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SYNOPTIC HISTORIES WITH TRIBUTES TO AND MEMORIES OF

THE PHILLIPS BROTHERS AND SISTERS

*** Published especially for their nieces and nephews and their descendants
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THE BROTHERS AND SISTERS

DAVID DEE PHILLIPS

VIRGIL EDWARD PHILLIPS


ELMO PHILLIPS

ELEANOR ELIZA PHILLIPS MERRILL

JOSEPHINE PHILLIPS MCBRIDE

RO
DNEY KIMBALL PHILLIPS
JEAN ARNETTA  DOWDLE
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DAVID “DEE” PHILLIPS

David Dee Phillips Jr., my oldest brother and first born of the family came into the world September 30, 1904, in Thatcher.  He became the immediate pet and center of attention of the entire Phillips family, for he was not only the first for Mama and Dad, but the first grandchild of our grandmother and grandfather Phillips.  Our grandparents had five living sons and two daughters, so Dee had many uncles and aunts to spoil him.  Blessed as an absolutely beautiful baby, it furthered the extra fawning and attention he received. 

Elevated intelligence, he had a very quick mind, and he was a smartalek on top of that.  Although just a child I was old enough to grasp the facts.  It came to the point that every time I heard a knock on the door any time after dark, the thought immediately ran through my mind, “Oh no!  What has Dee done now to upset Mama and Dad again?”  My parents constantly had to deal with an unending string of mischief in which Dee was involved. 

Quick to learn and grasp concepts in school, his mind raced ahead of the pace set by his teachers.  The teachers of his day failed to keep his attention, allowing him much opportunity to out-smart them.  He hated school, but under solid parental duress he did graduate from high school.

Dee loved to go, and be and do.  Because of his adventurous nature, the Gray Hound Bus Company attracted him, and he drove their busses most of his adult life. 

Some girl, or girls, were always in love with him, but the day came when finally in 1934, one of them won his heart. While living in California, the bachelor met up with Lillian Lucas, a beautiful young woman, talented, well-mannered and gracious.  I especially remember her genius as a skilled seamstress. 

After they married, Dee and Lillian seriously thought that our little sister, Jean, 25 years and nine months younger than Dee, ought to be given to them for their own.  Reasoning that since Mama had Jean at age 48, and was even older at the time of the suggestion, and since she had had so many other children, it was a reasonable idea.  Of course, Mama and Dad wouldn’t hear of such a thing.  But from the time Dee and Lill were married, until Jean was an older youngster,  Lillian kept her in beautiful, stylish cloths. 

Our own two little boys and little girl were beautiful children, and Lillian and Dee loved them.  But, the second child and first son of my older brother, Virgil, became their favorite. They thought he should be theirs too.  Dark complexioned, brown-eyed, wavy haired, beautiful Eddie, looked so much like Dee, that it was only natural for them to be taken up with him. Both families lived not far from each other in California, and Dee and Lill, borrowed him often from the time he was a baby, letting everyone think he was theirs.  They showered him with much affectionate attention.  Unable to have children of their own, Eddie became the primary focus of their love.  Yes, even  their beautiful chow dogs took second place. 

Soon after Dee became a deacon, he began drifting away from the Church.  Lillian, not a member,  showed no curiosity or interest in religion, and Dee would never be active again.  Yet, they were good people with Christian attitudes of generosity.  I know that during each Christmas season, they would choose someone or some family in need of special attention, usually one of Dee’s coworkers.  They would see that their Christmas needs were fulfilled with additional gifts.  In their generosity, they seemed to be almost too extravagant for people of their means. 

Dee suffered a rupture of the main aorta artery.  The doctors were surprised that he lived for a full month after the attack, for that problem in those days meant immediate death.  He died so prematurely at the age of 49, 26 days short of his 50th birthday, September 4, 1950. 

Living in California at the time, Lillian objected to his burial in the family plot in Thatcher, where the others of the family that had passed on were buried.  His lovely funeral service was held at Rose Hills cemetery in Fullerton, California.  The entire family living in Arizona traveled to California for the service and interment.  We’ve lost the record of their names, but the bishop’s  counselors were in charge of the services.  One gave the invocation, Virgil presented Dee’s life history, Darvil gave the sermon, and the other counselor dedicated the grave. 

Lillian loved Dee dearly, and during their married life she took good care of him in sickness and health.  She provided constant, tireless care, during the month after the incident that finally took his life. 

After Dee’s death, it seemed that she purposely chose to disappear from out of our lives.  Mama and the rest of us tried, but we could never trace her down.  On one occasion we heard she had been operated on for cancer, so we followed up on the lead through the suggested hospital, but without success.  We loved her and she knew it, and we knew she loved us, but for some still unanswered reason, she chose to secret herself away from her husband’s family.  We felt her loss deeply. 

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 "VIRGIL" EDWARD PHILLIPS

 Kids need to fill this out several more pages.

FAMILY NEEDS TO EXPAND ON WHAT VIRGINIA HAS DONE

 

A TESTIMONY SHOULD BE ADDED.  YOU KIDS KNOW WHAT THEY WOULD WANT THEIR NEICES AND NEPHEWS TO HAVE PERSONALLY HEARD FORM THEIR LIPS.

 

ALSO NEEDED IS A FEW PARAGRAPHS ON THE DISPOSITION OF EACH OF THEIR CHILDREN.

 

 

 ELMO PHILLIPS

His sister, Josephine Phillips McBride,  provides the following paragraph:  Born April 6, 1906 in Thatcher.  He arrived about a year and a-half after Dee, and had he lived, he would have been six years, two months older than me.  A beautiful fair skinned, blue eyed baby, his short life lasted for two days short of one month before he succumbed to pneumonia – an infection that took many young lives before the advent of antibiotics.  I remember Mama saying, “I’ve got to live worthily because that beautiful blond baby I lost is waiting for me to raise him during the millennium.”  Throughout her entire life that was always in her mind.  

The men in our home: Dad, Dee -- especially Virgil -- and Rodney all had voices of quality.  They sang at our piano frequently often bringing in their friends to enjoy short, evening songfests.  According to Mama, Virgil had inherited his grandfather Phillips’s exceptional voice and sang more than his brothers, more so during his high school and junior college days.  We loved to hear him sing, especially his favorite, “On the Road to Mandalay.”  When he grew older and became so ill, he lost his ability to sing.  When first notified that he had finally passed away after having suffered so long, immediately to my mind came the thought, “How nice.  Now he can sing again, and to Eleanor’s marvelous accompaniment.
 

"ELEANOR" ELIZA PHILLIPS MERRILL

Her younger sister, Josephine Phillips McBride provides these three paragraphs:  Eleanor graduated from high school and left for college.  The day of her departure, I smugly contemplated how nice it would be to finally have a bedroom completely to myself.  Shortly after she left, I stepped into th room.  I was dumbfounded to discover that all of her things, usually about the room, were gone, and the closet stood completely devoid of her clothes.  There I stood, suddenly overcome with a very lonely feeling.  How much I missed her those first several weeks, but how happy I felt, as she occasionally returned to visit us at home. 

After two years passed, the day of my high school graduation arrived.  Entering the bedroom, to get ready for graduation exercises, there on the dresser I saw a hundred dollar check, made out to me from Eleanor.  She had started teaching school after she completed her first year of college.  So, she had a year’s experience behind her.  A hundred dollars doesn’t sound like much now, but it represented a huge amount in those days.  Mother asked me what I intended to do with it.  I said that I’d better save it for school.  She told me then and there that I could spend it anyway I wanted.  She said Eleanor gave it solely to me, and I should spend it the way I wanted.  Jean was about a year old then, and after thinking it over, I told Mama I wanted to use it to take her and Jean to California.  Dad offered to match the amount.  We went to California, and enjoyed a glorious week sight-seeing while staying in the new, elegant Hotel Rosslyn, in Los Angles.   

Quick and bright, and an “A” student, Eleanor also excelled in piano, for she not only took lessons, she extended herself far beyond that simple formality.  She set herself apart from the ordinary as a tenacious, dedicated student of the instrument.  Compared to me, she was possessed of a bookish, nervous, high-strung personality, probably due to her superior intelligence.  Her personality and mannerisms were much like our Grandmother Nonnie’s.

"JOSEPHINE" (JO) PHILLIPS MCBRIDE

My life began on the eighth day of June 1912, in Thatcher Arizona. Thatcher, in Graham County, is nestled in the Gila Valley: a stretch of seventy five miles through which flows its namesake, the Gila River.  About forty miles west of the New Mexico border, it snuggles peacefully against the foothills of majestic Mount Graham.  During my childhood the small Mormon town boasted a population of eighteen hundred.  The Prophet Brigham Young sent my great-grandfather, Christopher Layton, south from Utah to organize the wards among the Mormon settlers, presiding as the first stake president.  Eventually he purchased 360 acres three miles west of Safford where he founded the community he named Thatcher.  It immediately experienced rapid growth from families from nearby communities and new Mormon settlers arriving from Utah. 

Such a happy childhood, such happy growing-up years, we children were "born of goodly parents."  Our parents loved us and always provided the good things of life. We were given everything needed to foster a healthy, happy, physical, mental and spiritual foundation.  Of seven, I am one of six children who lived to adulthood – baby Elmo died after living only six weeks.  

Here in order are the dates of our births, including their ages relative to mine:  David Dee Jr., September 30, 1904, 7 years 8 months older; Elmo, April 6, 1906, 6 years 2 months older; Edward Virgil, November 20, 1907, 4 years 7 months older; Eleanor Eliza, November 11, 1909, 2 years 7 months older; (Me); Rodney Kimball, August 5, 1915, 3 years 2 months younger; Jean Arnetta, July 5, 1930, 18 years 1 month younger.     

My mother, Eliza Arnette Jones Phillips, was born in Heber City, Utah, on October 2, 1882.  A precious special woman, she enlightened and gave joy to my life.  Mama was always lenient and never cranky or cross – so good to us – she would accommodate her children in every reasonable way.  She loved her girls and her boys; nevertheless it was a love not deficient in appropriate discipline.  She was a prayerful woman too and served in many positions in the Church. 

She was very slender as I grew up.  The doctor gave her medicines hoping to improve her appetite.  Before Eleanor was born, while Dad was serving his mission in South Africa, Dr. Platt stopped by every week to check on her health.  She stayed slim all her life, and she enjoyed good health for most of it. 

Mama, nearly five feet six inches tall, appeared taller because of her slender build.  Her facial features were fine, her hair dark brown, and of complexion like a porcelain doll. Always quite model-like and willowy her proportions and shapeliness were very nice.  She aged with calm grace and retained her beauty exceptionally well throughout her life. 

