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Arthur Hubbard, Former State Senator and Navajo Code Talker, Dies at 102

Former Arizona State Senator and Navajo Code Talker Arthur J. Hubbard died Friday at age 102, according to a statement from the Navajo Nation Council.

He was born on the Tohono O'odham Nation about three weeks before Arizona became a state, in 1912.

Here's the information released by the Navajo Nation Council:

"Our Nation and Diné Citizens were truly blessed to have had such a highly respected and distinguished warrior on our side that fought for our Nation, both as a Navajo Code Talker and as a state leader," said [Navajo Nation Council] Speaker [Johnny] Naize. "We will always honor and cherish his sacrifices to make our Nation stronger."

Code Talker Hubbard was born on Jan. 23, 1912 in Topawa, Ariz., located on the Tohono O'odham Nation. He later answered the call to enlist with the U.S. Marine Corps and trained hundreds of men to transmit coded messages using the Navajo language during World War II. In 1972, he became the first Native American to be elected to the Arizona State Legislature, serving as a State Senator for 12 years. Sen. Hubbard is recognized for his tremendous contributions in areas such as welfare, education, and health care which benefited many people across the Navajo Nation and the State of Arizona.

Code Talker Hubbard also served as a water rights advisor to the Tohono O'odham Nation, a Navajo culture and language instructor at Arizona State University, and played an instrumental role in establishing Diné College, the first college established within the Navajo Nation.

"My sincerest sympathies go out to the family of Code Talker Arthur Hubbard, Sr., an honorable and kindhearted person who served our country, state, and the Navajo Nation with great integrity," Speaker Naize said.

President Ben Shelly is expected to order the Navajo Nation flag to be flown at half-staff in honor of Code Talker Hubbard.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 11 at Pinnacle Presbyterian Church in Scottsdale. Burial service will take place at 1 p.m. at the Cave Creek National Cemetery.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.

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