Barbara Gipe Jones
Barbara Gipe Jones, 79, died Sept. 6, 2008, at Mount Graham Regional Medical Center due to complications from hip surgery. The family sincerely thanks the staff of the medical center for all of their care and efforts on her behalf.
Barbara was preceded in death by her husband, Edward E. Jones; her parents, Clayton M. and Mary E. Gipe; and her sister, Kathleen (Betsy) Gipe. She is survived by her son, Dale Jones of Albuquerque, N.M.; her sister, Mary Ann Clark of Green Valley; niece Dianne Roberts of Sahaurita; nieces Doris Clark and Donna Kallal and nephew Walter Clark, all of Tucson; and longtime best friends Mike and Julie Gunnett and Melda Floyd, all of Safford.
After Ed's death in 1992, Barbara became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Barbara was born March 27, 1929, in Ruby, a small mining town south of Tucson. She was the first Caucasian child born in Ruby. She was raised during harsh times and conditions and, like her parents and sisters, became smart, strong and independent. However, she was also a gentle, compassionate, caring and generous woman and was always considerate of others' situations and feelings.
Barbara married Ed on June 20, 1953, and in 1960, she, Ed and Dale moved to Safford. They soon took up residence at 400 W. Cuatro Cerros Road in Artesia, where Barbara lived until her death. Ed worked at the Federal Prison on Swift Trail, Dale attended Safford schools, and Barbara worked with Melda at Rogge's Meats in Safford.
Barbara loved maintaining her family and home, hunting for snakes and arrowheads, digging for old bottles, hiking and picnicking in the desert and on Mount Graham, raising numerous dogs and cats, and gardening. She could grow almost anything and acquired a passion for African violets. At one time, she sold African violets to one of the nurseries in Safford, and many of her violets have graced homes in the Valley. When you see an African violet, think of Barbara.
Cremation has taken place, and a memorial service will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Barbara's name to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital (501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or HYPERLINK "mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org" email@example.com), the Shriners Hospitals for Children (2900 Rocky Point Drive, Tampa, FL 33607 or firstname.lastname@example.org) or the charity of your choice.
J Lewis (JL) Olsen
May 4, 1934 – Nov. 20, 2008
JL was born in Safford to Lewis and Vivian Olsen. He was raised there and graduated from Safford High School in 1952. After graduation, JL entered the U.S. Air Force and was stationed in Germany as an occupational trooper. He met his first wife, Lisa, in Germany, and to that union two sons were born. JL and Lisa were later divorced.
JL worked for Frontier Airlines from 1959 until its demise in 1986. He then worked for Samaritan Village Apartments until retirement.
JL married the love of his life, Beverly, in 1973. They enjoyed summers in West Yellowstone, Mont., and winters in Phoenix while working for Frontier until moving to Boise, Idaho, in 1979. JL enjoyed hunting, camping and fishing with his blended family. They had many great times together.
Although JL was not an active member, he believed deeply in the teachings of the LDS Church.
JL was preceded in death by his parents; nephew Bradley Woolsey; brother-in-law Jack Woolsey; in-laws Thomas and Virginia Suder; and sisters-in-law Melissa and Melinda Suder.
He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Beverly; son Eric (Erin); grandson Jacob Lewis; son Aaron (Tracey); granddaughters Hannah and Emily; stepdaughter Sabra (Mike) Parker; grandson Benjamin and granddaughter Clarissa; and sister Jennie Lou Woolsey of Arizona. He is also survived by many cousins; nieces and nephews; and his dog, Boomer.
Thank you so much to his wonderful and caring nurses at 5 Central Oncology at St. Al's. You were all great, as were his doctors.
There will be no services in Boise. Inurnment will be in the spring with military honors in Safford. Arrangements are under the direction of Cloverdale Funeral Home in Idaho.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorials in JL's name to the American Lung or Breast Cancer associations or the Idaho Humane Society.
Dolores Hazel Johnson
Dolores Hazel Johnson was born May 15, 1945, to Tranquilino and Flora Velasquez in Las Vegas, N.M.
Dolores passed away Nov. 22, 2008, in Safford.
Dolores was associated with the American Legion Auxiliary.
