Alden Burch Naranjo Jr.
1941 - 2020
Share Alden's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
Alden Burch Naranjo, Jr. (Blue Sunrise) passed away Sunday, May 3, 2020, in Albuquerque. He was 79 years old.

Alden was born January 3, 1941, to Alden Naranjo, Sr. and Bertha Burch Groves in Ignacio, Colorado.

He grew up in Ignacio, attended Ute Vocational School, graduated from St. Catherine's Indian School in Santa Fe, NM, and attended Merritt College in California. Alden enlisted in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. Over his 40 years working for the tribe, Alden spent 20 years as Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) Coordinator, 16 years as a police officer, two years working for the Division of Wildlife and two years as a probation officer as well as a historian. He was a member of Keepers of the Treasures, which pre-dated NAGPRA. He was a spiritual leader for many tribal members and throughout the world. He traveled the State of Colorado and the world advocating and educating about Native American culture, spirituality and rights. He was the President of the Native American Church of the Southern Ute Indian Reservation and the United States Chapters. Alden was a traditional dancer, a Sun Dancer and participant of his spirituality. Alden's lineage includes Chief Buckskin Charley, Edwin Cloud and Samuel Burch.

He is survived by his children: Starlene Naranjo, Cassandra Atencio, Nelson Naranjo, and Keaton Naranjo; his companion: Lisa Tsuchiya; brother: Terry Naranjo; many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family and wonderful friends.

He is preceded in death by his parents; step-father, Vincent H. Grove; brother, Eugene Naranjo and 2 infant children.

Visitation will be held at Hood Mortuary on Wednesday, May 6, 2020 from 10-4 p.m. - this will be the opportunity for the public to view and pay respects. A wake and NAC ceremony will be held for family only, at his home on Wednesday evening followed by a Sunrise Ceremony on Thursday. A Graveside Service will be held Thursday, May 7, 2020, at 10:00 am, at Ouray Memorial Cemetery. A memorial service will be held in his honor at a later date. Please respect social distancing limitations during all services.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Pine River Times on May 5, 2020.
10:00 - 04:00 PM
Memorial service
Graveside service
10:00 AM
Ouray Memorial Cemetery
Funeral services provided by
Order by phone: (866) 764-7853
Not sure what to say?
7 entries
May 19, 2020
That smile lit up many meetings.
Susan Collins
May 8, 2020
H.Charlie Potter
May 7, 2020
I met Alden over 25 years ago and considered him a friend. I worked for the Rio Grande National Forest doing archeology and worked with him to locate, document and protect Ute sites in the San Luis Valley. I was honored to give a lecture about rock art and stone structures in our area at La Veta 4 years ago, and spoke about the time we visited a sacred site near Del Norte over 15 years ago. He was there and complimented me about my talk. I danced next to him at the Saguache powwow a few years ago, and we had a very good visit. Sad to think that would be our last.
ken Frye
May 6, 2020
Kristy Bearshield
May 6, 2020
Mixed Roses
Send Flowers and Gifts
Sympathy Gift courtesy of
Kristy Bearshield
May 6, 2020
Group of 10 Memorial Trees
Plant Memorial Trees
Sympathy Gift courtesy of
Tracy Younce
May 5, 2020
sherry salazar
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences