Tue, June 25

Obituaries, May 10, 2006

Eva Pecharich

Eva Pecharich, of Clarkdale, died May 8, 2006. Eva was born to Steve and Mary Medigovich on June 7, 1920, on a ranch near the Verde River in Cottonwood. Eva attended school in Clemenceau and graduated from Clarkdale High School in 1939.

Eva met Matt Pecharich while he was delivering ice to her sister's house in Jerome and they married in 1940. After spending several years in Clifton, Ariz., and Silver City, N.M., she returned to the Verde Valley in 1958. She and Matt partnered with Cherry and Norma Wombacher to open the Snow Cap Drive-In in Clarkdale. In 1959 Matt and Eva opened the 10-12 Cocktail Lounge, retiring in 1991.

Eva is survived by her husband of 65 years, Matt; daughter Edith Lindner; sons Robert Pecharich and Phil Pecharich; brother John Medigovich; six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

A Rosary will be held on Friday, May 12, in St. Cecilia's Church at 6 p.m. A Funeral Mass will be May 13 at 1 p.m.

Donations may be made to the Catholic Charities, 736 N. Main St., Cottonwood AZ 86326.

An online guestbook is available at

Leo Wacker

Leo Wacker, 85, of Sedona, master gardener and retired mason, died May 6, 2006. He was born Dec. 14, 1920, in Beisecker, Alberta Province, Canada, to Fred and Lydia Wacker.

He was one of five children; two brothers, Ruben (deceased), Orville; two sisters, Virginia Dubach, and Clara Mendonca, all from California.

Leo married Irene Walsh on Oct. 23, 1943, in Sacramento, Calif. Leo and Irene served as presidents of the 'Mister & Misses Club' with All Hallows Catholic Church in Sacramento.

Leo worked as a farm equipment operator, Greyhound bus driver, and most notably as a mason. Leo and Irene moved to Cottonwood in 1971. It was here that Leo ran his own masonry company, Wacker Masonry, until he retired in 1985. His trade he taught to and was pursued by his two sons, John and Tom, in California and Arizona.

Leo was active in the Verde Valley Elks Lodge, serving seven years as the Lodge chaplain and chauffeured Veterans to Prescott VA for several years.

He leaves behind his wife of 62 years, Irene Wacker, of Cottonwood; two sons, John (Marilyn) Wacker, California, Tom (Terri) Wacker, Cottonwood; two daughters Nancy (Richard) Wills, Nevada, and Carleen Garcia (Scotty Rollins), Cottonwood; 12 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

Rosary will be Monday, May 15, at 7 p.m. at Westcott Funeral Home. Memorial Mass is Tuesday, May 16, 10 a.m., at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church on Bill Gray Road

Graveside service at 11:30 a.m. Valley View Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers please make donations to Alzheimer's Association, 225 Grove Avenue, Suite B, Prescott, AZ 86301-1667.

An online guestbook is available at

M. Leeds Chessir

M. Leeds Chessir, 97, of Cottonwood and formerly a long-time resident of Sedona, died Sunday, May 7, 2006. Leeds was born in Peabody, Kan., on July 10, 1908, and raised in Nebraska. After graduating from high school in 1925, he left for Chicago and worked for the National Air Transport Co., which carried the mail from coast to coast using former Douglas war planes.

He was instrumental in opening the Consolidated Air Passenger office, handling all air passenger flights out of Chicago. His picture was in a 1927 edition of the Popular Mechanics magazine selling the first ticket on a regular passenger line out of Chicago, which was the Southwest Airlines in St. Louis.

Having always been enchanted with seeing California's orange groves and roses, he left Chicago to be western representative of the Official Aviation Guide. He worked for the Los Angeles Times in their new building after the old one was blown up. Later he was a distributor for both the L.A. Times and L.A. Examiner.

Leeds married Mary Long in 1934. They had two boys, Leeds Jr., an engineer, and Robert, a lawyer. Leeds was the first employee of the Disneyland Hotel, where he kept the books on the construction cost and later retired from the hotel as credit manager in 1972 when the couple moved to Sedona.

Leeds was a long-time member of the Lions International and the Horseless Carriage Club in California, and a charter member of the Elks and Masons, Good Sam Club and the Sedona Car Club in Sedona. He had an avid interest in old cars and stationary engines and was active in the Arizona Flywheelers club. He had seven air-cooled Franklin cars at one time -- one had belonged to Mary Pickford's film producer and is now in the Montreal Canada museum.

Leeds was preceded in death by his first wife, Mary, in 1987, and Ethel, his second wife in 1993. He is survived by his wife Joanne. He had five grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. He is also survived by five step-children and 12 step-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be Friday, May 12, at 11 a.m. at the Westcott Funeral Funeral Home, 1013 E. Mingus Avenue, Cottonwood.

An online guestbook is available at

H. Mayo Follett

Harvey Mayo Follett, 82, of Clarkdale, died May 6, 2006.

Known as Mayo to friends and family, he was born in Los Angeles on Nov. 29, 1923, to Harvey Haws Follett and Mae Cluff Follett. The family moved to Pima when he was 3 years old. He enlisted in the Navy in 1942 and served during World War II for four years in the Pacific Theater out of Saipan. On return from the War he became a Chevron dealer and owned his own business for 40 years.

Mayo is survived by his wife of 55 years, Marye; their four children, Kristine (Dennis Tomko) of Clarkdale, Donald Mayo (Barbara) Follett of Potomac, Md., Susan (John Donahoe) of Perry, Ga., and Winifred (Connie Brown) of Cottonwood; two sisters, Sally Knight of Farmington, N.M., and Jean Lofgreen of Helper, Utah. Mayo and Marye have six grandchildren.

He is preceded in death by his parents and older sister, Harvetta McBride.

A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, May 27, in St. Thomas Episcopal Church at 11 a.m.

An online guestbook is available at

John E. Larson

John E. Larson, 89, of Camp Verde died May 6, 2006. John was born Nov. 19, 1916, in Sidney, Mont., to the late Alec and Lillian Larson.

John served our country in World War II. Among other commendations, he earned the Purple Heart for injuries he received in the Battle of Saipan, were he was left blind by a knee mortar. John never let his disability diminish his good outlook on life as he always had a joke and a smile to share. John loved music and learned to play the fiddle and the harmonica.

He was a member of Faith Baptist Church in Cottonwood.

John is survived by his loving wife, Ida Larson, of Camp Verde; his sons, Walton Larson of Cottonwood and Roger Larson of Phoenix; his daughter, Evelyn Haase of Rimrock; nine grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

A Visitation will be 3 p.m. Friday, May 12, at the chapel of Bueler­Hepler Funeral Home, 143 Arnold St. in Camp Verde followed by the Funeral Service at 4 p.m. Pastor Tim Larkley will be officiating the service. The interment will take place immediately following the services at Clear Creek Cemetery.

Bueler­Hepler Funeral Home assisted the family.