Tribe: Former Arizona state senator dead at age 102 - KMSP-TV

Former Senator, Navajo code talker Arthur Hubbard remembered

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Arthur Hubbard, Sr. Arthur Hubbard, Sr.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -

It was a moving final farewell to one of Arizona's most distinguished citizens as funeral services were held Tuesday for 102-year-old Arthur Hubbard, Sr. -- a Navajo code talker instructor who was instrumental in helping win World War II for the allies.

Mr. Hubbard was a man of many accomplishments.

The memorial service at Pinnacle Presbyterian Church in Scottsdale on Tuesday was a time to be sad and reflective, but also to appreciate a life well-lived, for Hubbard Sr. lived a very long time and did some extraordinary things.

"We should all celebrate.. if you are over 100 years old, you have lived your full life and he has done that," said Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly.

Hubbard was born in 1912 in the Tohono O'odham Nation.  He grew up in Ganado in the Navajo Nation.  From there, on to the University of Arizona -- a great trombone player and singer, he led the Navajo tribal band and served in the Marines.

When the second world war arrived, Hubbard became a Navajo code talker instructor, helping devise a code the Japanese couldn't break.

Years later, he was elected to the Arizona State Senate in 1972 and served 12 years.

A 2011 Senate resolution listed Hubbard as the first American Indian to serve in the Senate. Tribal leaders called Hubbard a powerful advocate for American Indians.

"The talks and experiences of his teachings to each and every one of us.. it is a loss, but yet we hold that dear and continue forward," said Hubbard's nephew, Gordon J. Smith.

Through it all, Hubbard remained humble, saying of each accomplishment: there as a job to be done and I did it.

Hubbard helped raise 12 children.  He is in the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame and the Arizona Democratic Party Hall of Fame.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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