Thu, May 23


Peter Groseta Jr.

Peter Groseta Jr., 82 of Cottonwood, died May 4.

Mr. Groseta was born Oct. 22, 1917, in Jerome, Arizona to Croatian immigrants Peter and Antonia Groseta. His family moved from Jerome to a ranch in Middle Verde in 1922, where Mr. Groseta attended school and graduated from Camp Verde High School in 1935.

In 1936, his family moved to a ranch in Bridgeport and he started to work in the Phelps Dodge Smelter until it shut down in 1953, where he was shift boss and “pulled the plug” on the last pound of ore that went through the concentrator.

On Sept. 18, 1946, he married Katherine Maglich in St. Cecelia’s Catholic Church in Clarkdale. Mr. Groseta and his father raised alfalfa hay and sold it to the local dairies, which provided milk to the entire Verde Valley, including the miners in Jerome. They also did a lot of custom hay baling on farms and ranches throughout the Verde Valley. In addition, they raised cattle, sheep, chickens, turkeys, fruits and vegetables, of which they sold to neighbors and to families in Jerome, Clarkdale and Cottonwood.

In 1948, Mr. Groseta and his wife Katherine purchased the W Dart cow outfit where they raised commercial cattle. Four generations of the Groseta family have raised cattle in the Verde Valley from Tapco, above Clarkdale, to Camp Verde. Also, during the time that he ranched, he worked for Yavapai County Roads Department for several years. Mr. Groseta served on the school board of Willard School in Bridgeport. In addition, he has served on the board of directors of the Cottonwood Ditch Association where he was ditch boss, vice president, and secretary/treasurer.

Also, Mr. Groseta served on the board of directors of several agricultural organizations, including Farmers Home Administration (FHA) and the Yavapai Cattle Growers Association where he was honored in 1996 as an “Honorary Lifetime Member.” He was a member of the Arizona Cattle Growers Association. He served on the Grazing Advisory Committee, representing the grazing permittees on the Prescott National Forest.

He was involved in the origination of the Verde Valley Fair in 1964 where he has supported 4-H and Future Farmers of America youth for decades. In the late 1960s, the Mingus Union FFA Chapter recognized him with the “Honorary Chapter Farmer Degree” for his outstanding support of youth interested in agriculture. He was also a member of the Croatian Fraternal Union (CFU) Lodge, where he served as vice president for several years. He was a member of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, where he served on the Parish Council. Also, he was a member of the Knights of Columbus.

He is survived by his wife Katherine, of 53 years, and a sister, Anne Mongini of Rohnert Park, Calif. He was preceded in death by younger brother Frank of Phoenix. He is survived by his sons Peter Andrew “Andy” and wife Mary Beth and three grandchildren, Paul, Katy and Anna; George Stephen Groseta and wife Bernadette. In addition, he has four nephews and two nieces.

A rosary will be held May 9 at 7 p.m. at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Cottonwood. Services will be held May 10 at 10 a.m. at Immaculate Conception Church in Cottonwood. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Church Building Fund of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church at P.O. Box 995 in Cottonwood, 86326-0995; or the American Diabetes Association at, 9034 North 23rd Avenue, Suite 8, Phoenix, AZ, 85021-2850.

Billy Gilliland

Camp Verde resident Billy Gilliland died May 4.

He was born in Southland, Texas, May 4, 1924.

Mr. Gilliland was 76 years old.

He was a member of the First Southern Baptist Church in Camp Verde and a founding member of the First Southern Baptist Church in Mount Shasta, Calif.

Mr. Gilliland worked as a Sunday school superintendent, deacon and usher.

He was a machinist at Millwright Company and a shop steward. He was a member of the International Paper Union.

Survivors include his wife, Dorothy; a daughter, Barbara; a son, Ron; a sister, Ruthel; a brother, Harold; two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Funeral services are scheduled for Monday at 2 p.m. at the First Southern Baptist Church in Camp Verde. A visitation will be held following the service.