Sky Kaya Nez, 48, of the Standing Row of Pinetree clan and Standing Walnut Tree, of Whiteriver, Arizona was reunited with his departed mother, father, and youngest brother on November 8, 2022. Sky was born on January 23, 1974 to Tinker and Phoebe Nez, and spent his early years in Show Low, Arizona surrounded by his many aunts and uncles.
The oldest of around 40 grandchildren of Grant and Pearl Tortice Lee, Sky always led the way, with panache and gusto! Among his many accomplishments are being Alchesay High School’s Class of “Power 92,” student body president his senior year, graduating from Northern Arizona University with a BA in communications and a minor in business management, being the youngest deejay on 88.1 KNNB Apache Radio at age 13, completing a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Pocatello, Idaho, serving as Editor-in-Chief of the Fort Apache Scout newspaper, traveling to Alaska for a Native radio internship, and visiting Hawai’i, directing the summer Johnson O’Malley work program under the WMAT Education Department, being the first college graduate recipient of the Johns Hopkins University American Indian Public Health Certificate, and presenting to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York City. He indeed magnified his many talents on earth, and was renowned as a jeweler, writer, poet, photographer, painter, and baker. The White Mountain Apache Culture Center and Museum hosted an exhibit of his work in 2014. He was also a member of the Native American Journalists Association.