Robert Leslie Bell
Robert Leslie Bell, born Dec. 29, 1928, passed away Dec. 29, 2008.
Robert played football at the University of Arizona on a football scholarship.
He was a former Marine with the Underwater Demolition Team Services and served in the Korean War.
He was a football coach and an educator for 40 years.
In addition, he was an administrator for Drug and Alcohol Education Prevention, deputy associate superintendent of the Department of Education for southwestern Arizona, a rancher and cowboy for the last 24 years, and a Pro Rodeo cowboy.
Surviving Robert are his wife of 53 years, Jorene Bell of Willcox; sons Wendell and Robert Bell; daughters Cyndee Lou Smith and Karen Elaine Wynne; 11 grandchildren; 33 great-grandchildren; siblings Joan Virginia Roberts and Edward Laverne Bell; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Delmar Dee John, 88, of Buckeye died Dec. 26, 2008. Delmar was born Dec. 11, 1920, in Safford. His parents were Emma Irene Cluff and Charles Porter John.
He was the fifth of five brothers, Gareld, Floyd, Lavar, Erwin and a younger sister, Beth. He grew up on the family farm located in Safford.
He graduated from Gila Junior College and received a full-ride football scholarship to BYU. He was drafted into the Army and ended up in the Air Force as a crew chief, serving from 1942-1946 in the 551st Air Engineer Squadron.
At the end of the war, he returned to the family farm in Safford, where he met the love of his life, Nita Jean Lewis. They were married in 1948. In 1953, they moved to Buckeye and began a family farming business in Rainbow Valley and the Buckeye area.
He is survived by his wife, Jean; and five children, Marvin (Marcia) John, Kathy (David, deceased) Osborn, Beverly (Bill) Probst, Phyllis (Hal) Heiden, Paula (Johnny) Young; 17 grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren.
Services will be held Friday, Jan. 2, 2009, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1002 E. Eason in Buckeye. Visitation is 10-11 a.m., and services are 11 a.m. Interment is at Louis B. Hazelton Cemetery in Buckeye immediately following.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Hospice of the Valley, 1510 E. Flower St., Phoenix, AZ 85014-5656; phone: 602-530-6900.
Taliah went to be with the Lord on Dec. 25, 2008. Taliah was born Aug. 8, 1912, to Lemuel John and Jessie Mae Snelgrove of Meridian, Miss. The second of five siblings (three girls and two boys), she lived with her family during the hard years of the '20s while her father followed a call of the Lord to become a Methodist preacher.
Due to economic pressure, she was unable to complete her education until 1936, when she graduated from Alabama Polytechnic Institute, now Auburn University. She taught home economics in Alabama until 1943, when she became the second woman from the state to enlist into the U.S. Marine Corps.
While in the Corps, she met and married Robert R. O'Neill Sr. in April 1945. After the end of the war, they settled in San Diego, where Robert had lived for a time before the war. Taliah returned to teaching after earning a California state teaching certificate.
A son, Robert Jr., was born to the couple in 1950 and was to be the only child. In 1952, Taliah started teaching kindergarden in the nearby town of Chula Vista, Calif., where she continued to teach for more than 20 years, helping hundreds of children start their education.
After the deaths of her husband and father in the same year, she retired from teaching and moved to Safford in 1998 to be near her son.
Preceding her in death were her parents; her husband; her sister, Hazel of Meridian; and her brother, Morrison of Livingston, Texas. Surviving relatives are her son; a loving daughter-in-law, Theresa; her brother, A.G. Snelgrove of Lake Jackson, Texas, and his family; and a sister, Arcola Landoll of Waco, Texas, and her family.
A memorial service will be held in her honor at All Saints Episcopal Church in Safford on Sunday, Jan. 4, 2009, at 11 a.m. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of McDougal Caldwell Funeral Chapel. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the All Saints Episcopal Church or the MGRMC Hospice.
Mary Whitmer Montierth
Mary Whitmer Montierth, 87, passed away at her home in Safford on Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2008. Mary, the daughter of Angus Van Meter and Sarah Jane (Jennie) Judd Whitmer, was born in St. Johns on Jan. 20, 1921.
Mary was raised in Alpine and graduated from Round Valley High School. She met Alton Montierth while he was teaching in Alpine. They were married in the Mesa Arizona Temple on Dec. 21, 1939. They moved from Alpine to Central and then on to Safford.
Mary worked at the phone company for many years, then at the nursing home. She tended many children of the Valley in her home. She is fondly remembered as Nana to them all.
Mary was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving for many years in the library. When her health began to fail, she was cared for in her home by her son, Wayne. We are so thankful for him and the service he gave Mom these past years.
Mary is survived by her children: Jennie (Robert) Campbell of Kingman, Elwyn (Paulette) of Tucson, Leland (Marge) of Idaho Falls, Idaho, Kimberly Hancock of Mesa, Wayne of Safford; 16 grandchildren; and 27 great-grandchildren.
Services will be held Friday, Jan. 2, 2009, at 11 a.m. at the 20th Street LDS Chapel, with visitation beginning at 9 a.m. Interment will follow at the Safford Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Alton E. Montierth Scholarship Fund through the Safford High School Alumni Association. Arrangements are under the direction of the Caldwell Funeral Chapel.
