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Few items and obits in Graham and Pinal Counties
Posted by: Nita (ID *****6995) Date: November 01, 2009 at 14:58:19
  of 97

These are obits on family members of the Alexander Watkins / Wadkins and Stella Goodwin Watkins/Wadkins line. Alexander and Stella married about 1892 in Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory--there is no known marriage license since the federal courthouse burned, with marriage and other legal records, in 1895 Ardmore, Chickasaw Nation. Alexander died between 1927 and 1930 in Oklahoma. Their surviving children included John, Jesse, Jacob, Joseph, Bessie and Polly.

The first obit is for his widow, Stella, who later remarried:

ADOCHIA E. HUCKABY Services Held Here
Last rites for Mrs. ADOCHIA ESTELLA HUCKABY were conducted at 2 p.m. Friday, March 1, in Caldwell’s Chapel of the Valley. Bishop LAVOR B. REED officiated.

Music was furnished by a quartet from the Layton Ward Church and was composed of MARIE CLIFFORD, BETH ANN RAWSON, SHIRLEY PAYNE, PHYLLIS WELKER, FLORENCE WIGNALL and JOAN BINGHAM. EVELYN JOY BARNES accompanied them on the organ. Their first song was “How Gentle God’s Commands.’ MAX WIGNALL offered the invocation and the obitituary and sermon was presented by RAYMOND W. PAYNE. The sextext sang “O My Father,” after which Bishop Reed offered the benediction.

Concluding services were in the Safford Cemetery wehre the grave was dedicated by DOYLE CLUFF. Escorts were ED GOOD, JAKE GOOD, JAKCE LEE GOOD and RICHIE WADKINS.

Funeral arrangements were under the direction of the Caldwell Funeral Home.

ESTELLA HUCKABY was born May 29, 1878 in Montague County, Texas. She had lived in Oklahoma Territory and in Texas in her early years. She came to Safford in 1937. She passed away in a local rest home on Tuesday, February 28, after a brief illness, age 84.

Survivors include her husband CLAUDE of Safford; two daughters MRS. BESSIE SPARKS of Safford and MRS. POLLY GOOD at El Cajon, California; four sons, JOHN WADKINS of Farmersville, California, JESSE and JOE WADKINS of Coolidge, and JAKE WADKINS of Safford; 35 grandchildren, 76 great-grandchildren and a great-great-grandchild.

Published in the Guardian Farmer on Friday, March 8, 1963 p. 5

Stella was the daughter of Henry Goodwin and Elizabeth West. She married Alexander Wadkins / Watkins about 1892 in Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory.

This is the obit of her second husband:

Funeral services for CLAUDE HUCKABY, 90, were conducted at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, June 3, in Caldwell’s Chapel of the Valley. Rev. SHERMAN LAWSON officiated. He died Thursday, May 31 at the Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix. Organist was BETTY SUE WILCOXSON. Soloist ANGELIA MATHIS sang “O That Will Be Glory” and “I Feel Like Traveling On.” Concluding services were held in the Safford Cemetery, Rev. R. J. FREIHEIT officiating. Safford Lodge No. 16 of the F. & A.M. also took part.

Claude was born March 28, 1894 in Dime Box, Texas, son of GAIUS LINCECUM HUCKABY and LAURA EMMA MCGINNIS. His early years were spent in Dime Box. He married ANNIE ALICE SUTHERLAND and they moved to Louisville, Kentucky where he worked for the postal service.

For several years before and after his marriage, he attended various Bible institutes and seminaries. He was ordained to the gospel ministry in 1932 by the First Baptist Church at Coalgate, Oklahoma. After his wife died in Louisville, he again moved west. In 1931, he married ADOSHA ESTELLA (GOODWIN) WADKINS and in 1940, they moved to the Safford area. He was a member of the Masonic lodge in Safford and the First Southern Baptist Church.

He is survived by three daughters, RUTH PITTS of Fernley, Nevada; ZELMA BAILON of Safford and CLAUDIA FREIHEIT of Thatcher; a stepdaughter POLLY RHINE of Safford; two sisters ADA MINCH of Brady, Texas and ELIZABETH DAVIS of Lakeside, California; eight grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren, and eight great-great-grandchildren.

