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Navajo Nation pays tribute to the life, service of former Arizona Rep. Sylvia Laughter

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WINDOW ROCK, ARIZ. Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer issued a proclamation on Oct. 20, in honor and remembrance of Sylvia Laughter, a member of the Navajo Nation, who served as an elected member of the Arizona House of Representatives from 1999 to 2005 representing part of the Navajo Nation. Laughter passed away peacefully with family at her side on Oct. 15.

Laughter was originally from Baby Rocks, Ariz. on the Navajo Nation. She is Kinyaa’áanii (Towering House Clan) and born for Táchii’nii (Red Running into the Water Clan). Her maternal grandfather is Tábąąhá (Water’s Edge Clan) and her paternal grandfather is Tł 'ízí lání (Manygoats Clan).

Nez spoke about how Laughter dedicated her life to public service.

“Honorable Sylvia Laughter dedicated her life to public service for the Navajo people and the citizens of Arizona. She comes from a family of strong and influential leaders who committed their lives to helping others. Her work as a state legislator impacted the lives of our elders, youth, veterans, families, and many others in our communities and beyond,” Nez said.

He also gave condolences to her family.

“She built a lasting legacy that we hold close to our hearts. We offer our thoughts and prayers to her family, friends, colleagues, and everyone whose lives were touched by our leader,” Nez said.

As a State Representative, Laughter advocated and secured key funding that benefited many elders, veterans, and families residing on the Navajo Nation. She also sponsored legislation that led to the creation of the Navajo Nation license plate that continues to provide revenue for transportation priorities. She also led the effort to recognize the Navajo Code Talkers with the development of honorary memorials in the capital of the Navajo Nation and in the city of Phoenix.

“Our veterans, elders, and youth held a special place in the heart of our leader, the Honorable Sylvia Laughter. As her family, friends, and colleagues grieve for the loss of a great leader, we offer our heartfelt condolences and prayers for strength and comfort. She led a life of service and commitment for our people. May her service and contributions to our communities live on in the hearts and minds of all of our Diné people,” Lizer stated.

The funeral service for Sylvia Laugher is scheduled for Oct. 22 at 11 am at Bunker Family Funeral Home, 3529 E. University Dr., Mesa, Ariz. A viewing will be held prior to the funeral service beginning at 10 am. The family is also accepting donations through their GoFundMe page https://gofundme.com/sylvia-laughter or via Zelle at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .