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Obituary Honoring Victor Beck Sr.

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Honoring Victor Beck Sr.

KAYENTA, Ariz. Speaker Seth Damon and the 24th Navajo Nation Council offer their condolences to the family of renowned Diné silversmith, respected community leader, and former Council Delegate Victor Beck Sr., who passed away at the age of 80.

Victor Beck Sr. is Tl’izi Lani (Many Goats Clan) and born for ‘Áshhi (Salt People Clan). He was born on Oct. 2, 1941 and was originally from Pinon, Ariz. Raised on the central portion of the Navajo Nation, he served from 1979 to 1983 as the Council Delegate representing the Pinon Chapter.

As an artist, he received several notable recognitions that included the Ted Charveze Memorial Award, and the Best of Division & Classification in Jewelry from the Heard Museum. In 2003, Mr. Beck was published in the Arizona Highways Magazine and was selected as an Arizona Living Treasure for his contribution in preserving Navajo culture through artwork.

Mr. Beck started silversmithing after taking classes at Northern Arizona University and SUNY-New Paltz in the early 1970s. As a Council Delegate, he assisted in the establishment of the Piñon Unified School District and advanced legislation to create the Whippoorwill Chapter House.

Victor Beck Sr. was laid to rest Feb. 21. He is survived by his children, Kehazbaa Beck, Nanibaa Beck, Victor Beck Jr., his sisters Mary Lucy Beck, Emily Begay, Marilyn Beck, and grandson Nathan Victor Benzie. The late Ester and Clifford Beck Sr. of Pinon, Ariz. were his parents.

His late wife Eleanor Beck passed away in 2016 and is remembered as a beloved matriarch who also was a silversmith and enjoyed attending Native American art shows across the country.

Council Delegate Jimmy Yellowhair and Delegate Nathaniel Brown officially presented a Navajo Nation Flag to the family to honor his years of service to the Navajo people and to the art world.