Arrangements were made by the Caldwell Funeral Home of Safford.

Published in the Eastern Arizona Courier on Wednesday, June 6, 1984.

These obits belong to the children of Alexander and Stella and their spouses:

JOSEPH Z. WADKINS Rites at Coolidge
Services were at 10 a.m. Oct. 13 in the Cole and Maud Chapel in Coolidge for JOSEPH Z. WADKINS. Mr. Wadkins was born Feb. 25, 1898 in Ada, Oklahoma and died Oct. 10 at Pinal General Hospital. He was a retired field contractor and had lived in Coolidge the past 39 years. He is survived by his wife, CLARA; two sons, DAVID at Anaheim, California and WILL at Coolidge; two daughters, ALMA HAUGHT at Coolidge and JO ELLA BAKER at Sierra Vista; one brother JESSE at Coolidge; one sister POLLY at Safford, ten grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. Burial was at Valley Memorial Park.

From the Coolidge Examiner at Coolidge, Pinal Co., Arizona. Printed Thursday, October 20, 1977. p. 4.

JESSE WADKINS, 79, died Nov. 15 at his home at 810 W Taylor. Mr. Wadkins came to Coolidge in 1930 and was a farm laborer. He was born in Konawa, Oklahoma on May 20, 1900. He was a widower and is survived by his sister POLLY at Safford. Graveside services were held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Valley Memorial Park. Published in the Coolidge Examiner at Coolidge, Pinal Co., Arizona on Thursday, Nov. 22, 1979, p. 4A

Mr. JACOB WADKINS Services Held Here
Funeral services for Mr. JACOB “JAKE’ WADKINS, 60, a resident of Gila Valley for many years, who passed away suddenly Saturday, Nov. 26 in Fontana, California, were held Saturday, Nov. 7 in the Caldwell’s Chapel of the Valley with Mr. BOUCHER of the Safford Church of Christ officiating.

The services began with a prelude played by MRS. MAXIE PAUL after which Mr. Boucher opened the service with prayer and obituary of Mr. Wadkins’ life. A duet was then sung by CECIL and SYLVIA RICHARDSON, the selections, “Peace in the Valley” and “In the Sweet Bye and Bye,” which were long time favorite selections of the family. Mr. Boucher then presented the sermon of comfort to the family and closed with a prayer, after which Mrs. Maxine Paul played an organ postlude.

Burial was in the Safford Cemetery. Casket bearers were JOSEPH N. WINTON, ROBERT GOOD, ED GOOD, JIMMY GOOL / GOOD, SANDY COLLINS and WILSON FARLEY. Funeral arrangements were under the direction of Caldwell Funeral Home.

Mr. Wadkins was born in Pontotoc County, Oklahoma and was a construction worker and came to Safford in 1932. He had resided in Fontana for the past year and a half. He is survived by his wife, EDNA of Fontana, California; his stepfather CLAUDE HUCKABY of Safford, son RICHARD of Mar Vista California; three daughters MRS. BERLENE PAGE of Citrus Heights, Calif., MRS. JANUCE WIRTEN of La Puente, California, MRS. DELORES SHIPLEY of Fontana; three brothers, JOHN of Farmersville, JOSEPH and JESSEE of Coolidge, Arizona; two sisters MRS. BESSIE SPARKS of Safford and MRS. POLLY GOOD of El Cajon, California, and six grandchildren.

Published in Guardian Farmer on Friday, Dec. 3, 1965.

Funeral services for EDNA TILLEY WADKINS, 74, were held Feb. 18 at Caldwell’s Chapel of the Valley. She died Feb. 11, 1994 in Victorville, California.

Pastor GENE BARNETT officiated at the services. Interment was in the Safford Cemetery. Serving as pallbearers: BRANDON COLLINS, CRAIG COLLINS, SCOTT COLLINS, WILLIAM TAYLOR II and RICHARD WADKINS II.

