas, thank you for coming before me, to show me and set a standard for Marines everywhere, you were our mentors and examples, we will always keep you in our hearts and thoughts, may you spend the rest of your days in peace with the Creator.

Thank you for your service.

Thank you for your invaluable service to our Country.May you rest in peace with your loving
wife and in Gods light

I am very proud of Mr. Holiday's courage he displayed at such a young age. I give my condolences to his family, The Navajo Nation, and his many friends who surrounded him by his bedside when he passed away.

The Marines and Corpsmen of the Pierce County Detachment #504 Marine Corps League, Share in Your Loss. Rest in Peace Marine, Semper Fi!

Sincerest condolences to the Holiday family.

May you keep your hearts full of wonderful memories and know that the Hearer of Prayer is listening to your tears of sorrow and know that he provides peace and comfort to the downhearted.

J Tyler

While I've not had the PLEASURE of meetiieng Mr. Holiday. . . . . I have DEEP respect for the man and his SERVICE to this country.

My sincere sympathies and SORROW for those in the family and I DEEPLY revere his heroism and contribution to this country.

PEACE and BLESSINGS to ALL of you who morn, but know that he is in a place where he is Blessed, Happy, Joyful and at PEACE with our Father.



My father, Navy soldier during war, spoke of the Navajo Code Talkers when we were children; he spoke with pride and respect for the Navajo. He is no longer with us; our families carry the respect and admiration he was so proud of. Rest in Peace Samuel Tom Holiday. Thank you for your contribution to this country, your country.