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BIOGRAPHY

Irene Eskey was born in Canyon Diablo, Coconino County, Arizona, United States on 6 April 1910, to parents Selaiya Yazzie Begay’a and Ya’Hannebah Curtis. She lived her entire life on the Navajo Reservation of Northern Arizona, and predominantly spoke the Navajo language.

She married Mike Eskey, and went on to have three children with him. Following her husband’s death in 1974, she continued to live on her own well into her centenarian years, residing in a home without electricity or running water. She was active in her church community in Black Rock, and would often hold large congregations of worshippers near her home, whom she would provide with food. In her later years, she lived with her daughter, who was 86 in 2021.

She passed away in Joseph City, Navajo County, Arizona, United States, on 18 February 2022, at the age of 111. At the time of her death, she was the oldest living Native American.

RECOGNITION

Her age was verified by Jimmy Lindberg, Okiku S., and Stefan Maglov, and was validated by LongeviQuest on 19 April 2024. While she claimed to have been born in 1906, her early life documentation supports a birthyear of 1910.

ATTRIBUTION

* “Celebrating “Women’s History Month” – Shelbyville Times-Gazette, 5 March 2022

GALLERY

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