George "Herb" Lovett died at his home the morning of Nov. 6, 2008, in the presence of his loving wife Nina. The youngest of three, Herb was born to George B. Lovett and his wife Bertha M. Neil on March 16, 1932, in Sulpher, Okla.
At age 4, amidst the Great Depression, his family relocated to California. Herb graduated from Anaheim High School in 1950, was instrumental in forming the "King Pins" car club, built and raced cars, and completed a plastering apprenticeship. He served in the "Sea Bees" from 1951 to 1955, and was stationed in Guantanamo Bay. After returning to California, Herb married Betty Buzdigian of Rhode Island and had two children.
In a partnership with his brother Harold Lovett, they owned and operated a masonry and plastering contracting business until Herb moved his family to Camp Verde in January of 1963. Herb relocated to Camp Verde along with his sister, Irene, her husband George Dodge, and their three children as a joint venture to construct the Fort Verde Motel, which opened June of 1963. Both families attended the First Southern Baptist Church of Camp Verde and Herb joined the Lions Club and Chamber of Commerce as well.
In 1964 he bought complete interest in the motel, where he lived with his family for five years. During this time, Herb helped construct and operated the Shepherd Brothers gas station, owned a bulk fuel delivery service, and continued doing small plastering jobs. In 1967 he began selling real estate from his own office under the broker Chuck Barnes and, soon after, Bob Barker. In 1969 his brother Harold Lovett with his wife and children relocated from California to Sedona to open an additional real estate office.
Within the next few years, Herb obtained a contractor's license under the name "Herb Lovett Construction Company," a broker's license, "Western Investments Reality," and opened a Cottonwood office. In 1970, Herb was elected president of the Verde Valley Chamber of Commerce. In 1971 Herb purchased parcels of land in the Verde Valley that, with the teamwork of his brother Harold Lovett, were subdivided into Black Hills Estates unit 1 and Quail Springs Estates.
In the 1970s, he constructed more than 200 homes and projects in the Verde Valley with the help of his project superintendent, and friend, Bobby Anthony of Camp Verde.
Herb moved to Cottonwood in 1974 and married Nina Graham in 1976. In 1980 they began to travel the country in a motor home, visiting the majority of the states throughout the next 20 years, as well as foreign travel. They had a son in 1983.
Although Herb quit contracting and selling real estate in the 1980s, he continued to develop properties throughout the valley using the brokerage service of his brother Harold, and the contracting business of his son Jerry. These projects included Bernie's Tire, Cottonwood Quick Lube, Camp Verde Dairy Queen, Camp Verde and Cottonwood Mobil stations, numerous lease buildings in the area, and Lisa's Truck Center in Moriarty, N.M. Through the 1980s, Herb and Nina enjoyed a houseboat at Lake Powell, and later they were members of the Roadrunners Square Dancers, and he spent hours exploring the local hills on his quad. Most of all, Herb enjoyed the company and conversation of the people he met and his friends and family.
Survivors include is wife Nina; children Susan Behlow, Jerry Lovett (Susan), Mike Graham (Gloria), June Stockbridge, Pam Wallace (Kelly) and John Lovett; 15 grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be Saturday, Nov, 15 at 10 a.m. in the Westcott Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to RTA Hospice of Sedona whose service and support was greatly appreciated by Herb as well as his entire family: RTA Hospice of Sedona, 70 Bell Rock Plaza, Sedona AZ 86531