Born in Kaysville, Utah, January 5, 1881, Dad, always kind and understanding, was a wonderful father to his children.  At times he probably used some mild physical punishments on his boys, but as has been mentioned he never punished his daughters in any way.  Any punishment of his girls devolved solely to Mama and that was very little.  She understood her girls and easily saw to our proper behavior

A very handsome man: well proportioned, trim of build -- except for a moderately protruding stomach when he was older -- and always immaculately dressed, he stood about five feet ten inches in height.  Dark complexioned with wavy black hair, many men envied his appearance and good looks, and many young women had sought his company before he chose Mama.  Exceptionally well spoken, he enjoyed numerous friendships.  He was respected as an intelligent and accomplished man of wisdom. 

From Kaysville, Utah, Dad’s parents, with their children drove a horse-drawn wagon to the Gila Valley soon after the colonizer, Christopher Layton, had arrived.  His mother was Christopher's daughter who served as her father’s scribe.  Later, Christopher enticed the family to follow him to settle in Thatcher also.  (Refer to the sketch of grandparents.) 

Dad spent his boyhood in Thatcher. He graduated from its schools, and after high school and two years attending the Salt Lake City Business College he graduated in 1902 at age 21.

It seems we lived about one block from everyone and everything: the Church: all of my best friends, both pair of grandparents, the grammar school, the high school and the junior college.  I and all my brothers and sisters graduated from the local schools in Thatcher. 

Except for Jean, we were all born in the house my dad, with Mexican help, had built for Mama, his bride-soon-to-be, to move into after they were married.  The house was a sturdy little, sixteen-inch adobe wall home, with a bedroom, kitchen, dining room and living room.  Dad and Mama moved into it, brand new, after their marriage.  Our home sat next to the bank of the picturesque, tree-lined Union Canal.  Just the other side of the canal stood the old, beautiful Saint Joseph Stake Center, where the Thatcher Ward met.  Constructed of large, light-colored sandstone blocks, it looked somewhat like the Kirtland Temple, with beautiful stained glass windows.  Its corner stone was laid in 1904.  I lived close to the church house below the banks of that serene flow of water until the age of seventeen. 

My maternal grandmother, Josephine Cluff, affectionately known as Nonnie by her grandchildren and Josie by her family and friends, had moved to the valley from Heber City, Utah.  Her marriage to my grandfather, John William Jones, was unsuccessful and after their divorce, she dropped, Jones, from her name. Close to loving aunts and uncles, she would begin a new life raising her young children, my mother, Eliza Arnette, and a son two years younger, William Wallace. 

They first lived in Pima seven miles west of Thatcher. Grandmother Josephine, brought up in a progressive and educated family was a well educated woman for her time, and multi-talented.. Her brother, Benjamin Cluff, became the first president of Brigham Young University while it was still known as the L.D.S. Academy. 

While the family lived in Pima, Grandmother Nonnie taught in the elementary school in Central, a smaller community three miles to the east between Pima and Thatcher.  She later built a home in Central, and moved her family there.  Eventually the Church Academy in Thatcher employed her as the "Matron" (dean of women).  In addition to those responsibilities, she taught several courses.  To be closer to her new work she built another home in Thatcher and moved her family there.  The house still stands on the corner of First Street and Raey Lane. 

After her children were grown and independent, Grandmother Nonnie answered the call of the Prophet of the Church to fill a mission in Saint Louis.  One of her most dear companions was Jeanetta McKay, a sister of David O. McKay, who would become the president and prophet of the Church.  We know that Jeanetta's health deteriorated, and her parents went to Saint Louis specifically to escort their ailing daughter home; for she direly need their care to make the trip.  Grandmother enjoyed a singular experience as a missionary there.  She was one of the few assigned the responsibility of helping to oversee and host the "Church Exhibit" sponsored by, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, at the World Fair of 1904/1905. 

Soon after completing her mission she returned to the Valley, resumed teaching and married Andrew C. Kimball of Thatcher, eight months after the untimely death of his wife, Olive Woolley.  With that union she assumed the ominous task of raising Andrew's six children.  Spencer W., one of the children, later became the twelfth President of the Church.  My mother, through her mother's second marriage became Spencer's older step-sister. She often said, "He was the most perfect boy and young man I have ever known." 

Mama, kind and loving, treated her failing mother with every consideration.  When Grandmother Nonnie died, I was ten years old.  She lived just a block away up the street kitty-corner across from the church grounds where Uncle Spencer, along with his brothers and sisters had grown up under her prudent supervision.  (The home, now dedicated as an historical landmark, has a conservative mortared, rock monument inlaid with a bronze plaque standing at the front edge of the home’s lawn.) 

My step-grandfather, Andrew  C. Kimball, was serving as the second stake president of the Saint Joseph Stake.  He had succeeded President Christopher Layton, my great-grandfather, who had been released because of terminal illness.  As a girl, I only knew Spencer, as Uncle Spencer, and his father as Grandpa.  Of course, they were really step-uncle and step-grandfather, but only as the years passed would I become aware of that mere technicality.  To me they would forever be just my Uncle Spencer and my Grandpa.  Several times as we raised our three teenage children in Thatcher, Uncle Spencer, then an Apostle, was a guest in our home.  (See a more detailed synoptic history of Josie and Andrew in the section on grandparents.) 

As a small child and through my growing-up years, I always loved people.  In fact I think I kind of still do.  Anyway, when I was a three-year-old, a theatrical couple arrived in our country town.  They had trunks of beautiful costumes for the youth of the town they chose for the rolls in their productions.  They, like many of their kind in that time of history, traveled throughout small-town America presenting their plays, using actors chosen from the community. they generated a profit through admission charges. 

In preparation to present the play, "Tom Thumb’s Bride," they chose me to be Tom’s bride.  The boy that played tom was a cute little boy, a year older, that I liked.  I've forgotten his first name, but his last name was Tenny.  My brother, Virgil, four years older, played a member of the tuxedo-dressed wedding party. 

In those days, all special events in Thatcher of any size were presented in the large high-windowed, basement cultural hall under the old and beautiful church.  During the play, from the stage, I gazed out over the packed hall through awed little-girl eyes at so many people.  The cultural hall had filled to more than capacity.  As a part of the play, after the marriage ceremony,   the wedding party sat at a long table taking refreshment.  It spanned a good portion of the front of the stage, and home-made ice cream was being enjoyed by all. 

I remember well how yummy it tasted to a little girl.  But in that warm desert country, a good part of it melted before I'd finished.  No matter, it all tasted good.  With no intention of wasting a single drop, the bride, the center of attraction, with hundreds of pairs of eyes looking on, lifted the bowl to her lips and drank it down to the last drop.  The crowd roared with laughter. Puzzled, I looked all around trying to understand what had struck them so funny. 

As little girls our early interests swept us along playing hopscotch, jacks, jump-rope, and mothering the dolls we so loved.  Across the street at Dubie Michelson’s house, her dad kept a cow beyond their orchard in their pasture.  In the pasture grew gorgeous bunches of high-stemmed sunflowers.  Around an old stump standing at the perfect height, we bent the flower stems over it to fashion a bright, yellow and green bowery over it transforming it, as far as we were concerned, into a charming throne.  There with the stump framed with the lovely greenery and yellow flowers, we played make-believe king, queen and princess.  After tiring of that we would go to the big grape arbor her dad had built that spanned the entire back of their house.  There in the shaded enclosure, we, imagined as our stage, we played “movie star.”  We even broke off short, dried lengths of grape vine and smoked them like cigarettes, mimicking the antics of the actresses of the day.  After tiring of the fun at Dubie’s, we crossed the street to my place and played other make-believe games over against and on the green bank of the big canal just a hop, skip and a jump from our house. 

An abandoned chicken coop stood leaning in our back yard.  Somehow we girls slid it over next to the canal bank.  We spent hours cleaning it out and fixing it up.  Complete with make-shift furniture, walkways, a fence, and other amenities we had searched out and spent time arranging, it became our own, private clubhouse. 

The canal ran along the south side of our lot.  We all loved that two-foot deep, or more, 20-foot wide flowing stream with its tree-lined, shady, grassy banks.  The bigger kids played in it at any time they wanted, and even though down the canal a ways they had a deeper swimming hole, they often chose to just play in it there by the house. The younger ones could too -- under supervision.  On one occasion when I was a four-year-old, my footing slipped from under me and under I went.  Mama watched me sink out of sight and soon saw my curls surface, floating along with the current.  She rushed a big brother to rescue me.  Over the years, many young lives had been claimed by the seemingly innocent streams of the valley’s canals. 

When we were small children, the Church often chose to organize outings at a place called the Flume Camp at Cluff’s Ranch.  The flume shot lumber down its long slender stretch from up high in the mountain where the timber had been cut.  The debarked and rough-cut lengths slid for miles down the water-filled chute to its end located above the mill.  Dragged down to the mill pond,  they waited their turn to be converted to finished lumber.  At the end of the flume, the V-shaped, mossy sides and bottom gave us youngsters a full fifty-foot ride.  Our parents would lift us up over the edge, place us on a board and let us go a sliding down.  The fast flowing water two or three inches deep carried us slipping and sliding to its end where waiting, adult arms grabbed us,  and lifted us out rescuing us before we plunked to the ground.

There were no real chores for me as a little girl.  In fact, Eleanor always said of me, "If there are dishes to do, Jo always has to go to the privy."  (It was out the back door down by the chicken coup.)  She said it in jest, for there was no truth to it.  We certainly didn't have to do many dishes either.  Mama said that it wasn't worth bothering us girls, and that she really didn't mind doing them.  And true, she didn't.  Doing dishes has never been a big chore for me.  I believe it to be the influence that my mother’s attitude had on me.  Bragging some though, I always felt that when I swept the floors they looked much cleaner than when anyone else did it. 

Out back, we kept chickens and a pig and often pastured a cow.  What I liked most about the cow was the cream from the milk.  Because of my two big brothers I never had to care for the animals either,.  Besides, Dad always said that he hadn't been blessed with his pretty girls to become farmers.  Dad, though always good to his boys, with his daughters he was a real softy.  Why I never helped take care of the milk either.  After it arrived in the bucket on the kitchen sink, Mama took charge of that too.  She always did everything. 

When the milk came in, she first strained it through a cloth, then poured it into containers and placed them in the ice box.  If there was not space there, she placed them in a cool room.  (The electric household refrigerator hadn't been perfected yet.)  Mother left the milk to cool, and as it cooled the cream rose to the top where it began to thicken. The longer it stood undisturbed the thicker it became.  We kids skimmed it off the top.  Mixed with cocoa and sugar we ate it straight and thick: the thicker the better. And if we had none at our house, my very, best friend, Dubie Mickelson, across the street, always had some in the creamery room attached to her house.  The ice boxes of the time, all too small, had little capacity, and I remember if the milk stood uncooled and unused too long it clabbered.  If it clabbered, Mama either made it into cottage cheese or fed it to the chickens or the pig. 