She enjoyed activities such as golfing and dancing.
She worked most recently as an administrative aide for the State Veterans Association.
She is survived by her companion, Ralph Burgher; daughters Terri (Dan) Banes and Sherri Brown; six grandchildren; one great-grandchild; brothers Freddie (Flora) Velasquez and Sonny Velasquez.
Dolores was preceded in death by her parents, Tranquilino and Flora Velasquez; her brother, Julian Velasquez; and her sister, Bernice Robinson.
A memorial service in her honor was held Nov. 25, 10 a.m., at Caldwell Funeral Chapel.
Contributions in her name may be made to the Mount Graham Safe House.
Terrell A. Blake Sr.
Terrell Blake, 86, of Safford passed away Thanksgiving Day at home, surrounded by his family. Terrell lived in Safford all of his life and worked for the Safford Post Office for 32 years, where he now receives the honorary postmark “Return to Sender” with the admonition from his loving family to “Handle with Care.”
His parents and grandparents were pioneers of the Gila Valley. His great-grandfather served as mayor of Tombstone during the OK Corral days, while his grandmother waited tables at the Crystal Palace, before marrying and settling in the Gila Valley.
Born June 20, 1922, in Safford, the first child of Andy and Rita (Higgins) Blake, Terrell married Cora Lee Williams of Duncan on Feb. 10, 1946. For many years, he and Cora enjoyed traveling with a square-dancing group. They were loyal friends and neighbors to many where they ran Blake’s Snack Bar across from Safford High School for 15 years.
When his father died much too early in life, Terrell took on the responsibility of being a father to his two younger brothers, Var and Andy. Throughout his life, he continued to set an example of unconditional love by serving as a father to many other relatives and friends who were warmly welcomed into his home.
Besides being well known for his caring and generous nature, he was known for his robust sense of humor. During World War II, Terrell served in India, Burma and China with the Army Air Corps. He was active in the Elks and the American Legion. He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Terrell is survived by his wife, Cora of Safford; brother Andy Jr. (Bonnie) of Phoenix; sons Terrell Jr. and Tom (Brenda) of Safford; daughters Ann Blake-Tracy of Des Moines, Iowa, Patty Laughter of Riverton, Utah, and Donna (Steve) Buckley of Tucson; 21 grandchildren; and 25 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Var.
Services were held Dec. 1 at the LDS Stake Center, followed by interment at the Safford Cemetery.
Dated Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Barbara Colleen Johnson entered into eternal peace Monday, Nov. 17, 2008, at her home in Thunderbird Estates. Colleen was born Aug. 26, 1940, to Addie Ruth Ratliff and Julius Charles Davis at the old Safford Inn Hospital.
Colleen grew up and attended school in Safford until her family moved to Duncan in 1955. She met the love of her life, Albert "Corky" Johnson, and they married Dec. 1, 1956, in Reserve, N.M. Over the next 11 years, they had five children.
Colleen worked many years for the Graham County Guardian, Eastern Arizona Courier, Board of Supervisors and Dan Hinton School before Corky's construction job took them overseas to Iran in 1978. When the shah was deposed, Colleen, Corky, Barbara and Tracie spent a harrowing three days in a hotel in Isfahan before going to the airport in a tank. They arrived back in the United States on Dec. 9, 1978. Corky went to work in Saudi Arabia for the next two years.
Colleen and Corky then worked for Shell Oil in Martinez, Calif., from 1980 to 1984. She handled the payroll for the entire $400 million project.
In 1984, their travels took them to Irian Jaya, Indonesia. They traveled Australia, Indonesia, China and Thailand over the years on their time off. Corky stayed in Indonesia, and Colleen returned to the states in 1990. She couldn't stand that 12 grandchildren had been born while she was away.
After returning to Safford, Colleen spent the next 18 years as a housewife. As her health declined, she enjoyed time with Corky, her kids, grandkids and great-grandkids.
