Mon, Feb. 17

VERDE HERITAGE 1970: Cottonwood; Westcott Funeral Home

"Howard L. Westcott, whose value to the Valley was recognized last year when he was named Verde Valley Man of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce for the Verde Valley, this year marks 21 years of service in the Westcott Funeral Home in Cottonwood."

"Westcott and his wife, LaVerne, have been sole owners since 1951, of the funeral home which was opened September 15, 1949, as the Cottonwood Funeral Chapel by Westcott and Eugene Grady in a remodeled rooming house which stood at the present site of the facility on the corner of Third Street and Pinal." [Now, the Old Town Mission is located in this building.]

"Completely reconstructed 2 years ago, the handsome building now features indirect lighting in the large chapel where new furnishings include upholstered pews with attached, padded kneeling rails, burnt orange carpeting and gold draperies. And the near-perfect acoustical balance lends an aura of subtle beauty to the tone of the Baldwin organ situated to the rear of the room."

"The family room, which adjoins the chapel to the front, contains comfortable seating arranged in a manner that provides the mourners with a view of the minister, casket, and floral arrangements, without being seen by the congregation."

"Between the family room and funeral arrangement room is a spacious lounge and rest rooms. The funeral arrangement room features a crystal-clear aquarium containing many varieties of delicate tropical fish, atop a large flagstone planter. This room adjoins a comfortable and tastefully appointed foyer which is entered from the street."

"The large, well-lighted casket room with its soft green carpeting, offers a wide selection of caskets in all price ranges."

"To the rear of the display area are the preparation and dressing rooms which feature every new and worthwhile development known to the profession. This part of the building contains the business office."

"All remodeling is complete, Westcott said, except for the addition of a planned parking area and garages."

"Westcott, whose roots go deep in the Valley, came to Jerome as a child from Colorado in 1924. He graduated in 1936 from Jerome High School and attended Northern Arizona University (then Arizona State College) in Flagstaff 2 years. He served with the 158th Infantry during World War II and with the Flagstaff National Guard Unit."

"He is a member of Bert Black, Jr., Post 7400, Veterans of Foreign Wars and of the American Legion Post 25 in Cottonwood, and is a 4th degree member of the Knights of Columbus in Prescott."

"He is chairman of the Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District and has served as Cottonwood Town councilman. During his 21 years here, he has also served as representative of the American Red Cross in this area."

"He graduated in 1948 from the California College of Mortuary Science, he is a licensed Arizona funeral director and embalmer."

"Mr. and Mrs. Westcott have 3 sons, 2 daughters, and 4 grandchildren."

"A registered nurse, Mrs. Westcott has worked at the Phelps Dodge Hospital in Jerome and at Lawrence Memorial Hospital. Born in Akron, she graduated from Roosevelt High School in Chicago in 1936, and from St. Joseph's School of Nursing in 1940."

(The Verde Independent; Cottonwood; Thursday, July 9, 1970; page 24.)

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