The Tohono O’odham Nation mourns the passing of a former chairman | News
April 18 marks the passing of Augustin B. Lopez, Sr. who had served as Chairman of the Tohono O’odham Nation from 1971 to 1973.
The following is an executive statement from Dr. Ned Norris, Jr., current Chairman, Tohono O’odham Nation and Wavalene Romero, Vice Chairwoman, Tohono O’odham Nation:
The Tohono O’odham Nation was saddened to learn yesterday of the passing of Augustine B.Lopez, Sr., who served as Chairman of the Tohono O’odham Nation from 1971 to 1973 and was previously Vice Chairman to the late Chairman Thomas Segundo.
When he served as Chairman, Augustine always sought to do his best and serve the interests of the Tohono O’odham. He believed in empowering young people and had great respect for the O’odham Himdag.
A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, he worked as a cowboy, rancher, and an irrigator. He went on serve as Director of the Nation’s Tribal Work Experience Program (TWEP) and established the Nation’s Property & Supply Department.
Never idle throughout his life, he coached little league teams and was a musician, playing instruments such as the violin, drums, guitar and saxophone. He passed his musical gift onto his children. He is survived by his wife Ida and their six living children, who remember him as a “stern funny man” who was always helping people.
Augustine and Ida had recently celebrated 58 years of marriage.
Augustine Lopez, Sr. will lie in state in the Tohono O’odham Nation Legislative Chambers from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, April 22, and will include a Catholic Mass. He will then be taken to his home in the Chui Chu community for an all night wake and be laid to rest on Tuesday morning.
On behalf of the Nation, we offer our deepest condolences to Augustine’s family and friends during this difficult time, while cherishing the inspiring legacy of service and community that he leaves behind.