While in high school and college I had no specifically assigned chores, nor did I work outside the home.  I think I was always kind of a "good for nothing."  Dad worked in Thatcher for years in the Big Six general store for W. W. Pace, and then for Krups Department Store in Safford. Eventually he built his own store in Thatcher.  I worked there on a few occasions and enjoyed it and was good at it, and was willing to do a lot more, but again, Dad used his two big boys.  I would have loved to wait on tables in a restaurant or be hired as a baby sitter or nanny, but Dad said no, “I can make the living for my family.”  My mother enjoyed the store, and she needed to escape the kids and house from time to time.  She really loved the respite away from the home and to work side by side with Dad. 

When I started school, there was no such thing as kindergarten for five-year-olds.  I began the first year as a six-year-old in the first grade of the Thatcher Elementary School.  My first teacher was Darvil's Aunt Bessie McBride, his father’s youngest sister.  We all adored her.  I personally felt that she thought me to be extra special.  As a young child though, I had the tendency to think that most everyone thought me special.  In retrospect,as I matured in thinking, I began to suspect that people liked me less than I had imagined as the years passed.  Of course, I prefer to presume I felt that way because I became smarter with age. 

The red, brick, elementary school is still in use and now accommodates the middle school.  The first grade through  the eighth were considered the Elementary School when I began.  As I entered the seventh grade, the new junior high, for the seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth grades had been completed immediately west of the former school.  This left the Elementary School with the first through the sixth grades.  Later, the Junior High building would also include the eleventh and twelfth grades of high school also.  Eventually our three children would graduate from that same high school. 

As a youngster in the first years of school it seemed that the teachers always chose me for the lead roles in the skits, plays and operettas, and I enjoyed that, because I got to wear the prettiest costumes.  Nevertheless, I recall one occasion when the measles made its rounds through the community, and I came down with them at the time the characters were being chosen for a play, and my best friend, Alberta Craig, took the main part that I couldn’t help but suspect would have been mine.  I loved singing parts, and when requiring fervent voice, even as a small child, one could depend on me to sing good and loud.

Let me mention here that we lived in the day of school segregation.  The Mexican and Black children had their separate classes.  It consisted of the first grade through the eighth grade, taught by their own teachers in a single, large room for all ages. 

In junior high, one exceptional teacher taught me algebra and Spanish.  He taught in such a way as to make it fun.  His wife, who he married later and brought to Thatcher was beautiful.  But he was very homely; so skinny and ugly that he actually looked as if he were always at death's door, but he lived until 1993.  Regardless, his wife was an exceptional teacher too, and she and he both liked me, and would you believe it, they named their first daughter, Josephine.  I don't know if I had part in that inspiration.  Perhaps I did; I like to think so. 

As teenagers we loved the dances only slightly less than we loved the boys.  But what would the dances have been without the boys?  We looked forward with eagerness for each Friday evening.  Yes, the dances lifted our spirits during those wonderful times.  Ballroom dancing in vogue, we whirled, dipped and turned in fox trots and waltzes through the warm desert evenings.  One of my beaus, Reid Morris, how he could dance; I loved to dance with him.  He was a darling, young man.  Reid is still alive and he would have married me.  He liked me -- like much.  How fun and exhilarating those times were, and how sweet the memories.           

[As her husband, the one who finally won the prize, let me explain a bit more about Jo:  "More than just Reid, there were a lot of young men who wanted to marry her; she really enjoyed the envied position of being the bell of the town.  So darned cute, pretty and considerate of all, the young people of the valley greatly admired Jo, and many young bucks wanted to date her.  She never lacked for dates.  At the dances, constantly in demand, the boys kept her always on the floor.  I decided not to even try for her because of her extreme popularity.  But, things kind of worked out. I’ve extract a several lines from a tribute paid to us by Frankie, my youngest sister, and last of my siblings.  She writes:  “I knew Josephine (Phillips) from the time she lived in the home by the canal in Thatcher -- and I remember her as the prettiest girl in town.  When the Phillips family purchased and moved into the house next door to us (into grandmother and grandpa Sims’ house) and Darvil started courting Josephine’s attentions, I was as happy and elated over that as maybe Darvil was -- though really not quite, I’m sure.”]  (The complete tribute is found later in the history.) 

Though I never considered myself much of an athlete, in junior high school I loved to play softball during the physical education period and noon break.  I usually insisted on playing first base, and nearly always did because I usually got my way.  In those days of no television and because of our country location, we knew little about ice hockey, or any other form of hockey.  The day came though when the school acquired a lawn-hockey set.  I absolutely loved that game and spent many happy school periods with my girl friends as we played it.  It became my favorite in athletics.

Through high school and junior college, as I've alluded to, my name always appeared on the school ballots for something.  But the areas I most loved to be involved in included: operettas, dances, and plays.  A word more about the delightful operettas:  I still managed to come up with the lead part in most of those, and that kept me very happy.  I remember visiting the schools in Pima, Eden, Duncan and others where we performed also.  Our parents cooperated in providing the transportation.  The spirit of it all, with the costumes, and just being a part of the group was so fun for me. 

Since farming was economic foundation of the area, many transients came and went according to the harvest seasons.  Among them, many boys had never learned to dance.  I liked being friendly to those boys and often coaxed them out onto the dance floor to help them become familiar with the basics of dancing and socializing. 

Graduation exercises were held after completion of tenth grade, and after that summer vacation we attended our last two years of high school at the junior college building.  At the time, the eleventh and twelfth grades of high school were accommodated with the college in the same building.  What fun!  Principally L.D. S. youths from the other Mormon enclaves came from many parts of Arizona, New Mexico, the El Paso area and even from the Mormon Colonies of Mexico.  A very exciting time in our lives: I say "our lives," because about then, Darvil became a part of my thoughts and activities, for we'd moved next door to his family. 

The schools and Church sponsored hay rides on big, flat-bed, horse-drawn wagons that carried a few bales of hay tossed on for comfortable sitting and lounging back.  We played, joked, shifted around, dangled legs over the side and jumped on and off the wagon at will as the horses slowly plodded along through the desert over the narrow dirt roads, in the cooler late afternoon and early evening.  Our destination would be the middle of a broad, dry, sandy wash among big,          black-limbed mesquite trees, with a smattering of other growth and rocks and the inevitable cactus.  There we would build a big bonfire, and after the flaming logs reduced themselves to glowing embers, we roasted marshmallows or weeners to eat with the other tasties brought for the occasion  -- homemade ice cream often topped off the regular course.  The fun wasn’t over though, for we enjoyed the return trip, in more comfortable, cool air.  We wended our way back down the silent road after dark, under moon and star-lit skies -- having just as much fun returning as going -- often blushing over a stolen kiss from a bashful boy who would kiss and run. The memories of the fragrance of the desert and the newly baled hay still whet my desires.  What lovely outings -- a  bygone day for most. 

Sometimes we planned picnic outings of the same nature as the hay rides, but on horse-back.  Dad always took care of finding the right horse for me; he would go to a friend and borrow the proper steed so I could always ride out and return safely.  I loved those outings on horseback.  I could have been a real horsy person if I’d had half the chance.  

Four miles west of Pima, to the south of the highway about one-half mile, a beautiful formation of clay cliffs rises from the desert floor.  Because of their striking orange color in contrast to the drab, gray, flat-land around them, they had been named "The Red Knolls."  Over 200 hundred feet high, they were riddled with caves, crevices, tunnels and deep, dark, seemingly, bottomless pits.

Giving face to the north, above the gentle, downward slope of the clay, alluvial fan, opened a natural amphitheater carved by the elements back into the cliff.  This amphitheater had coves and recesses on either side and to the back: natural rooms and partitions for the changing of costumes and waiting performers. 

Dances, plays, operettas and operas were important involvements in a young woman's life. Moreover, we considered the preparation for and presentation of the "Red Knoll’s Pageant" the most exciting cultural event of the year.  For those of us with interests in music and theatrics, we  looked forward to it with anticipation and high expectations.  I always took part in it as a member of the orchestra or the choral group, but occasionally I'd end up with a small speaking part.  Selected for major rolls, Darvil had important roles in five consecutive pageants.  Annually for many years, pageants continued to be presented to large audiences from the valley’s communities, there in the open air of the desert. 

"The Las Amigas Club,” the college girls organization, elected me president during my last year in junior college.  With a lot of talented help, I supervised the decorating of the gymnasium for the Girls Dance that year.  We chose "Fairy Land” as its theme.  I remember Karl Green’s younger sister who was very talented and artistic worked very hard planning and arranging beautiful, delightful decor.  We had lovely hand art and even a golden apple tree. 

[Karl Green and his wife bought the trailer park and our red brick house on Main street when we moved to California after Darvil’s four terms in the State Senate.  Karl and his wife esteem Darvil and Josephine such that he named one of his boys Darvil.  For several years Mac was Karl’s home teaching companion.] 

That same year, the members of the Boys Club were responsible for the decorations of the Spring Formal Prom.  It consisted primarily of desert flora:  Every imaginable type, kind, and variety of age, size and color of desert plant and cactus accented by a diverse spectrum of subdued, colored lights transformed the drab gymnasium to sensational, ethereal beauty.  It turned out, many expressed, to be as beautifully decorated as any prom in the history of the school.  In that period of time, few people took plant life from our vast, desert resources.  Nothing was endangered, and there were no laws to prohibit gathering it. 

Growing up in the arid, desert country, I took for granted the desert's unexcelled beauty.  I believe for the first time in my life, it was during the preparation for that prom that I first caught glimpses of the real magnificence of the great, dry, desert country with its myriad’s of strange and beautiful plants.  Our valley had so little rainfall that the farmers and the business people dependent on crop success, constantly petitioned God for moisture in public, church, and private prayers. 

We had lots of different, fun things to do for dates.  We went to special lecturers, musical and dramatic presentations, given by talented musicians invited to the college.  We often made ice cream at someone's home and sat visiting and laughing.  Sometimes the boys would spend hours cracking black walnuts, gathered from the wild trees, for the homemade ice cream -- the thick hard-shelled nuts were bears to extract the meat from. Or, we would take the ice cream out into the hills in the early evening for dessert after a bonfire and wiener roast or hamburger fry, or just a marshmallow toast.  In general, we grouped together with Darvil’s friends and their girl friends.  Gordon Stowell and Bernice Phillips (my first cousin), Fenton Taylor and a girl friend, and others. 