Carol Lynn Lee
Carol Lynn Lee of Bowie died Dec. 22, 2008, in Tucson at the age of 64.
Carol was born in Dallas to William Lynn Ewbank and Lola Grace Vermillion Ewbank on Jan. 9, 1944.
She has resided in Bowie, where she was a homemaker, since 1984.
Carol was a member of the Studebaker’s Drivers Club.
She is survived by her husband, Curtis of Bowie; daughters Virginia (John) Vogt of Roseville, Calif., and Barbara Lynn Mason of Orangevale, Calif.; and her granddaughter, Jessica Lynn Mason.
Preceding her in death was her son, Charles “Charlie” Lee on Nov. 28, 2006; her sister, Rowena Ruth Pogue; and her parents.
Cremation has taken place at Westlawn Crematorium, and a memorial service will be held at a later date.
Complete arrangements are under the direction of Westlawn Chapel, Mortuary and Crematorium of Willcox.
Surrounded by his loving family at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix, Angel Tellez of San Jose entered into rest Saturday, Jan. 3, 2009.
He was born Aug. 2, 1917, in Morenci to Jesus and Maria Tellez. He was the first of 10 children. He later married Margaret Rodela on Nov. 23, 1937. Together they had five beautiful children: Mary Cabral (deceased), Gloria Sierra, Angel Tellez Jr. (deceased), Eileen Ann Tellez (deceased) and Katherine Provencio. He worked in the warehouse at Phelps Dodge for 45 years before eventually retiring and moving to Safford.
He loved the outdoors, watching football and basketball (both of which he played while attending school in Morenci) and spending time with his family. He had a calm and cheerful demeanor and a joke for any occasion. He was a devoted and loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and even great-great-grandfather.
He was preceded in death by his parents, one brother, four sisters, two daughters and his son.
He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Margaret Tellez; two daughters, Gloria Sierra and Katherine Provencio; 12 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; three brothers, Eulojio, Greg and Andy; and one sister, Armanda.
A Mass was held in his honor Saturday, Jan. 10, at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church. He was adored and respected by all who knew him and will be greatly missed.
Norma Tipton O’Dell
Norma Tipton O’Dell, 88, joined her husband, Archie M. O’Dell in Paradise on Jan. 7, 2009, in Safford. She was born Oct. 19, 1920, in Duncan.
She is survived by a son, Cecil O’Dell (Pam); a daughter, Debra O’Dell Nelson (Paul); 11 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; a sister, Nadine Stephens Elms (Thomas); a brother, William “Bill” Stephens (Wanda); and a brother-in-law, Kenny Gilliland.
Norma was preceded in death by an infant son, William Archie O’Dell; her husband, Archie Millard O’Dell; parents Wilmer and Hazel Stephens and James Louis Tipton; brother Wimp Stephens; and two sisters, Maxine Gilliland and Sue Romney.
She was a loving homemaker and always took care of anyone who needed her. She worked as an operator for the first Duncan telephone company in the late 1940s and early 1950s. When they retired, Norma and Archie enjoyed following the racing circuit and raising and racing thoroughbred horses.
Norma was a wonderful daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister and aunt. She loved her family dearly and will be greatly missed by all of them.
Services were Jan. 10 in the Duncan Arizona Stake Center at 1 p.m., with viewing one hour prior. Arrangements were under the direction of the Caldwell Funeral Chapel.
Carl D. Morris
Carl D. Morris, 54, of Safford passed away Friday, March 13, in Tucson.
He was born Nov. 5, 1954, in Douglas.
Carl is the former owner of Morris Safford Funeral Home and the husband of Melissa Morris.
Viewing will be Thursday, March 19, 5-8 p.m., at the New Life City Church in Safford.
Services will be Friday, March 20, at 11 a.m., also at the New Life City Church.
Arrangements are by the Morris family and Lamont Mortuary of Globe.
Gloria Talavera Rhodes
Gloria Talavera Rhodes, 57, of Tucson passed away Tuesday, March 24, 2009, surrounded by her loving family at her home in Tucson. She was born March 4, 1952, in Safford to Manuel and Carmen Talavera. She married Steve Rhodes on Jan. 19, 1991, in Tucson.
Gloria graduated from Safford High School and was a member of the state champion volleyball team, and after graduating from high school she attended the Eastern Arizona College.
Gloria worked for the State Compensation Fund in Safford and later transferred to Tucson. The State Compensation Fund changed its name to F.D.F Arizona, and she worked there for 30.5 years before retiring in August 2005.
She is survived by her husband, Steve of Tucson; daughter, Veronica Talavera of Tucson; sisters, Rita Lucero of Safford and Kathy Moran of Safford; brother, Manuel Talavera Jr. of Texas; and one grandson, Angelo Talavera of Tucson.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother, Dan Talavera, and sister Helen Talavera.
A rosary was recited at 9:30 a.m., and a memorial Mass was conducted at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, April 3, at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Safford. Interment was in the Safford Cemetery.
Arrangements were under the direction of McDougal-Caldwell Funeral Chapel.