Mary Maya Navarro Dewey

Mary Maya Navarro Dewey

“Mother’s hands were gentle,

They’re missed so very much,

I’d give the world to feel once more

Their warm and tender touch”

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our beloved mother and grandmother, Mary Maya Navarro Dewey, 78, on Sunday, July 7, 2019.

Our mother was born on April 13, 1941 to Miguel Maya and Dionicia Salgado in Mexico. In 1954, she and her father and two sisters migrated to Sunnyside.

In 1956, she married Tony Navarro in California and they came back to make a home in Sunnyside in 1959.

She worked in various jobs starting in agriculture, then as a clerk at J.C. Penney’s and Totem Sales.

In 1970, she married Gerald R. Dewey. They made wonderful memories dancing and sharing time in this world. But life took a change in 1974 when she was offered a position for the Sunnyside School District as a teacher’s aide.

Her love for working with ESL (English Second Language) students for 16 years inspired her to improve herself even further. She would work all day then attend night school, working to receive her education and graduating in 1990 from Heritage College with her BA/MA in Education.

She taught at M.L. King Elementary in Yakima for 15 years. These years of teaching gave her happiness often saying, “she never looked upon it as a job”.

She missed teaching after her retirement in 2005. Her love for teaching was contagious and continues through her daughter and grandson, Tyler that followed in her footsteps. After retiring from teaching, mother would substitute in Grandview and volunteer at Hob’s Thrift Store in Prosser.

Mother was a member of the Fraternal Order of the Eagles in Toppenish, where she met with friends and shared wonderful times laughing and dancing. She loved to read, garden, and keep her home in tip-top shape.

She is survived by her sons, Mario (Christina) Navarro, Richard (Karen) Navarro, Mike Navarro, Robert Navarro, James (Stephanie) Dewey and one daughter, Gloria (Brad) Berk, 13 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren and a very special companion, Mike Reichert.

She was preceded by her father, Miguel Maya, ex-husband, Gerald Dewey, and great-granddaughter, Jenna.

Condolences may be left for the family at her online guestbook at

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