PHOENIX: (602) 906-9600 | PEORIA: (623) 486-1955

Date of Birth: May 08, 1941

Date of Death: December 11, 2020

During the time of 1968, Roselyn, John, and their children moved to Kayenta, AZ and lived near town just across the Laguna Creek Bridge, where John become a preacher and Roselyn became a preacher's wife. Roselyn and her family lived in Kayenta as permanent residents where their children, Jonathan, Jonah, Shawna, and Lorna went to school at Monument Valley High School. While John, the church pastor, was the voice of the church meetings and tent revivals, it was Roselyn who became the backbone of the ministry by holding up the ongoing planning, record keeping and ministry correspondence. Many wives have been a pastor's assistance and were often expected to do the hard work of keeping the church and ministry alive and to help the people who came every day knocking on the door of the family home. Through all this, many preacher's wives endured what is now known as domestic violence but kept it hidden for the sake of the church and ministry for people in need. Roselyn and all other preacher's wives are little recognized for being the backbone of a ministry and deserve to be thanked and shown appreciation for their work. Roselyn also learned to speak Navajo while she lived in Kayenta so she could speak with the people coming to church and to coordinate church gatherings and revivals, as well as speaking with weekly visitors and the people of Kayenta in need of help. Roselyn held a few jobs while she lived in Kayenta but she is most remembered for her own business when she would sell yeast bread by Kayenta Trading Post. Through her yeast bread business she was able to buy her first car from Tuba City. After John's ministry with the church ended, he and Roselyn continued to live in Kayenta and they had a homesite on the other side of Laguna Creek Bridge. Their time together was not easy and eventually, in 1990, Roselyn felt that she had to move away. After several weeks of not knowing where to go for help, Roselyn began living in a women's shelter in Mesa, Arizona. This is when she started to work toward living on her own and enrolled in Job Readiness Training. Although Kayenta was her home, Roselyn had to get a job in Phoenix to support herself. She was hired by Chief Dodge in Scottsdale Arizona and learned about Native American jewelry, rugs, and pottery. When Roselyn found out that her husband John was severely sick, she left Chief Dodge and went back to Kayenta to take care of him. After he became healthy again, their time together became difficult again. In 1992, Roselyn decided to go to college in Flagstaff Arizona at Northern Arizona University. Again she went back home to Kayenta to take care of her husband John for a short time and went back to college to study for a degree in Criminal Justice. While studying at NAU, Roselyn worked with Student Support Services as a Peer Advisor to help Navajo students and other students from dropping out of college. She also worked with the NAU Police Records Department and received some training in the use of a Glock gun. She was also recommended by the police department to become a police officer after she earned her degree. In 1996, Roselyn graduated with a degree from NAU with a major in Criminal Justice Magna cum Laude and a minor in Navajo Language. Although she was asked by a law firm to work with them in California and the law firm was willing to help her become a lawyer, Roselyn decided again she wanted to be back home in Kayenta. During this time in Kayenta, Roselyn worked as a bank teller with Norwest Bank which later became a Wells Fargo bank. After a year, she had to leave Kayenta again and find a place to sleep in Phoenix. She later went on to work as an admin temp worker to gain experience and worked for a lawyer, an airline legal administrator, and was being mentored by a judge. She finally found a permanent job with the Maricopa STAR center as an information specialist helping people through the Maricopa County Superior Court system. She lived with each of her son's and later she had a cozy rental of her own that she was living in. Not long after, her husband John also had to stay in Phoenix due to lung disease and not being able to breathe in the higher elevation of Kayenta. He moved in with her and he could not live with her peacefully so they both moved out. John decided to live with various local churches that had a spare room. Roselyn moved in with her oldest son. After several months, the oldest son asked Roselyn if it was okay for John to live with them, and Roselyn hesitantly agreed. While living together, John came to realize how much hurt he had caused and deeply apologized to Roselyn. He died of uranium poisoning, but he died knowing that he deeply loved his family and knowing that his wife truly loved him. Roselyn missed him greatly and almost did not live through the grieving she felt in wanting to be with John. Soon after, Roselyn retired. She then lived with her daughter, Shawna, in Tucson to help Shawna get through a hard part of her life. Roselyn and Shawna were working on getting the homesite lease in Kayenta fixed up with a mobile home through the township office as well as utilities through NTUA. When John died, the house on the homesite was considered unlivable by the Kayenta township and was torn down. Roselyn was told she had to have a home before the utilities could be put in. Shawna was diagnosed with cancer and Roselyn stayed with her until Shawna passed away and was buried with family in Shiprock, New Mexico in May 2019. Roselyn had a heart attack during the memorial service for Shawna in Kayenta and was flown to Flagstaff for heart surgery. Roselyn moved out of Tucson and moved in with her oldest son, Jonathan, in Phoenix so she could be near the medical care she needed for her heart and her eyes. Roselyn added Jonathan to the homesite lease and they both started working on getting a mobile home ready for them to live in on their homesite lease to live near friends and travel to nearby family. In October of 2020, a mobile home was found and in November the home was nearly ready to be moved onto the homesite. In November 2020, Roselyn was still grieving for the loss of her daughter, Shawna, and by then had no appetite for food and water. Her health declined and, after several visits to the hospital, she was diagnosed with cancer. She started chemo treatment and was given an 85% chance of recovery and full remission. However, she died unexpectedly from kidney damage and renal failure. She said “I know God promised me a home in Kayenta and I know he did make it happen. I don't need to see it happen to know he kept his promise. I just want to go home and be with Shawna and John”. Roselyn wished to be cremated just like her daughter, Shawna. She also wanted to to have the same urn and headstone as John and Shawna. She is survived by her sisters and brothers, and by her two sons with their children, as well as two great-granddaughters. Roselyn's grandchildren often called her Nana. There will be a memorial service and burial service for her in Shiprock NM sometime in the summer or early fall of 2021 after the Covid pandemic restrictions allow for financial recovery, travel, and burial gatherings. Family and friends of Roselyn and her family are very much welcome to attend.

Service Information

Roselyn Thompson, age 79, of Kayenta Arizona passed away on December 11th,2020 in Phoenix AZ at the home of her son, Jonathan Thompson. She passed away suddenly due to kidney failure as a result of cancer. Roselyn was born May 8th, 1941. She was married to John L. Thompson (deceased) and had two sons and two daughters. Roselyn wished to be cremated just like her daughter, Shawna. She also wanted to to have the same urn and headstone as John and Shawna. She is survived by her sisters and brothers, and by her two sons with their children, as well as two great-granddaughters. Roselyn's grandchildren often called her Nana. There will be a memorial service and burial service for her in Shiprock NM sometime in the summer or early fall of 2021 after the Covid pandemic restrictions allow for financial recovery, travel, and burial gatherings. Family and friends of Roselyn and her family are very much welcome to attend.