Three years in a row I went to the College Prom with the student body president.  A different one each year of course.  First I went with Homer Elledge who had come from Globe, Arizona: tall, very thin, still lacking some physical filling-out, but nice looking, and very popular -- though no match for Darvil. His lovely mother would have loved for him to marry me, but he didn't really care that much about me anyway.  The second time, Darvil invited me.  For the third prom, the invitation came from Gene Mangum: a nice, dear person and so affectionate, and still is with Darvil and me.  He organized my sixtieth, junior college graduating class reunion, the class of 33.  We attended it in May 1993 in Thatcher. 

The exciting part of the evening was the promenade. I felt privileged and thrilled to lead the promenade each of those three years on the arm of the student body president.  I liked the atmosphere of the spirit-lifting occasions.  We dressed in beautiful formals, were in the company of handsome young men and in the midst of colorful, tasteful decorations and exceptional orchestral dance music. Such fun times for a young woman of my inclinations.  I loved the dances. 

After graduation from Gila Junior College, Darvil left me and the valley for summer school in Flagstaff.  That didn't slow me down or hamper me in having a great summer.  I played tennis, went to Hot Springs to swim and on dates to the special events sponsored by the Church and the community.  I did have a special beau then too, and we spent many nice occasions together.  Morris Felshaw was a very nice person, I suspect he thought I might marry him.  I dated my long-time friend, Reid Morris, also. He's the one I loved to dance with: and I never attended a dance at which we didn't dance together. 

After Darvil returned from summer school that year, we were married  August the 18, 1933.  This is a good time to share the story of the marriage and our unique honey moon.  Darvil had written of it many years before: 

“Jo and I honeymooned in a six by ten canvas tent at eight thousand feet elevation in the Graham Mountains of southeastern Arizona, about fifty miles from our homes in Thatcher.  A secluded and romantic spot, it was not a regular campsite -- a big quarter-mile hike from the nearest road.  I spotted the place a couple of years before while hiking the high, lonesome mountains with a group of boy scouts.  I went up there the day before the wedding.  I packed everything in, pitched the tent and readied the campsite with Dutch ovens and skillet around the new fire pit to make things comfortable and easy for us both. 

“It was well past midnight the next night when we -- husband and wife of four hours or so -- bid good night to friends, Gordon and Bernice Stowell, who had driven us, and thanked them for the favor.  We warned them not to leave us stranded from the comforts of the civilized world, such as they were in those days, for more than ten days, and to bring any frivolous goodies to eat that might come to mind when they returned.  What a marvelous place!  And the frustrated shivareers without the least idea, knew not how a "coachless" couple so completely disappeared after the wedding on the lawn. 

“Well, I wish I had time and space to tell you about the wonderful ten days spent in forest and canyons of that beautiful and quiet area, but that's not the point of my story.  How would you like to have your own special place on the National Forest Service maps named in honor of "your" honey moon?  It took many years to finally happen but that's one honeymoon caper Jo and I can boast about. 

“Casting about one day for some means of leaving our mark upon the isolated haven, I took ax in hand and strode to a huge slab of ponderosa lying prone only a few feet from our quarters.  A powerful bolt of lightning had recently split the giant trunk leaving a three-foot, wide, white surface, smooth and fresh lying there on the ground, tilted at a forty-five degree angle to the horizon.  In an hour, with my sharp blade, I Veed-out thirteen huge letters on its virgin white surface spelling out the words, "HONEYMOON CAMP."  Then invigorated from the exertion and radiant because of pleased remarks from my new bride, I gathered bits of charcoal from the fire pit.  With them I blackened the grooves until the rough-hewn letters stood out like vigilant sentinels against the dawn lightened sky.  The next day I put final touches on the job by cutting in our names and the date - 1933.  The last time we visited the camp, about thirty years ago, the mountain road passed within a hundred yards of our trysting place, where a narrow trail led into the trees.  To our astonishment we discovered that the United States Forest Service had accepted the handiwork of my double-bitted ax as authentic.  For there beside the trail stood a sign -- HONEYMOON CAMP - 100 YARDS -- and a black arrow pointed up the trail in "our" direction. 

“How many others complimented our hideaway for the same purpose we will never know.  Probably not too many.  Kids afford luxury hotels now-a-days.  Do we feel cheated by not having enjoyed the same, or do we envy them?  Not at all, for how many hotels would have ever remembered us enough to name a honeymoon suite after us, even though our names were clearly on the register? 

“After the experience, Jo said, ‘I had never been much of an outdoors girl, but I do remember the beautiful, pristine setting of our place.  We enjoyed some wonderful hikes, and in silence we stood in awe of so many magnificent vistas. The only hard part wasn't the hike down, but the trudging back up the hill to the road.  It was a long way, but worth it, and we both would have extended it, if it were possible.’" 

A huge cottonwood tree on the edge of the front yard extended its branches out over the entire yard even reaching over our front porch.  Nearly always, during the seventeen years of my life in that home, we had some kind of a swing hanging from a big branch high in the tree on which we spent many hours playing.  In the back yard, a colorful hammock stretched between two smaller trees.  A favorite pastime on summer days, was to lay there and read a book. As the hammock gently swung in the shade, I would often, slowly, savor spoonfuls of peanut butter as I read. 

The day came when we could no longer safely play in the big canal.  At its headwaters where it was diverted from the Gila River, horses, cattle and garbage had fouled it, and authorities warned of the possible dangers.  Though many ignored it, like my big brothers and Darvil and his brothers and friends, they continued to play in it.  The best place to swim was thirty miles away at “Hot Springs.”  There was a big, beautiful hotel painted white.  The huge pool of warm water fed by the a natural spring had, at places, a squishy muddy edge we had to walk through to get to the deeper swimming water.  We liked it even with the mud, but later the pool was lined and bordered with concrete, and a row of dressing rooms extended along one side.  A nice diving board and a       two-story diving tower were at the deep end.  I would dive from the edge of the pool and the diving board, but try as I might I couldn’t boost my will enough to dive head first from the tower.  However, I willed myself to jump feet-first from the tower, and that showed daring enough.  Also, many people throughout the United States, with varied ailments, frequented the hot soothing waters hoping for some curative results.

Also as a teen-agers and older, we continued to enjoy Hot Springs.  The junior high school, high school, junior college and church groups often chose the place for special outings, where we swam and had picnics.  In the cool of the evening after the boiling sun finally settled below the horizon, we danced on a cement slab surrounded by a forest of black-limbed mesquites. 

For a while we had a nice place in Safford to swim, just three miles away, when a new electric plant was being built.  There was a big concrete lined pool filled with water which afforded much quicker access than way out thirty miles at Hot Springs.  Solomonville, ten miles from Thatcher, had a pool for a short time too.  I celebrated one of my birthdays at the Solomonville swimming pool with my friends.  Later, as a teen-ager in junior high school, the school built a small but fun swimming pool that we, and later our own children, all took advantage of.  Our second son, Jon, hired on one summer as the lifeguard.  Later, in Safford, a large, modern, public swimming pool with dressing rooms was built.         

Recently married, living in Solomonville there were six of us girls, most with new little ones.  We all loved music; we each had a good ear for it and could carry parts.  We sang as a double trio at many functions in the community and by special invitation throughout the valley.  The diversion it provided us from the rigors of daily routines were pleasant breaks.  We loved practicing, traveling and singing together. 

I loved being a part of ward choirs and singing in other large groups.  I sang with the Singing Mothers of the Solomonville, Thatcher and Layton wards and took advantage of every possible opportunity.  (Layton Ward was in Safford.)  During Christmas time, the college in Thatcher presented the Messiah and invited members of the community to take part.  I had been a part of many of them before I had married and continued afterward.  Back then, married and living away from Thatcher, with the narrow more windy roads, it seemed like quite a trip for me -- the whole ten miles from Solomonville.  The practices, though a ways away from home were not only fun, but a welcome escape for tattered nerves.  Eleanor, my sister two years older, accompanied the choir as the organist for many years.  Jean, my baby sister would also become the accompanist for many of the presentations.  Both were extensively recognized for their talent and advanced acumen as pianists and organists.  Both, unlike me because I wasn’t the dedicated piano student that they were, played at everything, everywhere. 

Though I had a love for the piano and had been given every opportunity in time, expense and the same wonderful teachers along with Eleanor, I neglected practicing.  Actually, it seems that the only time I really put my all into it was only for the fifteen minutes just before I arrived for the lesson.  Actually, piano came easy for me, maybe I was a natural, for I learned to play quite decently for having been such a lazy student. 

In Flagstaff for Darvil’s schooling and then in Solomonville for over two years, I remember how much I missed having a piano in my home.  The year Sally Jo was born, Darvil bought me a brand new Gulbransen piano from Richardsons in Safford.  I felt like the luckiest, richest person in the world.  Since then, through the many years, I’ve always had a beautiful piano in my homes.  I’ve loved and appreciated them. 

As my three little children grew older, I insisted on gathering them to the piano to sing.  At the time, the church published a new beautiful and sweet primary hymnal, with a selection of delightful pieces for children.  I bought one for each child and put their names in them.  I don’t know what has become of Mac’s and Sally’s, but I still have Jon’s.  I’ve promised it to him when I die -- but, not until – and who says I’ll precede him.  Many of them were compositions by Mildred Petit; her name, new to me then, I met and grew to know her well after moving into the East Pasadena Ward.  

After we moved to Pasadena, I missed singing in a choir and especially in three-part groups -- my first love.  Then after a while, I got acquainted with two nice women who invited me to join a group of women in the city.  We had a wonderful director and a wonderful accompanist.  I thrilled to discover that I had known the director, LaVerne “Knutson” Millard, as a little girl.  Her grandmother lived across the street from us in Thatcher.  The members were a service group also, and I loved being a part of the music with them.  Sadly, when LaVerne died, the group dissolved: I missed that group a lot. 

I admit I really loved the "Help-Your-Self-Laundry" business we bought in Wilmington.  The playing-in-the-water part kept me happy as an adult as it had as a child.  There were twenty ringer-type, square-tubb Maytag washing machines with double rinse tubs next to each one.  I liked doing my own washing, and of course, some of our customers left theirs for us to do.  I loved that too.  It was fun for me to use the big commercial dryers and to fold the warm fresh-smelling clothes.  And so many nice interesting people came in that I could visit with while I worked.  I loved that money that came in too, for the business turned out to be a ringer investment. 

Regarding our three children, I’ll insert some of Josephine’s history, that tells of them:  “We expected the arrival of our first child in January.  Two weeks before the day, though, if I had already had the experience of delivery, I would have sworn then that the time of arrival had come.  Only a false alarm, I would continue a bit longer in discomfort.

