PRESS RELEASE – The Navajo Nation Judicial Branch sends condolences to the family of Marilou B. Begaye, retired Judge of the Navajo Nation. Begaye passed on Thursday, September 24, 2020, in Shiprock, N.M., at the age of 74.
Begaye was Kinlichiinii, born for Todik’ozhi. Her maternal grandfather was Tsin Sikaadnii and her paternal grandfather was Tachiinii. She was born Marilou Bitsilli. Her parents were Pauline Pinto Begay and Daniel Yazzie and she grew up in Gadii’ahi, N.M.
Begaye was appointed children’s court Judge by Chairman Peterson Zah and was confirmed for probationary appointment in 1985. She was permanently confirmed in 1989 and retired in 2008 after nearly 23 years in service as a Judge.
Begaye was known for her commitment to families and educating young people, which was reflected in her work. She helped many Navajo families working at DNA Legal Services before becoming a Navajo Nation Judge. After retiring, she was a substitute teacher at Eva B. Stokely Elementary School in Shiprock, N.M.
Begaye was married to Raybert Begaye for 36 years. She has four sons – Donovan Bitsilli, Dwayne Bitsilli, Richard B. Tso and Aldon R. Begaye – six grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Her surviving siblings are Leroy P. Begay and Lorraine R. Atcitty.
Begaye graduated from Fort Wingate High School and earned her bachelor’s degree from Fort Lewis College. She continued her commitment to education after retiring by attending classes at San Juan College in Farmington, N.M.
Services are Thursday, October 1, 2020, in Shiprock, N.M. Due to the pandemic, services will be limited to immediate family.