Louis W. Clah, 89, a proud veteran of the United States Marine Corps, passed
away peacefully, at Crane’s Roost Care Home, at Aztec, New Mexico on
September 17, 2022.
Louis was known by the family as “Louie.” He was a quiet, private man who left
opinions to himself and came across naturally silent because he was often
overshadowed by his louder, strong-willed siblings. Louie often referred to himself
and his brother Willie as the “quiet ones” of the family.
Louie was born in Shiprock, New Mexico on October 29, 1932, and was raised in
the farming area of the Shiprock community. He was second to the last of his six
siblings. His parents and siblings preceded him in death. He was Kin lichii’ni,
born for Hushk’aa hadzohi. His maternal clan was Hashtl’ishnii and his paternal
clan was Bit’ahnii.
He was the son of Deshna Clahchischilliage, second Chairman of the Navajo
Nation, from Teecnospos, Arizona and Evelyn Yazzie from Two Grey Hills, New
Mexico. Louie is survived by his daughter, Malvina Clah. He is also survived by
nieces and nephews and numerous maternal and paternal relatives.
Louie referenced his early years saying, “I was more a farmer than a sheep herder.”
Louie and his siblings helped run the farm at Shiprock, alongside William and
Hanna Howard, who he called his second parents. Louie and his sister Ruth were
under the care of their sister Hanna while their parents attended to Navajo
government business. He often said he learned to listen and be still from them.
Following the educational path of his siblings and cousins, Louie, attended 12
years of school at Navajo Methodist Mission School in Farmington, New Mexico.
He played basketball and football and excelled in track and baseball. He graduated
from the Mission in 1953.
One year after his high school graduation he followed the military path of his
brother and cousins by enlisting into the United States Marine Corp on October 5,
1954, at Camp Pendleton, California. He served four years and then transferred to
the 12th Marine Corps Reserve and Recruitment District on September 18, 1958.
As a reserve at Utah State University, Logan, Utah, he was a Drill Instructor up to