In the middle of the night my water broke, so I knew the time had finally arrived.  The next day, January 8, 1935, our first arrived a little after 11:00 AM.  We named him, Darvil David, after his dad and my dad.  My husband insisted we call him by his name, and I insisted we call him by my dad's name.  Perturbed with each other for refusing to budge an inch -- we just called him Mac 

He weighed well over nine pounds.  A beautiful baby in perfect form and health, we thrilled over him.  He was born in the front bedroom of my parent’s red brick house.  The house built by Darvil's Grandfather Sims and his son Uncle Oscar; the house that Mama always wanted, so desperately, that Dad bought it for her.  The room is at the north-west corner.  It’s window opens to the front porch. 

Mac started life as a beautiful and good baby, and he grew to be a good child and a beautiful child.  An easy child to have around and exceptionally loved, because he was the first grandson born to my mother and father's family.  Living next door, to the east, his Grandma McBride and Frankie, Darvil's youngest sister, they too thought him very special and helped to care for and to tend him.   Our first hardly had a chance to be a baby before the second came along, thirteen and one-half months later. 

The third year Darvil taught in Solomonville, we lived in one of the apartments above the Drug Store.  In February we waited expectantly for our second baby to arrive.  The time for the new one came closer day by day.  Arrangements had been worked out for a signal to the downstairs for them to notify Darvil at work. Well, it didn’t work, but finally, to my great relief, Darvil walked in the door only minutes before the doctor delivered our second boy.  Jon Robert, was born February 26, 1936.  Another good and beautiful baby in perfect form and health blessed our lives.  We felt so fortunate, so proud, thankful and grateful for him. 

Well I would see one boy alone and think, “Isn’t he the cutest thing in all the world.”  Then when I’d see the other one I’d think he must be the cutest one in all the world.  But when one wouk run to the other, seeing them together, I thought, “They bothe are ten times cuter together.” 

Seventeen months after Jon was born, the time had come for our third and last baby to arrive.  I remember thinking that I would just turn over and die if the third one wasn't a boy too.  I could only picture three little boys in my mind's eye. 

After Dr. Platt drove in, about one o'clock in the afternoon of August 22, 1937, our baby girl, Sally Jo, arrived.  A bit bald-headed, she weighed nine pounds.  When we saw how she looked, even though she was a her, all ideas in my mind of three boys melted away ceasing to exist -- she was such a beautiful thing.  But she worried us; I couldn't nurse her and she didn't gain weight; she developed very slowly.  As I remember, three months later she had gained only one additional pound.  We were very careful with her though and finally got her straightened out. 

Now, two small toddlers and a new baby complicated our lives.  We really had our noses to the grindstone.  To relieve the work burden, we hired three different young teenagers to help with the chores of the house and care for the children.  Each in their own special ways were exceptional .”

At this time, June 1996, I want to share the following encapsulated information regarding the lives of our children: 

Our oldest, Darvil David (Mac), married Linda Ann Larson of San Grabriel, California.  She was born August 28, 1935.  Her parents are Lloyd Anthone, born June 24, 1900 in  Fay, close to Pioche Nevada, but  raised in Utah; and Dora Isabelle Hicken, born June 28, 1901, in Heber City, Utah.  Mac and Linda have eight children – five sons, three daughters, 12 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.  Linda and DeNell have taken in stray kids like some adopt stray cats.  All of Mac’s five boys and one of the strays filled missions.  Also, the stray’s children think of them as their grandparents, and Mac and Linda treat them like their own, so that makes nine more.  Presently, they live in Corona, California, where they have resided for over 30 years.  Because of an injury high in the neck, other health problems and surgery, Mac was forced to retire from 30 years of practice in dentistry.  Much improved, both are embarking on their own pet projects of new businesses.  Their five married children were married in the temple and are active, holding responsible positions.  The three single ones, are working and going to school, and all are active and have callings in the Church. 

“Jon” Robert, married DeNell Louise Crismon of Phoenix, Arizona.  She was born August 15, 1937 in Phoenix, Arizona.  Her parents are David Edward, born December 25, 1915 in Mesa, and Nellie Campbell, born September 15, 1919 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Jon is a pilot for DHL Airways, a carrier service, and DeNell works for American Arlines.  They presently live in Villa Hills, Kentucky, just across the Ohio State line from the Cincinnati Airport from where he flies and she works.  They have ten children – five sons, five daughters, and  17 grandchildren.  Four of his boys and one daughter have filled missions and another daughter is serving at present.  The six married, were sealed in the temple and each are active with responsible church positions.  The younger ones are in middle school, high school or college and are happily engaged in a myriad of Church and school activities. 

Sally Jo, married James Gregory Porter, born October  6, 1936 in Solomonville, Arizona.  Jim”s parents are Glen H., born October 16, 1903, in Bryce, Arizona, and Wanda “Maude” Marshall, born August 26, 1910 in Eden, Arizona.  Sally and Jim had had three boys.  Later, they adopted an infant baby girl.  Two of Sally’s boys filled missions and three of her four children have been married in the temple.  Sally has 20 grandchildren.  Sally subsequent marriage to Herschel Butterfield, finally brought real happiness into her life.  Hersch has four children, two boys, two girls and 7 grandchildren.  The three married were dealed in the temple.  Two of his boys and one girl filled missions and all are active and responsible in the church.   Hersh was born April 21, 1938 in Murray, Utah.  His parents are George Jefferson, born 1888, in Herriman, Utah, and Edna  Marie Naylor, born in South Jordan, Utah. 

At this point, April, 2005, we have 3 Children, 75 grandchildren, and 11great-grandchildrenat.                                     

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To conclude this snapshot of history, that I leave especially for you, my nieces and nephews, and your children and on down through your generations, however many there may be, I’ll share the greatest of treasures that mankind can have.  It is Darvil’s and my testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  With out doubt, it is the greatest legacy that we can leave to our posterity and the posterity of our own brothers and sisters: a knowledge of the truth found in the “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”  Not that we wish to boast or impress, nor do we in any way discount the strength of the testimony of others, but to leave the whole as a legacy to loved ones who follow.  And we hope this brief sketch bears witness of what we claim, for we, of assurity, bare solemn witness of the following: 

Through modern and ancient scripture, through revelation and inspiration to modern-day prophets, we know that God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ are real, separate and living celestial beings after whose image we have been created.  We know also that the Holy Ghost is a real and living Personage, who if He chose to show himself would appear as a man – as would the Father and the Son.  We believe also that Christ is the Cornerstone of this church, that through Him prophets are still called, and that even today a living prophet leads and guides this, his people. 

We believe the original Church, as organized by the Savior, fell into disbelief after the death of Christ’s apostles. Thus the Priesthood, the authority given man to act in the Lords name upon the earth, was taken away, ushering in the Dark Ages, making it necessary for a “restoration of authority” in these latter days.  We know that through the faith of and instrumentality of the Prophet Joseph Smith, such has occurred.  Ancient prophets, apostles and the Savior Himself amply prophesied the demise of the Church, and also its restoration.  Though this truth is clearly confirmed by the scriptures, and is daily taught by our authorities, each of us, to know, must undertake the search ourselves. 

What an obligation rests upon our shoulders since we know, without a doubt, that the previous statements are absolutely true.  Therefore we can not; no! we dare not deny it, and are driven to express it to others. 

Likewise  we stand obligated to express the following:  Although we have chosen to bear our testimonies as a team for this abbreviated history and have been support to one another, we each, in our own time and way, have arrived at our religious conclusions on our own, and feel that we have had no dependence “on the arm of flesh,” against which the Savior has warned.

For years now we have expressed this fact to each other: that we do not recall that a certain time ever arrived in our lives when first we “started to believe” or started “to have a testimony.”  ‘If such a time did occur, it was at our mother’s knees.  And we know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is just something  that has always been and to which we truly belong.  It gives one a feeling of being enveloped and lovingly surrounded by goodness and truth. 

Through our humble way, giving no heed to sacrifice, we have striven to teach our children the truth and the importance of honoring it, and pray that such in turn will bless the lives of their children.  Though hardly claiming perfection, we feel warmed by the degree of success the exemplary lives of our children and their spouses.  We look upon them with pride.  They are testimony in themselves.  What peace of mind that reality brings, reminding all that “peace of mind” is the core of true happiness and comes to one through the observance of eternal and true principles with obedience to those principles.  Principles unknown to and not expounded by the preachers-at-large of so-called Christian religions. .

Sometimes our lives are harried by the question of what are the rules by which we should live?  Again the answer is, “search and ye shall find, ask and it shall be given, knock and it will be opened,” all an admonition to search it out on your own.  God is just -- He has provided the information -- make the effort!  Now we end out testimony by quoting from the 76th section of The Doctrine and Covenants beginning with verse 22: 

“And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of Him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!  For we saw him!” 

though we have not seen Him personally, but believe Joseph Smith to be a Prophet of God, we sense we know him, and boldly bear the same testimony:  That He lives! 

To these things we jointly testify and signature.  

Darvil B. McBride        Josephine “Phillips” McBride 

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Many years of experience in life qualifies “and compels” us to leave requisite advice for your happiness:  The key to success in raising up righteous children has been clearly delineated by ancient and modern scripture and by living prophets of our day:  You will be living examples of diligence in family prayer, daily scripture study, family home evening and periodic, personal interviews with your children.  To the degree you fall short of obedience to this admonition; the degree of your success will be diminished.  Also, display affection to your spouse, play and work together as a family, develop family traditions and often express your satisfaction and love to your children.  These are the vehicles through which your children will learn that these are the paths to happiness and true success that they should follow.  With maturity, this truth will distill upon their minds, and in turn, as if they had discovered it on their own, they will teach the same to their own children. 

Beware of the twin devils, “selfishness” and “pride,” “the root of all sin.”  They are evil bed-partners, ever entwined, masquerading in many disguises, easy to see in others -- but very difficult to recognize in ourselves.  Think about it.  Is their anything unacceptable before Deity that does not have its root in these too bed-fellows? 

“Envy” and “covetousness” invariably accompany selfishness and pride and are vastly destructive to the integrity of the human soul and sound relationships with others.  All of the aforementioned eventually lead to unforgiveness, which is hate, an ugly and foreboding shroud of darkness we should never allow to envelope us.  Remember well, that to require apology of someone before forgiving them is a form of revenge.  Nevertheless, of ourselves we must always require apology to others, lest they seethe against us crippling themselves. 

“Service and activity in the church” is a saving principal.  To exempt yourself because of any foolish, illegitimate reason is to forfeit “eternal life” (exaltation) in the Eternities, which state is entirely different from immortality, for though we shall all be resurrected and live forever, few there are that shall be exalted and worthy to be in the presence of God.  For your own welfare after death -- heed well these eternal truths.

