Juanita "Ninee" Tortice unexpectedly died Monday, May 10, 2021, in Flagstaff, Arizona. She was 63 years old. Ninee was born on Friday, October 16, 1957, in Show Low, Arizona to her parents, the late John Max and Noddy (Early) Tortice.
At a young age, Ninee learned the importance and value of a hard honest day's work by following the example of her own parents. "By the sweat of her brow," she forged a living that greatly blessed her life. She was a graduated member of Alchesay High School's Class of 1977. After high school graduation, Ninee worked for a year or so at the Fort Apache Timber Company. She loved working there and was a friend to many. She worked harder than most and got so much accomplished in a single day's work. A few years later, in 1979, Ninee moved to Salt Lake City, Utah and began working as a waitress at Dee's Burgers. She loved her time there; meeting the public and working alongside some pretty good people. After a few years at Dee's Burgers, Ninee began to thirst for knowledge in a mechanics' world. She enrolled in U.T.E.C where she began to learn how diesel engines work. Her mind was like a sponge and the things she learned at the trade school prepared her for a long 40-year career. She truly became expert in her field, literally, working on thousands of diesel buses throughout her 4 decade employment with the Utah Transit Authority. She made many friends through the years in Utah and they will miss her smile and the positive energy that she was.
Ninee loved taking long car rides to "wherever the wind would take her." Visiting family with surprise visits was always at the top of her list. She loved visiting her family and participating in the various traditional ceremonies on the White Mountain Apache Reservation. She considered her nieces and nephews as her kids. They brought her a great deal of joy and happiness. Some of them recount the time when they drove with Ninee, in her Dodge Dynasty, over and through the sand dunes on the Navajo Nation. Truly a good time was had by all who were on that trip! She was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her faith was sincere, strong and unwavering. She believed that when she was in the service of her fellow beings, she was only in the service of her God. She volunteered of her time and talents to others in need. She even volunteered as a butcher for countless family events including Sunrise Dances and funeral wakes.
Ninee was not one to carry a grudge. She forgave others freely and loved unconditionally. Her family has said of her that she will forever be remembered for "her hugs, signature kisses on the cheek and always an 'I love you...' whenever she parted company. They rejoice in knowing that Families Are Forever.
She is survived by her 4 sisters: Bettina (Raymond) Begay of Phoenix, Lorinda Tortice of Whiteriver, Arizona, Louise Tortice of Salt Lake City, Utah, Lorraine John of Whiteriver, Arizona; several nieces and nephews as well as many grandnieces and grandnephews. Never being blessed with children of her own, Ninee considered her nieces and nephews as her "kids." Along with her parents, she was preceded in death by her siblings: Elena Mataalii, Matthew Tortice, Emerson Tortice, Derl Tortice, Davey Tortice and Shawna Tortice. Ninee loved her family so very much and they all adored her, too.
The public visitation and viewing will from 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M., Friday, May 21, 2021, at Owens Livingston Mortuary - White Mountain Chapel, 320 N. 9th Street in Show Low, Arizona. The funeral service will begin 10:00 A.M., Saturday, May 22, 2021, at the Buck Springs Chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 4075 Buck Springs Road in Pinetop, Arizona where the visitation and viewing will begin one hour prior. The concluding service and interment will immediately follow at the Cooley Mountain Cemetery in Hon-Dah, Arizona.
Saturday, May 22, 2021
9:00 - 9:45 am (Mountain (no DST) time)
Saturday, May 22, 2021
Starts at 10:00 am (Mountain (no DST) time)