Wed, Sept. 23

Obituaries, Feb. 17, 2006

Raymond C. Freitas

Raymond C. Freitas, born Feb.2, 1923, in San Francisco, to August Constantine Freitas and Viola Quallo Freitas, died Feb. 7, 2006, after a long but defiant battle against leukemia and its complications.

Ray started his work life going to sea as a merchant marine. He was ultimately persuaded to become a salesman for a wholesale meat company and spent the next 40 plus years plying his trade in the Bay Area with enthusiasm and integrity, making significant contributions to the industry.

He retired in 1994 and moved to Cottonwood with his wife and got involved in starting a small winery. Ray loved people, and people gravitated to his wit, good heart and strong spirit. His door was always open, and he loved nothing better than to have friends over to barbecue, have a few drinks, talk, laugh, and have a good time.

He was a man of soft heart, deep convictions, strong passions and an overwhelming love of life and the people in it. He will be sorely missed by many.

He is survived by his wife of 24 years, Ray; his son, John Freitas D.O.; his stepson, Thomas Fortsch; his stepdaughter, Jennifer Fortsch; six grandchildren and two nephews, Jim and Bill Henzi.

His family would be honored to have you come and celebrate his life Feb. 18 at 2 p.m. at the Evangel Worship Center, 1380 Mingus Ave. in Cottonwood.

An online guestbook is available at

Merle L. Clark

Merle Levy Clark, 82, died Feb. 4, 2006. He was born on March 19, 1923, in Knox, Pa.

Merle graduated High School in Burns, Ore. He has been a resident of Arizona for over 60 years, and most recently resided in Mesa.

He was a mechanic for Yavapai County, and in his spare time he was a hunter and fisherman.

Merle is preceded in death by one brother, George; and two sisters, Helen and Mickey.

He is survived by his son, Dexter Clark of Oregon; his daughter Sherri, also of Oregon; his sister, Dorothy Seaton, of Virginia; as well as, his stepchildren Jerry Nelson and Jeanne Anderson.

A memorial service will be Feb. 18 at 11 a.m. at the Assembly of God Church, located in Camp Verde.

An online guestbook is available at

Charmaine Cunningham

Charmaine Cunningham, 58, of Cottonwood, died Feb. 13, 2006, as the result of an automobile accident. She was born April 7, 1947, in Orange, Calif., to Joseph and Hollis (Tibbles) Meier.

Charmaine received her bachelor's degree in Education at the University of Arizona and further received her master's of Education at Northern Arizona University.

Charmaine taught kindergarten at the Clarkdale Elementary School. She was a wonderful teacher, she loved her students, and she enjoyed helping and watching them learn. She loved to read and worked hard to instill that desire to those she taught. She retired from the Clarkdale-Jerome School District.

Charmaine is preceded in death by her sister, Kathleen Meier, who diedin 1992. She leaves behind her husband of 35 years, Robert D. Cunningham; her daughter, Roberta, of Flagstaff; and her mother, Hollis Meier, of Chandler.

A visitation will be today, Feb. 17, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Westcott Funeral Home, 1013 E. Mingus Ave. in Cottonwood. Funeral Services will be Feb. 18 at 11 a.m. at the Verde Baptist Church, 102 S. Willard St. in Cottonwood. Charmaine will be laid to rest at the Valley View Cemetery in Clarkdale.

Contributions can be made in her memory to: Cottonwood Lions Club, P O Box 516, Cottonwood AZ 86326.

An online guestbook is available at

Charles L. Norbeck

Charles Lewis Norbeck, 82, of Rimrock, died Feb. 14, 2006. He was born on March 4, 1923, in Carlisle, Pa., to Charles Lewis Norbeck and Ellie (Trayer) Norbeck.

Charles served his country in the U.S. Army during World War II, and proudly carried the title of U.S. WWII veteran.

Professionally, Charles worked as a pipe welder, working for companies such as Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant, and Palo Verde Power Plant, from which he took his retirement. He was also the owner and operator of Norbeck Steel Fabrication, based out of New Bloomfield, Pa.

"I came from the School of Hard Knocks!" was Mr. Norbeck's response when asked where he gained his expertise in this line of work.

Charles was also a lifelong member of the Pipe Fitters Union #520 out of Harrisburg, Pa.

Charles was also a deputy sheriff of Perry County, Pa., and a member of the New Bloomfield Masonic Lodge, where he was a 32nd Degree Mason. In his spare time he enjoyed a good day on the greens playing golf.

Charles was a very fortunate man, as love once again found him. And exactly 25 years ago, from his date of passing, he married his loving and beautiful bride, Freida Billow, whom he leaves behind; as well as, his son, Charles L. Norbeck Jr. with his wife, Barbara, of Duncannon, Pa.; his stepson, Dennis Wilson with his wife, Ann, of Eatonville, Wash.; step-daughter, Jaci Wilson of Middleburg, Fla.; his granddaughter, Brandi Smith of Duncannon, Pa.; and four adored great-grandchildren, also of Duncannon, Pa.

Charles is preceded in death by both parents, as well as, all of his siblings.

Private Family Memorial Services were held locally the evening of his passing. Memorial Services in Pennsylvania will be held at a later date.

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