Immorality in its numerous forms, to any degree, will deny the Holy Spirit’s blessings upon you, and you will gradually but surely waste away your integrity.  Immorality ravages marriage and alienates individuals from children, other family and friends.  Immorality prowls about behind many pretty masks too.  Watch your step for it masquerades in comely  tresses, including supposed humor, comedy and art.  Take care that you not rationalize damaging indulgences because of supposed redeeming qualities within that which is evil. 

Immorality in its many forms creeps in, ever so gradually, slowly but surely, entangling with slithering tentacles.   Young and old will avoid it like the plague or suffer terrible, grave unhappiness in this life and if not repentant, awful consequences in life after death.

We know you.  We care about you and yours.  We love you. 

Love your Aunt Jo and Uncle Darvil.

 

"RODNEY" KIMBALL PHILLIPS

Rodney was born August 5, 1915, the youngest son of David Dee and Arnette (Jones) Phillips. His father came with his parents to the Gila Valley from Utah in horse-drawn wagons.  His mother came with  her single mother and a younger brother from Heber, Utah by train to Bowie [the railroad's end of the line] and from their in a covered farm wagon driven by an uncle all ready in the Valley.  (Expand on this) 

Janice (Jenes) Smith, was the oldest daughter of James Byron and Cordella May (Layton) Smith.  James Byron was one of the first white babies born in Safford.  Janice was born April 27, 1916 in Safford, Arizona.  She attended the Safford Schools and studied cosmetology in San Diego, California after graduating from High school in 1934.  Receiving her license, she worked in California for a short time, and then attended college at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah for a year.  Returning to the Gila valley, she married Rodney.  After her children were grown she worked at several part time jobs:  J.C. Penny’s, Dairy Queen and a local laundry.  She was an excellent seamstress, and made many lovely dresses, afghans, dolls and handmade gifts for her family and friends.  Janice died of cancer May 6, 1986, after being ill for several years.  She was a person who loved people and flowers. 

Rodney claims his very first memory of his childhood was when his mother accidentally stuck him with a safety Pin as she changed his diaper. 

When he was four years old he went to El  Paso on the train with his grandparents, Andrew and Josephine (Nonnie) “Cluff” Kimball.  He remembers sitting on his grandfather’s lap on several train rides throughout his childhood.  It was this grandfather after whom he was named. 

Every summer his mother and he rode the train to Los Angeles where they stayed in a hotel near Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles. The many hours spent at the beach and fond memories of his family there, developed a love for the ocean that lasted a lifetime. 

Rodney’s mother, Nettie, and grandmother, Nonnie, held many positions in the Relief Society Presidency in the St. Joseph Stake.  Back in those days, the stake extended as far east as El Paso.  He remembered several trips, both by train and by car when they would have occasion to drag him along with them.  He said he  knew more about Relief Society than the sisters did! 

He was told as a child that he had a heart murmur and would not be able to play sports, but he loved to watch football, basketball and baseball games.  He was active in the Boy Scouts of America, and went on many camp-outs with his young friends.  The love of the out-of-doors stayed with him throughout his adulthood.  He enjoyed fishing and hunting, and especially enjoyed time with his son, David, and his brother-in-law, James Woodford, spending wonderful times at Roosevelt Lake fishing together. 

As a boy, he love to garden and kept his family will supplied with vegetables and his favorite snack, popcorn.  All of his life he kept a neat and clean yard which arrayed his home, which probably stemmed from his agriculture experience as a youth. 

Rodney enjoyed being the youngest child of the family until he was 15.  That year, 1930, his little sister, Arnetta Jean, was born.  She was the apple of his eye, and throughout his life he called her, “My little Deanie.” 

Sometime during his boyhood, a room was built on to the garage, and served as his bedroom.  He recalls that he enjoyed inventing “things” and at one time concocted a contraption, that when someone entered his bedroom a fishnet fell on their head, loud music began playing, and large spools began to whirl around the room! 

Rodney loved music.  He inherited this trait form his mother and father and was greatly influenced by his sisters: Eleanor, Jo and Jean who all were talented piano players.  Although he never learned to play the piano, he had a nice singing voice, but was modest about letting people know it.  One of his favorite hobbies when he was older was building stereos and radios. 

Rodney had an extremely high IQ and loved all math classes.  After graduating from Thatcher High in 1933, he attended one year of college at Gila Academy where he was a member of the Men’s Glee Club, and was studying to become an electronic engineer.  However, the effects of the depression closed the family business at the Big Six mercantile store in Thatcher, and Rodney had to seek employment in stead of continuing on with his education.  In October 1935, he started working for Western Auto Supply, owned by Leon Kelly. 

At the age of 17, he started dating Janice.  When Janice left to attend Beauty School in San Diego in 1934, she was still number one in his book.  Upon her graduation in 1935, her parents sent her off to college at BYU in Provo.  He must have been pretty lonesome as he gave Janice an ultimatum that she either come home and marry him now, or forget it.  She quit school in the middle of the semester, returned to her Rodney, and they were married in Mesa Arizona, March 2, 1936.  His Uncle Howard Standage, a justice of the peace, performed the ceremony. 

Rodney and Janice had three children: two daughters and one son.  On the day their first daughter, Kay, was born in January of 1937 in Phoenix, it was snowing.  Rodney was sick with the flu and couldn’t be there with Janice.  Since a husband didn’t show up at her bedside, Janice worried the nurses thought she wasn’t married. 

Because of Janice’s ill health, Doctors had advised her against having any more children.  However, October ___ , 1942, they were blessed again with another daughter, Mikele Sue.  Then, much to their delight, a son, David Byron, was born December ___ , 1949. 

Rodney continued to work for Western Auto Supply for ten years until March, of 1945 when he was drafted into the Navy.  He received his training as a submarine parts distributor in Hershey, Pennsylvania before being transferred to Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii where he served until he was mustered out in February, 1946. 

After returning home to his family in Safford, he went to work for Sears, Roebuck and Co. as a salesman.  He remained in their employ about three years, and then went to work for Safford Auto Supply, owned by Marshall Carson.  He eventually became manager of their store, and remained there until his retirement in 1972. 

Throughout the years, Rodney and Janice kept in close contact with his older brothers, Dee and Virgil, who had moved to California.  He loved his family, and all of his brothers and sisters were important to him throughout his life.  After the passing of his father in 1941, he was a stalwart son to his mother, who became a widow when Jean was only twelve years old.  It was always Nettie’s desire that Rodney become active in the church; and although this dream was never realized in her lifetime, he always accompanied her to church whenever Spencer Kimball came to the Gila Valley.  He was always the one who cleaned the family cemetery plot on Memorial Day, and along with his mother, placed fresh bouquets of sweet peas beside each family member’s grave. 

Rodney and Janice had thirteen grand children, and sixteen great grandchildren.  Janice preceded Rodney in death in 1986.  After her death, he remained in their home in Safford until his stroke in 1989, which left him paralyzed on one side.  He was in the Veteran’s Hospital in Tucson for six months, then was transferred to the Safford Care Center March, 1990, where he remained until his death on Monday , October  26, 1992. 

Rodney was a quiet unassuming man.  He did so many good things for people in his own quiet way, never expecting any recognition.  He was a man of honor and integrity, a hard worker and good provider for his family.  He loved his God, his country and his fellowmen.  He will always be missed by all who knew him. 

A special thanks should go to Mikele and Jean for the countless hours of compassionate service to him while he was in the hospital, and a special thanks to Jo, Darvil, Sally and Herch for the many trips to Safford to visit with him while he was confined to the nursing home.  He loved  you all dearly. 

The Children: 

Kay La Rue, born January 21, 1937.  I lived all my growing up years in Safford, Graham County, Arizona, in the Gila Valley.  Graduating from Safford High School, I attended Eastern Arizona College, three miles to the west in Thatcher.  There, I met and later married Elwood Charles O’dell, May 8, 1956.  The O’dells were from Duncan, Greenlee County, Arizona, near the Arizona/New Mexico state line, about 45 miles east of Safford 

After pre-dental at Thatcher, we moved in 1957, to St. Louis Missouri where we lived for the next four years while he attended dental school at Washington University and I worked as a secretary.  Meanwhile, two sons were born to us: Phillip Craig and Charles Curtis. 

Graduating in 1961, Elwood joined the Air force.  We were stationed at Travis A.F.B. near  Fairfield, California, where I again worked as a secretary for the Solano County District Attorney.  While living their, our first daughter, Connie Lyn, arrived.  Discharged from active duty in 1963, Elwood moved our family to Mesa, Arizona where he began private practice.  There for 22 years, we were blessed with two more children:  Troy Dennis and Dee Ann. 

In Mesa I became actively involved  in genealogical research.  Children grown, I published a family news letter for six years.  Also I worked as Research Assistant at local LDS Branch Genealogical Libraries for ten years.  I’ve done extensive research on my husband’s and my family lines and have also done professional research.  I’ve loved it with all my heart.  What started out as a hobby expanded into a wonderful way of life for me.  

My husband has been a wonderful spouse and father, and after his first love, his family, he has enjoyed extensive big game hunting, not only in the US, but also in Canada, Alaska and Africa.  He has done most of his own taxidermy and we have built our homes to display the trophies and his artistic accomplishments. 

In 1984, we moved to Pinetop  in the heart of the beautiful white mountains of Northern Arizona among the majestic ponderosa pines.  We bought a new home and Elwood opened a new dental practice.  We both love the great out-of-doors, we both ski and “Woody” still loves to hunt and fish. (Bring it up to date with whatever else, and especially with grandchildren.) 

Mikele,  (Time to brag Mike.)

David,  (you girls will have to help him brag.) 

Josephine (Jo) Phillips (Rodney’s older sister) provides the loving memories contained in the following fourteen paragraphs:  My baby brother Rodney was born on August 5, 1915, three years and two months after me.  Rodney was always a sweet and loving person.  Mama and Dad knew him to be a special boy, and Dad had a special place in his heart for him.  Nevertheless,  none of us ever thought that our parents showed favoritism towards one over another.  I know all of we brothers and sisters felt the same way towards Rodney, as our parents did. 

As a small boy, Rodney and I went with Mama as she chauffeured her mother (my grandmother Nonnie) to her many meetings at the different wards, for she was the stake relief society president.  With Nonnie, Mama, Rodney and I attended the board meetings as well as the regular meetings of the wards she visited.  After I was old enough to be left in the care of others at home, Rodney continued going along with Mama and Nonnie.   

Quick and bright in school, the active youngster was diagnosed as having a heart murmur.  The doctor cautioned Mama and Dad to not allow him to be involved in athletics.  He could have been a fine athlete, but without athletics he found more than enough to keep himself happy.  Behind our old house, Dad built an ample sandbox with solid lumber sides.  Rodney and I spent many happy hours wrapped up in our imaginations, digging holes, building mountains, making lakes and streams, laying out towns, roads and trails and playing with bottle horses. Later, he took real interest in scouting.  He loved gardening and also, he developed a love for everything and anything to do with electricity. 

