Joseph Engavo Jr., age 66, passed on Sunday, October 9, 2016 at his home located at 16 Grove Lane, Fort Washakie, Wyoming surrounded by his family after a long battle with numerous health conditions.
Joe is survived by sisters, Vicki Engavo, Theresa Engavo, Eunice Engavo, and Edith Woodley; brothers, Eric Engavo and Jonathon Engavo; and stepmother, Billie Engavo. He also leaves behind numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Joseph Engavo Jr. is a veteran of the Vietnam War, where he earned several medals, including Silver Star, two Purple Hearts, Bronze Star with V-Device, Vietnam Service Medal with two tours of service, Army Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Combat Artillery Cord, and the Good Conduct Medal. He was born October 31, 1949 at Fort Washakie, Wyoming to Joseph Engavo Sr. and Melissa Compton Olivas. Joe attended Fort Washakie Elementary, and graduated from Lander Valley High School in 1968. After graduation, Joe was drafted in to the United States Army in November 1969. He completed his basic training in Fort Lewis, Washington, Special Forces training in Fort Bragg, North Carolina where trained in Jump School earning Master Jump Wings and HALO (high altitude low opening) School then proceeded on to Vietnam; he served in the Green Beret Special Forces Unit, 5th Special Forces Group HQ 164thACG as an 18B Weapons Sergeant. While serving in Vietnam, Joseph was captured by enemy forces and was held as a Prisoner of War (POW) and was deemed Missing in Action (MIA) for a number of months. He served in the United States Army from November 1969 to January 1972. The discipline and patriotism he learned in the Army never left him, as friends and family will attest.
Employment history included over thirty years of service to the United States Government with the Maintenance Department at the Indian Health Service, as a Police Officer with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the United States Army. He also held numerous other positions.
He was preceded in death by grandparents, Harry and Hazel Engavo, Thomas and Eunice Compton, Harry Bonatsie; parents, Joseph Engavo Sr. and Melissa Compton Olivas; aunts, Mattie Engavo Meeks and Louise Compton Norman; uncles, Sam Engavo, Tony Engavo, Eugene Surrell, Delphine Clair, and Jay, Nick, Sterling, and Lester Engavo; sister, Christine Jones; brothers, Harry and Benjamin Engavo; nieces, Veronica Engavo and two children, Brittney Engavo, and nephew, George Bercier Jr.; and numerous cousins and other relatives.
The Wake Services will be held Thursday, October 13, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. at 16 Grove Lane, Fort Washakie, Wyoming. Funeral Services will be held Friday, October 14, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. at the Rocky Mountain Hall. Arlen Shoyo will be officiating services, and he will be interred in a family plot located north of Fort Washakie.
Services provided by Wind Dancer Funeral Home