Phoenix, AZ—President Ben Shelly has ordered Navajo Nation flags to be flown at half-staff from March 18-21, in honor of the late Navajo Code Talker Lloyd Oliver. He was one of the 29 original code talkers recruited to transmit Navajo coded messages during World War II.
On March 16th Marine Corporal Lloyd Oliver, 88, of Phoenix, Arizona passed away at an Avondale hospice from health complications.
President Shelly stated, “Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Lucille their nine children and families. Cpl. Oliver was one of the last three living original code talkers—we have lost a national treasure and warrior.”
His wife Lucille of 30 years survives him, and five step children: Louanna Hall, Larry James, Vernon Eppinger, Elvert Eppinger and Linda Williams, and two grandchildren. Including four biological children: Lucinda, Daniel, Wally and Violet Oliver from his first wife, who is also deceased.
On behalf of the family, his stepdaughter Louanna Hall said her father was a quiet, kind and giving man, “We will miss his wonderful smile most of all. He loved his family and was very proud to be a Navajo Code Talker, my dad will be sorely missed.”
Born in April 1922, Cpl. Oliver grew up in Tuba City, Arizona and was 19, when he joined the 382nd Marine Platoon in 1942 as a field radio operator. He served as one of the original 29 code talkers who developed and implemented the Navajo code and transmitted messages by radio at Guadalcanal in the South Pacific. He was honorably discharged in 1945, under a vow of silence. Cpl. Oliver received the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Warriors Medal of Valor for his courageous service as a Navajo Code Talker.
After serving in World War II, Cpl. Oliver worked as a silver smith and lived with his wife in Camp Verde on the Yavapai Apache Nation, they later moved to Phoenix to live with stepdaughter Louanna when he became ill in February. A silver bracelet he made is on display at the Heard Museum. He loved to ride his bike, go to the movies and attended the Kingdom of the Valley Church.
Funeral services are pending.