At our new house on Main Street, outside the back door a room had been added against the west wall of the garage.  The front part was divided off as a laundry room, and the rest behind it, became a small screened-in room.  With a bed and a big chest-of-drawers, it became Rodney’s private domain.  He rigged Rube Goldberg contraptions, changing and adding to them continually.  At one time, he built a contraption with spools, pulleys, wheels, string, cords, wire, small chains, propellers, fan blades and whatever else he could attached to it.  Strung out all over the room, the entire mechanism began running when he plugged in a little motor.  It was a fascinating sight to behold. 

Rodney fell in love with Janice Smith; they loved each other dearly and eventually married.   Janice’s mother was very attentive to her and her children and Janice’s wonderful father had an outstanding singing voice.  I’m reminded of a special gathering at our home when he sang for us in his beautiful bass voice.  He was a darling man with his daughter and her children.  

When a small girl, Janice met with a terrible accident that nearly cost her leg.  Throughout her life, the leg gave her endless trouble and required repeated, extensive and expensive medical attention.  Her pregnancies and deliveries were complicated by the affliction too.  She bore it all with patient courage: hardly, if ever, uttering a complaint.  Weakened in her declining years, the leg was finally amputated to extend to her a better, quality of life with less suffering. 

Their first baby was a beautiful daughter, the only child in the family for a few years.  Kay enjoyed her mother’s unbridled attention.  Rodney did his best trying to somehow curtail Janice in her extravagance with Kay.  But in the end there was nothing held back from the little one.  For special occasions, birthdays and Christmas, it seemed that Kay got everything.  Despite the effusive shower of attention on an only child, it didn’t harm darling Kay in the least.  She has become one of the great stalwarts of our family. 

Immensely talented as a seamstress, Janice’s creations for Kay were marvelous, done with  perfection and good taste.  She could look at a store dress, or any other, and from memory duplicate it exactly.  Sewing, her hobby, she stayed with it in some form or other during her entire life.  Kay, as a little girl, had a wardrobe so extensive that she couldn’t possibly enjoy it all.  Fortunately for Sally Jo, guess who became the beneficiary of many of those wonderful creations?  We loved them because they were truly exquisite and made by one we dearly loved.  I know that my delight with the generous gifts, in turn, delighted Janice too, for she was a giving woman. 

Mikele, the second child was petite and beautiful, but had a lot of rascal in her as a baby and little girl.  She grew into a beautiful woman, a kind and unselfish daughter, mother and grandmother.  She rendered untold hours of selfless service to her mother before she passed away, then to her father who suffered terribly before he died. 

The third child, David, arrived when Janice was ailing.  Her health problems became so great that on a few occasions I spent as much as a week of nights taking care of David so Janice could rest to regain strength.  Rodney had to work and had no possible way to see to the care of the baby and the two girls as he was compelled to make a living.  David was a beautiful baby and child, and a handsome youngster and young man. He and his father spent many enjoyable outings together fishing and gallivanting in the outdoors.  But Rodney didn’t stay close to the church like his family wanted.  Regardless, he was a good and unselfish man, and we all loved him dearly.

The Navy drafted Rodney into service when Kay was about two years old.  He spent much of his two years in Hawaii.  He evidently saw enough of the islands, for he told me that he didn’t care to ever return.  While in the service, stationed for a while in San Diego, he wanted desperately to get to Safford to see his Janice and Kay.  So, with our three kids, Darvil and I drove to the naval base and picked him up.  From there he drove us the rest of the way to the valley while Darvil took a bus back to Wilmington and the laundry business.  After a few days visit we returned the same way to drop  him off in San Diego.  It was a nice trip for us. 

Service in the navy wasn’t to Rodney’s liking.  A happy man to have it behind him, he returned home with enthusiasm for the future.  Before he’d gone into the service, professionally, he kept books and sold auto parts for Leon Kelly’s store in Safford.  Upon returning, he worked for Marshall Carson.  That man had great admiration and respect for Rodney, appreciating and loving him for his dedication and integrity.  When the elder Mr. Carson died, Rodney continued running the auto parts business under the direction of the wife and sons.  They appreciated him a lot too, but, the oldest son gradually became a problem to work with, causing Rodney to resign, for which the selfish son had been conniving. 

Janice had her hands full with her own health problems and her family, and appropriately was unable to spend much time with Mama during her ailing years.  Thanks to Janice’s understanding though, Rodney was free to be attentive and thoughtful toward our mother.  He visited her often during his lunch hour and other times, especially when he knew I couldn’t be at home with her.  Mama so appreciated Rodney’s time with her and the special attention given to her by he “baby boy.”  I was away with Darvil on a senate trip, and Eleanor and Rodney were with Mama when she died.  Showing a depth of insight and compassion toward me, they told me that they knew through conversations with her that she was glad that I was away.  They understood my feelings of fear, that she would pass away without me there to be of comfort to her. 

Life became a ponderous ordeal for Rodney during Janice’s suffering before she finally passed away, for he suffered also for her.  Two or three years after she died, he suffered a stroke that severely incapacitated him: to the extent that he couldn’t even turn himself over in bed.  His suffering was so awful that medications hardly relieved his pain.  His passing was a blessing, a relief from a long period of agony -- not just for him alone, but for his dear children too -- and for Jean and me. 

“Darvil” Burns McBride (brother-in-law) provides the following four paragraphs:  After six years of  marriage, in the summer of 1939, we left the three kids with Jo’s mother in Thatcher.  With Jo’s brother, Rodney, and his wife, Janice, we drove into California and on up to San Francisco to the World Fair on Treasure Island.  We enjoyed seven days escape from the rigors of home, the little ones, the awful heat and our normal routine.  It took two days to get there and two days to return -- leaving three, full, fun-filled days.  We stuffed in all the seeing we could in those three days.  Many of the exhibits were under cover of tents, and especially at night, the cold wind whistled through them -- cold!  Even in August. 

We don’t remember many of the particulars, but we do remember our amazement over the prototypes of new inventions in all areas of science.  We were wide-eyed over the many marvels of that modern day -- fifty-five years ago.  We gazed in captivated awe at the new “Bay Bridge.”  We traveled its length several times while there -- the Golden Gate bridge too.  Those wonderful feats of modern, magnificent engineering fascinated us.  They were quite the sight for plain old country folks like us.  We had fun traveling and staying in the motels too -- coming and going and while we were there. 

Headed home, looking forward to staying the night in Long Beach, our mouths watered at the thought of a delicious bowl of clam chowder.  At first mention, Janice wanted to know, “What in the world is that?”  Even though she had been in California on many occasions, for her dad lived in La Puente, she had never heard of it.  We debated how best to explain it -- we hit upon “fish soup.”  “Ugh,” she said, “I don’t want any of that.”  Despite the picture imagined in her mind, she gathered her nerve and ordered some, and ended up enjoying it.  As we continued our trip, Rodney pointed out groves of trees that he said were avocados.  We stopped at a road-side stand and bought some.  Those were the first Jo and I had ever eaten, and we loved them then, and have loved them ever since. 

Poor Janice became sort of an irritation on the way home.  She had left her only baby, Kay, and she was so homesick for her. “She got the bit in her mouth,” so to speak, and could hardly be reined in.  She tried every ploy in the book to bring an earlier end to our trip.  We stretched it out the whole seven days though she kept up a persistent nagging. 

A letter from Rodney Phillips in Safford, AZ, to his kids, dated February 23, 1990:

Hi Kids, There is not much in the way of local news, the enclosed clippings will verify this. Valentines Day was a disaster weather-wise.  (Strong winds blew all day) with rain, hail, sleet and snow, really a …bad day to go swimming in the river. Then to top that, the following Monday we had a second performance. Today so far looks like a fait day if the …wind stays low I may be able to pick up a few pecans on the deck. To you, this may sound a simple thing, but to me with my bit of equilibrium problems it’s a chore.
     Wednesday was a busy day for me, John Stebbins (Adj. Gen. for our American Legion district) called by bringing me the Veterans Administration metal marker that I will install at the headstone of Grandpa Phillips, to identify him as (a) veteran of the Indian Wars. Then while John was here Lottie came down t visit a little while. (She was in Safford to see Jessie who is 92,) then Jean came in while they were both here (bring me a delicious dish of gourmet strip steak on toast with broccoli plus a cherry pie serving). She, Glenn and little Amber are all so very thoughtful, kind and generous to me. Last Monday she brought me nine Beef and Green Chile Burros which she had made at home and they are being enjoyed so much by the ‘King of Mexican Food Judges.’

     Hope all of you are well and enjoying the nice climate and that the ‘oil spill’ is not up to your North Windows. (Signed)—Much Love to both,  Rodney

     (His health at the time is poor and failing fast, and he was very appreciative of all who had a hand in making him comfortable and tending to his needs.)

Add to, refine and correct.  I’ll continue to help you Rodney Phillip’s kids as you need.  But, with 11 kids, 22 grandchildren and one great-grandchild and a wife and aged parents, I’m just as busy as you three are.  And this history will be of great importance to all of our children as well as to all the children of your father’s other brother’s and sisters.   Old tired Mac

"JEAN" ARNETTA PHILLIPS DOWDLE

Josephine (Jo) Phillips McBride (Jeans older sister), and Darvil David (Mac) McBride (a nephew) provide, from memory, notes and audio recordings the following history:  In my heart I [Josephine] know I’m at least partly responsible for Jean’s birth.  At thirteen through fifteen years of age, I had dreams of a black baby, a deformed baby or a white beautiful baby; I dreamed about all kinds of babies that could come into our family.   I had always wanted a little sister and I constantly prayed to Heavenly Father for one.  At the age of seventeen, while Eleanor and I busied ourselves getting ready for a dance, Mama entered our room.  She said, “So you can talk about me tonight and spread the good news – I’m going to have another baby.” 

On the Fourth of July, Dubie Mickelson’s family invited me to go with them on an outing to the mountains, and we left the morning of the next day.  Later, Mama told me how glad she felt that I had been invited, but she added that she knew the baby would be born that next day while I was away.  Jean arrived July 5, 1930, nine months after mother had celebrated her forty-eighth birthday.  When we finally got her, she was so pretty, an absolute love and delight.  She has always been a joy, love and blessing in the lives of out family.  She is 18 years 1 month younger than I. 

