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Carl Jenkins Begay Sr.

March 30, 1942 ~ June 24, 2018 (age 76)

Carl Jenkins Begay Sr. passed away peacefully in his home in San Leandro, CA the evening of June 24, 2018 surrounded by family at the age of 76.


Carl was born in Smoke Signal, AZ to his mother Tsinnijinnie Bitsi’ and father Tsinnijinnie Bedoni in spring of 1942 into the Natoh Diné Taachiinii for Kinyaanii clans. The Bureau of Indian Affairs assigned his name, and two birthdays, March 15 and March 30, the second being the birthday he would celebrate.


He was raised with his family in a traditional way, hunting, farming and tending sheep until the age of 12 when he was separated and sent to Fort Sill Indian School in Lawton, OK, then Intermountain Boarding School in Brigham City, UT, and later Sherman Institute in Riverside, CA. While at Fort Sill, he had someone who spoke Navajo write a letter in English to his family to be read at the Smoke Signal Trading Post and translated back into Navajo, as his family had not known where he was sent. While at Sherman, he ran away, but was caught in Yuma, AZ and sent back.


After seven years of education, he was forced into the BIA Relocation Program to learn a trade and assimilate into mainstream urban life. While on his way to the Gallup, NM train station, he was given the choice of Cleveland, OH, or Oakland, CA. He was relocated to Oakland in 1962 where he met many Navajos and other American Indians on relocation. There, he made a friend who introduced him to his girlfriend’s friend, Sandra Bibancos Montgomery of Hoopa, also on relocation.


The two went on a blind date, began a friendship and married May 2, 1964 in Reno, NV. They began a family and purchased a home in 1970 in San Leandro, CA. On relocation, he learned drafting as a trade. He used the skill to gain employment, and instilled a strong work ethic in his sons. He worked for various rubber and gasket companies and eventually owned his own business. He was married to Sandra for 35 years until her death March 10, 2000.

Carl was an avid fan of the Oakland A’s, 49ers, the WWE and all western tv programs. He enjoyed going to Rolling Stones Concerts with his son Jason. His home was always filled with music from his favorite artists Marty Stuart, Johnny Cash, and Elvis, and he was known for his James Brown dance moves. He enjoyed being in Hoopa, spending time in the mountains, whether it was fishing, camping, mushrooming with his brothers-in-law. He loved building bonfires and sharing a few drinks with family and friends. He leaves behind his animals, Stella, Winston, Daisy and Charlie.


He was preceded in death by his wife Sandra Begay; her parents Woodrow and Josefa Montgomery; his parents Tsinnijinnie Bitsi’, Tsinnijinnie Bedoni; brothers Denny Lee, Henry Bahe Sr.; sister Mary Tom; brothers-in-law Augustine Bibancos, Floyd Montgomery, and Allen Montgomery.


He is survived by his sisters-in-law Marie Lee of Low Mountain, AZ, Sharon Bibancos and Lauren Hoaglen (Wildean); brother-in-law Russell Montgomery (Mildred), all of Hoopa. Sons, Carl Begay Jr. (Kayla) of Eureka, Jason Begay (Desiree) of San Leandro and Nolan Begay (Carmeli) of Hoopa. Grandchildren Raymond, Helena and Rylan Begay. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews of the Hoopa Valley Tribe and Navajo Nation.

Pallbearers are Danny Jordan, Leland Jordan, Russell Montgomery, Joey Montgomery, Augustine Montgomery, Roger Bibancos, Chance Carpenter III, and Chance Carpenter IV.

A visitation will be held on July 6, 2018 at Sanders Funeral Home in Eureka, California from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Services will be held at the Hoopa First Baptist Church, Hwy 96 at 11 am on Saturday, July 7. Burial will be at the Montgomery family cemetery on Pine Creek Rd. Reception to be held at the Hoopa Fire Department Classroom, Hwy 96.

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