She is survived by her mother, Ruth Davis; brother Dr. Charles (Mary) Davis; sister-in-law Judith Clothier; husband Albert "Corky"; five children and their spouses, Kathy (Kent) Dodge, Mike (Kelly) Johnson, Diane (Scott) Carpenter, Barbara (Steve) Lloyd, Tracie Johnson and daughter-in-law Valerie Finn; grandchildren Derek, JC and Dalton Carpenter, LaRee (Clay) Bennett, Jolee (Brian) Larrabee, Krisha (Zack) Dominguez, Alesha (Mike) Emrich, AJ and Jeremiah Granatowski, Nicholas and Vincent Taliaferro, John Granatowski, Cody (Jeremy) Pavitt, Meagan Johnson, Lacee and Sean Dodge; great-grandchildren, Darin Carpenter, Jordyn Bennett, Riley Taliaferro, Landyn and Maddex Larrabee, Syriana Dominguez, Hailey Emrich and Kirsten Dodge.
Colleen was predeceased by her father, JC Davis.
A memorial service was held to celebrate Colleen's life Saturday, Dec. 13, 1 p.m., at the LDS Church.
Charlene Lindsey was born in Dog Creek, Okla., on March 23, 1927. She was the youngest of six children born to Frank Nowlin and Nancy Goldsborough. She attended the local school in that area until age 9, when the family relocated to Arizona, where they made their home in several towns over the next few years.
As a young adult, she married Melvin Hunt and had three children, Franklin Leon, Joy Ann and Margaret Elaine. She lived in central California for a short period, seeking work in various fields. She always took a great deal of pride in knowing she was a good waitress.
Charlene and her children returned to Arizona, living in Ajo, Stanfield, Phoenix and Willcox, where she lived the longest. It was in Willcox that she met Jack Lindsey, and they were married in 1977. Jack had two adult sons and two adult daughters. Charlene was very fond of Fred and Jackie and their families, and they all treated her wonderfully.
She and Jack enjoyed many great fishing trips to Mexico with friends and family. Also, Jack was an avid hunter, but due to poor hearing he often relied on Mom to listen for quail and doves. Mom didn't always give him accurate intel as she enjoyed the quail alive, too. She was an active member of the First Southern Baptist Church there.
In 1982, Charlene lost her mom, Nancy Cresswell, and on Sept. 11, 2000, she lost Jack. She had many friends in Willcox and stayed there until they were all gone.
In 2004, the family discussed her coming to live with them and in early 2005 moved her here. She enjoyed the many restaurants here, particularly Chinese, and was active, enjoying good health until last year.
Charlene passed away peacefully at Mount Graham Regional Medical Center at 1 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008, following a brief illness. She was preceded in death by all siblings; both parents; a cousin, Pete; and a grandson, Billy Joe.
She is survived by her son, Franklin Hunt of Phoenix; Joy (Steve) Oller of Safford (Jim Henderson) and Margaret Elaine Cox of Blythe, Calif.; stepchildren Fred (Margaret Ann) Lindsey of Phoenix and Jackie (Michelle) Lindsey of Tucson. She had 12 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.
Memorial services were conducted 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 6, at the Caldwell Funeral Chapel.
Dated Sunday, December 7, 2008
Ellen "Kay" Koitila
Ellen "Kay" Koitila, 76, passed away Nov. 18, 2008, at her home in Pima. Kay was born Aug. 12, 1932, in LaCrosse, Wisc.
Kay retired from Northwestern National Life Insurance Company in Minneapolis after being employed for more than 30 years as a time study expert and office manager.
Kay moved to Pima from Maple Lake, Minn., 18 years ago.
She served as volunteer coordinator in the new hospice program in the area.
She also became very active in the American Legion Auxiliary, Swift-Murphy Unit 32, serving in many capacities on both local and state levels.
She received many awards and recognitions, the most recent being Auxiliary Volunteer of the Year, 2008, and "Above and Beyond," also from the Auxiliary.
Kay is preceded in death by her parents, John and Charlotte Kevin, and a brother, John "Mike" Kevin.
She is survived by her husband of 55 years, Eino, and her sister, Brigid (Bernie) Purdy.
She is also survived by Carol (Dennis) Cottrell and many other nieces and nephews.
Services were held Saturday, Nov. 22, at All Saints Episcopal Church in Safford. Interment will be at Fort Snelling, Minn., at a later date.