Sophie Adele Cruver, 86, a resident of Cottonwood, died April 9.
Sophie was born to Walter Ratka and Sophie Wyrzucka in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Christmas day in 1921 but due to clerical errors her birth date was recorded as Dec. 26, 1921.
As a little girl she was raised by her sister Jenny in New York City and on her parent's farm in New Jersey, surviving the Great Depression.
Sophie left formal schooling after the eighth grade due to the passing of her mother but continued her education through informal schooling and life experiences. During WWII, she initially worked as a "Rosie the Riveter," manufacturing artillery shells at the Picatinney Arsenal but on Sept. 1, 1943, she joined the Women's Army Air Corps.
Sophie served as a Weather Plotter at the Pentagon while stationed at Bolling Air Field and met Clark Gable who was an Army pilot.
Clark Gable borrowed Sophie's pen for his flight plan and never returned it.
Sophie was discharged as a Sergeant on Nov. 13, 1945 and returned to civilian life where she worked in food services in New York City.
Sophie continued through life's journey on the East Coast until she met Milton Cooper Cruver and his daughter Sandra Lee and they were married June 24, 1954, in East Stroudsburg, Pa.
Sophie was a housewife until the birth of their daughters Bonnie Marie and Anita; then she became a full-time mom. Anita passed away at birth and the family moved to Illinois where their son Milton Leroy was born. Sophie focused her attention on being a wife and mother and was very active with the Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts. She was also a master gardener and a member of the African Violet Club where she specialized in growing numerous varieties of beautiful plants.
In 1968, the family vacationed to Arizona and Sophie fell in love with the Cottonwood area for its beauty and climate. In 1969, the family moved initially to Clarkdale and later to Cottonwood where they bought the house which would remain as the gathering point for all friends and family until this day.
Sophie was a member of and active in the American Legion, Veteran's of Foreign Wars Auxiliary, Disabled American Veteran's Auxiliary and the Marine Corps League. Sophie and Milton managed the Bingo Nights at the VFW in Cottonwood and she remained as an active participant after his passing on July 11, 2004.
Sophie died at the VA Medical Center in Prescott.
Sophie was preceded in death by her parents, Walter Ratka and Sophie Wyrzucka; her sister, Jenny; brothers, Joseph, Stanley, Bill and Vleswouf; her daughter, Anita; her step-daughter, Sandra Lee; and her husband, Milton Cooper.
Sophie is survived by her children, Bonnie Marie (Cruver) Holden with her husband, Jim, and Milton Leroy Cruver with his wife, Joni; 12 grand-children; and 21 great-grandchildren.
A visitation with a gathering of Family and Friends was held at Westcott Funeral Home in Cottonwood Friday evening. In honor of her memory; a Military Memorial Service will be held at a later date. An online guestbook is at www.westcottfuneralhome.com