Darvil and I married in August of 1933.   We moved to Flagstaff for him to finish his final year in college.  We couldn’t get home for Thanksgiving for me to see my little Jean.  I was heart broken, but a gift in the mail helped ease the pain.  We received a post office notice indicating two packages, but only one could be found.  A couple of days after the holiday, they found the other.  Dear Mama had sent us a roasted hen, complete with stuffing, plus an angel-food cake.  The second package contained the roasted hen, and though it had some mold on the surface, we scraped it off, warmed it up and ate it anyway, for the freezing weather of that high altitude had preserved it well.

We did come home at Christmas, and I’ll never forget walking into the house.  At first glance, I noticed how shabby the living room had become.  Times were financially difficult for my family; we were in the middle of the Great Depression.  But, there was Mama, Dad and Jean – my almost three-and-a-half-year-old, precious sister.  Indescribable warmth swept over me; at home that holiday season, I spent some of the happiest days of my life. 

Beautiful Jean enjoyed great popularity during her school years.  She had dimples like Eleanor, and radiated a confidence, and decided poise and charm.  She came into the world with a gift for music.  Along with several friends, she received training in voice and piano from a wonderful high school teacher.  She and two friends, one with a lovely soprano voice and the other with a low alto voice formed a trio.  I felt as though they were nearly as good a the King Sisters or the Andrew Sisters.  They were very professional.  Over a period of several years, many gatherings were enthralled with their lovely singing.  Jean became a superb pianist and organist also.  Among her other accomplishments in music, I know that for two years, the honor was hers to be the accompanist for the “Messiah,” annually sponsored by the junior college.  Also, she sang in the Messiah whenever not accompanying. 

Jean received her preliminary education in the Thatcher Schools, which included a year at the junior college.  Later, while Mama attended a summer session at Northern Arizona University at Flagstaff to renew her teaching certificate, Jean took advantage, enrolling in a class for additional credits.  She also played the piano numbers for a dance class while she was there.

Jean’s beauty and popularity gave her the pick of many beaus.  She had quite a case on one, but dear Glenn won out in the end with flying colors.  Early in their romance, and to this day, Glenn has detested the sight of the photograph of the one former boy friend.  After she had decided on Glen, Mama shared with me that Glenn came privately to her and said, “I want to marry your daughter.  And Nettie, I’ll see that she never wants for anything.”  In my opinion he has successfully kept that promise.  He is a fine man, husband and father and we’ve always been glad to claim him as part ours. 

When Glenn’s mother, Elma Rosina Britton, approached the time of his birth, she traveled to Burbank, California to be with her mother.  Three months elapsed while his mother awaited his arrival.  There, Glenn got his first glimpse of earthly surroundings March 22, 1926.  After, regaining her strength under her mother’s care, Elma returned with him to the ranch.  I’m sure Glenn’s father, Henry Edward, and two older brothers, rejoiced to see the new baby.  Glenn had an older sister too, but sadly, she had died in infancy. 

Glenn attended school in a two-room school house in Klondike, Arizona, not far from his ranch home, out in the middle of a vast cattle country.  After the ninth grade, the last provide by the small school, he attended three years of high school in Safford where he graduated. 

At 18 years of age, September of 1944, he entered the Air Force.  He trained as a mechanic for the B-32, a light bomber, eventually becoming the crew chief qualifying him to be “the top turret gunner” of the aircraft. 

Because of his father’s illness and decreasing ability to manage the ranch, his Air Force career was cut short.  Granted a special “hardship discharge” March of 1945, he returned home to assume the sole, difficult management of the extensive ranch.  Two months after returning, his father passed away.  At that time he bought out his two brother’s shares in the holdings and continued to live in the ranch home with his mother.  Alone with the responsibility, without the help of other family members, he managed the affairs of the ranch in their entirety.  Sadly, after his mother’s death, under peculiar and unfair circumstances, he was compelled to buy out his brothers a second time. 

Jean met Glenn sometime in 1947.  She and a girl friend were cruising Main Street in Safford.  Glenn and a friend were doing the same and the lucky boys chanced upon the fortunate girls.  Natural consequences led the two pair to stop and visit, and the two boys soon asked the girls for a date.  However, Jean ended up dating Glenn’s friend.  After the first date the boys put their heads together and decided they would rather have been with the other’s date.  The next date found Jean and Glenn correctly paired together.  Evidently, the preference of both, for they continued dating until their friendship developed into a deep, mutual love and fun filled times of courtship.  They married July 27, 1949. 

We were living in Grand Junction, Colorado when the time grew near for the wedding.  I felt fortunate to visit Thatcher a few days before the special event.  Mama seemed so completely worn out and was grateful for Darvil’s and my help to organize and attend to last minute preparations.  It was a beautiful and memorable ceremony held in Mama’s home.  Jean was a beautiful bride, and Glenn, a handsome groom.  _____________ ____________  performed the ceremony. 

The natural, happy consequences of marriage brought four beautiful children into their lives.  For several years they lived in the Klondike ranch-home.  Their first child, Dee D., was born August 7, 1951.  Jill, Lisa and Dana followed respectively: July 30, 1953; November 2, 1955 and May 15, 1958. 

During 1952 and 1953, Glen took upon himself the additional labor of running his Aunt May’s Klondike ranch.  In 1955 and 56, he worked nights for the Athletic Mining Company in the Aravaipa Area, not distant from the ranch.  Supposedly hired for eight-hour shifts, the shifts often stretched into as much as ten-hour-plus stints.  In addition, he still continued the arduous physical labor and worry of running the ranch while seeing to the essentials attendant to a wife and growing family. 

Glenn bought the old, substantial, adobe Bleak house, a few miles from his ranch and renovated it, adding beautiful improvements.  But, they only enjoyed the sanctuary of their new, comfortable place, for just a short time.  The house burned to the ground in the winter of late 1960 or early 61.  There in the neighborless  reaches of rural cattle country, he discovered it ablaze.  Hopelessly alone, for Jean and the kids were gone, he was helpless to extinguish it.  Miraculously, by himself, with super human strength, he saved Jean’s piano, night stand, cedar chest and her old iron bedstead -- hers from the time she was a little girl.  In addition, he managed to save the heavily loaded freezer, the mattresses, and a few metal drawers of essential utensils from the kitchen.  The rest of the lovely two-story structure and all that remained within went up in ashes.  It was a terrible tragedy.  Forced to return to live in the family ranch house, they eventually bought a home in Safford. 

In February of 1965, through Darvil’s influence as a State Senator, Glenn was hired by the State Property Assessment Division.  Because of changing circumstances for Graham, Gila, Greenlee, and Apache Counties, he worked in several related capacities under various titles: Property Appraiser, Field Representative, County Representative Supervisor and County Manager.  All the while, he continued double-duty working the ranch, keeping up a grueling pace until he retired from the State job in November of 1988. 

His primary interests lay in Jean and his expanding family and growing children, but throughout his life as a rancher, he always loved horses – that is, “Before I got so old, he said.  He has enjoyed hunting on the ranch also.  We managed to wring a little information out of him, for he’ll never say a word that he believes someone might misconstrue as bragging.  Shear numbers defy a count of the blacktail and whitetall deer he has taken.  He has shot coyotes, javelin, badgers, jackrabbits, cottontail, and quail in great numbers, and a few bears also.  No meat went to waste, and often he shared the game with us.  Interestingly, the bears coyotes and mountain lions took a constant toll on the young calves and weakened cows, and most of the other varmints destroyed game and vegetation needed by the cattle.  Harvesting them kept a balance in nature and meant cattle dollars in the pocket.  While we lived in Arizona, he graciously extended continual invitations to Darvil and our boys to hunt on the ranch property, hosting them as guide with his four-wheel-drive vehicles thrown in to boot.  A kinder and more generous man never lived and we love him. 

We’ve always felt as if Jean and Glenn’s children were sort of our own grandchildren.  Dee, like his mother, is gifted in music and has an exceptional voice.  He and his wife are highly educated and experienced with computers.  He’s probably genius in the field – greatly respected by his cohorts and superiors.  He could be the same in music also, if  he would dedicate himself to it.  He and his wife have enjoyed delightful careers in the US Postal Service lending charm, intelligence and computer expertise.  His son from the first marriage is a fine young man now attending college and doing well.  His step daughter, through Dot, is a beautiful girl, married and living in Phoenix.  They have their own daughter too.  She is about sixteen years old now.  She too is computer knowledgeable through the influence of her parents. 

We thought that Jill, Jean and Glen’s second child, might never learn to talk.  After she finally learned, we almost wished she hadn’t -- she nearly talked us to death.  She is so dear and sweet.  She married young and a daughter was born before the divorce.  She has raised her child by herself, but, she has had much compasionate help from her loving mother and father.  Jill has loved her own child dearly, and her daughter distinguished herself scholastically, and now, she and her husband have a daughter of their own – Jean and Glen’s first great-grandchild.  Jill was her dad’s right-hand cowhand, so to speak, for she loved the ranch, horses, work, hunting and all.  Off and on she spent many weeks at the ranch with; her dad helping him.  She says her dad’s estimate of having killed 1,500 to 2,000 rattlesnakes during his life is a gross underestimate.  Jill says she personally has killed about 25 and in hunting with her dad over the years, she has taken 25 to 30 deer.

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This letter from Rodney Phillips in Safford, AZ, to his kids, dated February 23, 1990 is A Tribute to his baby Sister, Jean, and her fine husband, Glenn Dowdle:

     Hi Kids, There is not much in the way of local news, the enclosed clippings will verify this. Valentines Day was a disaster weather-wise.  (Strong winds blew all day) with rain, hail, sleet and snow, really a …bad day to go swimming in the river. Then to top that, the following Monday we had a second performance. Today so far looks like a fait day if the …wind stays low I may be able to pick up a few pecans on the deck. To you, this may sound a simple thing, but to me with my bit of equilibrium problems it’s a chore.

     Wednesday was a busy day for me, John Stebbins (Adj. Gen. for our American Legion district) called by bringing me the Veterans Administration metal marker that I will install at the headstone of Grandpa Phillips, to identify him as (a) veteran of the Indian Wars. Then while John was here Lottie came down t visit a little while. (She was in Safford to see Jessie who is 92,) then Jean came in while they were both here (bring me a delicious dish of gourmet strip steak on toast with broccoli plus a cherry pie serving). She, Glenn and little Amber are all so very thoughtful, kind and generous to me. Last Monday she brought me nine Beef and Green Chile Burros which she had made at home and they are being enjoyed so much by the ‘King of Mexican Food Judges.’

     Hope all of you are well and enjoying the nice climate and that the ‘oil spill’ is not up to your North Windows.
     [Signed]—Much Love to both,  Rodney

     [His health at the time WAs poor and failing fast, and he was very appreciative of all who had a hand in making.
      him comfortable and tending to his needs.]
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