On the morning of April 26, 2006, well known cowboy artist Joe Beeler succumbed to a heart attack suffered while dragging calves to the branding fire on a ranch near Sedona. He was 74 years old.
No cowboy could ask for a better way to go than being horseback and with his boots on. Joe Beeler died doing what he loved.
Joe Beeler was born on Christmas Day 1931, to William Robert "Jack" Beeler and Lena Setser Beeler, in Joplin, Mo. Joe's great-grandmother on his father's side was full-blooded Cherokee. His childhood was straight out of "Tom Sawyer." He learned to fish, hunt, ride and shoot from an early age, and took part in the singing and dancing at seasonal Pow Wows at Quapaw, Okla., with his Native American relatives.
After high school, Joe was drafted into the Army and served in Korea during the Korean War.
After his discharge from the Army, he married Sharon McPerson in the summer of 1956.
Joe earned a graduated from Kansas State College in Pittsburg, Kan., in 1957, and then attended Art Center School in Los Angeles.
Joe began his career as an artist in the early 1960s, just as the contemporary western art boom began. He had one-man shows at the Gilcrease Institute in Tulsa, Okla.; the Mountain Historical Society in Helena, Mont.; the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City; and the C.M. Russell Gallery in Great Falls, Mont.
Joe, Sharon, and daughter Tracy moved to Sedona, in October 1961. A son, Jody, was born in Arizona.
In 1965, Joe was one of the founders of the Cowboy Artists of America, along with George Phippen, Charlie Dye, and John Hampton. This organization would become a major force in contemporary western culture, primarily through its annual exhibition, which is currently presented each year at the Phoenix Art Museum. Joe was the last surviving member of the four Cowboy Artists founders. He exemplified everything that the organization stands for and represents.
Joe was preceded in death by his wife Sharon in 2004. He is survived by his daughter Tracy; son Jody; grandson John; and brother Ted.
He leaves behind a legion of friends and admirers, other artists, collectors, celebrities, ordinary folks, and most of all, cowboys.
Joe Beeler was a western original. He defined western art and spirit for this generation.
A funeral service in Joe's honor will be Thursday, May 4, at 10 am at St. John Vianney Catholic Church, Sedona.
The family suggests memorial contributions be made to the Sedona Arts Center in Sedona.
Greer's Mortuary of Sedona assisted the family with the arrangements.
Lester A. Border
Lester A. Border, 93, of Cottonwood, died April 19, 2006. He was born on Jan. 3, 1913, in Decatur, Ill., to John and Nellie Border.
Lester graduated from Columbia Academy, Vancouver, Wash., in 1935, and then attended Walla Walla College in College Place, Wash.
Lester married Geraldine Poole on June 6, 1939, in College Place, Wash.
During World War II, Lester worked as a journeyman machinist in the Bremerton Navy Yard.
Lester headed up the Plant Services at Washington Adventist Hospital in Tacoma Place, Md., Porter Memorial Hospital in Denver, and Walla Walla College.
Following his retirement from Walla Walla College he served in plant services at Sydney Adventist Hospital in Sydney, Australia.
Lester and his wife, Geraldine have traveled extensively and have volunteered for many Maranatha Mission projects.
Lester was a member of the American Hospital Association as a charter member of the Department for Hospital Engineers. He was licensed as a steam engineer, as well as, a professional locksmith. He was also a member of the Cottonwood Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Lester is preceded in death by his parents and his son, Lewis Border, who died in 1974.
He leaves behind his wife of 66 years, Geraldine Border, of Cottonwood; his daughter, Sylvia Grindley (Jim), Cottonwood; brother Homer, Oregon; sister Geneva Haynes, California; two grandchildren and three great-granddaughters.
A Memorial Service will be May 7 at 4 p.m. at the Seventh-day Adventist Church, 51 W. Mingus Ave., in Cottonwood (Corner of Mingus and Willard).
Memorial gifts may be made "In Memory of Lester Border" and made payable to: ADRA (Adventist Disaster Relief Association), ADRA International, 12501 Old Columbia, Silver Springs MD 20904.
Sherry Lee (Fore) Parker, 60, of Prescott, died of cancer on April 28, 2006, at her home.
Born in Winslow, Sherry worked as an English and Drama teacher in Ridgecrest, Calif., for 28 years.
She was educated in Winslow public schools, and was a graduate of Northern Arizona University, with a Master's degree from Roosevelt University in Chicago.
Survivors include her husband, Russell Parker; two children, Aaron Parker of Yelm, Wash., and Susan Burgess of Ridgecrest, Calif.; two sisters, Dixie Irvine of Prescott and Laura Fore-Guendel of Phoenix; and her mother, Sybil Fore of Camp Verde.
The Rev. Sam Hosler will officiate at a Prescott memorial service in celebration of her life to be held in the Elks Opera House, East Gurley Street, at 1 p.m. on May 13. Another memorial will be held in the Parker Performing Arts Center, Burroughs High School, Ridgecrest, Calif., at 1 p.m. on May 21.
Memorial contributions in her memory may be made to the Parker Scholarship Fund, c/o B Mountain Foundation, Burroughs High School, 500 E. French Ave., Ridgecrest CA 93555.
Maximino E. Enriquez
Maximino E. Enriquez, 86, lifetime resident of Clarkdale, died April 29, 2006.
Max was born Aug. 21, 1919, in Clarkdale, and raised in the Verde Valley. He was the son of Manuel and Octaviana (Espino) Enriquez.
Max served his country during World War II in the U.S. Army as a Private First Class, medical technician with the 369th Station Hospital in the Asiatic Pacific Theater of Operations. He was also a rifle marksman.
When he returned home to the Verde Valley he worked as a miner, and continued to serve his country as life-long members of the VFW and American Legion.
Max leaves behind three sons, Vicente Enriquez, Gilbert Enriquez and Frank Enriquez; two sisters, Pauline Marrujo, and Aurora Rodrequez; and three brothers, Edward Saavedra, Louis Enriquez and Ascension Enriquez. He is preceded in death by his parents, his former spouse and his daughter.
A Funeral Service will be today, May 3, at 11 a.m. at Westcott Funeral Home, 1013 E. Mingus Ave. in Cottonwood. Following the service, Max will be laid to rest in Clarkdale at the Valley View Cemetery.
Imogene (Pendergrass) Bacon, born Jan. 25, 1915, in Muleshoe, Texas, died April 24, 2006 at Meadow Park Care Center in Prescott.
There will be a memorial service on May 6 at 2 p.m. at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, 1310 S. 260, Cottonwood.
For directions, call 567-9353.