Today is Eddie Benally's birthday. He would have celebrated with his wife, Kelly Benally-Willis, his family, and his friends.
Unfortunately, Eddie caught Covid. After 18 days of fiercely fighting for his life in a hospital in Albuquerque, NM, this Warrior Man had no more fight left. He passed peacefully with Kelly at his side (and daughters via Zoom) on January 12, 2021 - two days before turning 62.
Now, per his wishes, Eddie needs to be transported back to Michigan. An outdoor memorial service is being planned there in the Spring to honor him and his lifelong pursuit of preserving, protecting, and conserving wildlife - or looking after all the critters, as his mom would say. Then Eddie will be laid to rest in a plot he and Kelly chose. Here is a link to his obituary https://www.mortensenfuneralhomes.com/obituary/Eddie-Benally
All this is expensive and a potential burden for Eddie's family. As more plans are made, more expenses are discovered. The family estimates that in total, they are likely to spend $10-15,000. Since Eddie passed in New Mexico, family travel and transporting Eddie and some belongings back to Michigan is needed, in addition to the memorial service and burial costs. In the Spring, out of state family will need to travel to Michigan for the memorial service.
Some money is available from the Navajo Nation but much more is needed. I'm hoping we can honor Eddie's memory by raising $10,000 to support Kelly and the family so they are not burdened by expenses. If transportation and memorial costs are less than what is raised, the remaining money would be used to pay for limestone for Eddie's friend Dennis Christy to make into a headstone. PLEASE NOTE - THE FAMILY REQUESTS THAT YOU DO NOT CONTRIBUTE TO ANY OTHER FUNDRAISER ON EDDIE'S BEHALF, JUST THIS ONE.
Terri Wilkerson, on behalf of Kelly Willis-Benally
Here are some of the costs already identified:
$1,000 transport and flight
$895 plain casket
$4,750 memorial service charge
$200 printed items
Picking up from morgue
Preparation of body for burial
Cemetery costs opening/closing
- Bonnie Bell
- Dinalyn Spears
- Karen (Sky) & Robert Norton
- Janet Cannon
Fundraising team (2)
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