She was born Jan. 8, 1920 in Ada, Oklahoma. She lived in California 30 years where she was a clerk with the Boulevard Cleaners. She was a member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. She was a member of the First Southern Baptist Church in Apple Valley, California.

Surviving are her children, RICHARD WADKINS of Apple Valley, JANUCE WINTON of La Puente, and DEE TAYLOR of Camp Springs; brothers and sisters ROB TILLEY, EDITH JAMES, BETTY FLIPPO, EVENLY BLAKELY of Ada, Oklahoma; WANDA GOODPASTURE and MYRTLE NYE of Fontana, California, nine grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren.

Local arrangements were under the direction of the Caldwell Funeral home.

Published in the Eastern Arizona Courier on Wednesday, February 23, 1994.

EDNA WADKINS, 74, of Victorsville, California, formerly of Safford, died Feb. 11, 1994. She was born at Ada, Oklahoma. Survivors include daughter JANUCE WINTON, sons DEE TAYLOR and RICHARD, five sisters, nine brothers, nine grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren. Services 10 a.m. Friday at Caldwell Funeral home, 112 E Main St. Safford with visitation an hour before services.
Published in the Arizona Republic on Thursday, Feb. 17, 1994.

Polly Rhine
Funeral services for POLLY ALMA WADKINS GOOD RHINE, 83, were held Feb. 13 at the Safford LDS 29th St. Chapel. She died Feb. 8, 1995 in Safford. Bishop DAN HUNT officiated with JESSE GOOD offering the family prayer. BERNICE STOWELL was at the organ. The opening hymn, “Abide with Me,” was sung by SCOTT GOODWIN. JERRY GOOD gave the invocation and ALVA JAKE GOOD offer the life story. BEVERLY PRITCHARD read a poem and DANNY JOHN Sr. gave the sermon. The closing hymn, sang by Goodwin, was “When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder.” The benediction was by ALTON GOOD. Interment was at the Safford Cemetery with the dedicatory prayer by ROBERT GOOD. Serving as casket bearers were ARTHUR PRITCHARD, MIKE GOOD, RUBEN GOOD, GARY NORTON, TIMOTHY GOOD and JOHN EDWARD GOOD.

Mrs. Rhine was born May 29, 1911 in Konawa, Oklahoma, daughter of ALEXANDER WADKINS and ESTELLA GOODWIN WADKINS. She grew up in Oklahoma and married EARL GOOD in 1929. The family moved to Safford in the 1930’s and she lived there the remainder of her life. After the death of her husband Earl in 1956, she worked to help support her family. She was employed at the Gila Laundry and at the Safford Bowl, also employed by Dr. ELLSWORTH for a time. She enjoyed sewing and developed her own patterns. She also was skilled at embroidery and quilting as well as gardening. She married ROY L. RHINE in 1968; he preceded her in death. She was a member of the Beneficio Propio.

Surviving are nine children, VIOLET, EARL, ED, BARBARA, JAKE, ROBERT, JIMMY, JACK and CATHY, 44 grandchildren, 66 great-grandchildren, and seven great-great-grandchildren.
Arrangements were made by the Caldwell Funeral Home at Safford.
Published in the Eastern Arizona Courier on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 1995.

Man Dies from Rifle Wound
BUEAFORD EARL GOOD, 52, died in Safford Inn Hospital Tuesday afternoon as a result of a rifle wound suffered Monday night about 10 p.m.

According to investigating officers, Mr. Good was showing a 30-06 rife to 3 of his sons when the trigger was accidentally hit or the gun discharged due to a jolt.

Good wrote a note in the presence of Sheriff E. R. MCBRIDE and Chief of Police G. A GOLDING early Tuesday, stating the rifle was discharged accidentally. Following an investigation into the incident, county attorney RUSKIN LINES and Justice of Peace JAY NELSON, it was decided no inquest was necessary.

Mr. Good, a bus driver and caretaker for the Safford schools, had been a Safford resident for 16 years. Funeral services were held 2 p.m. Thursday from the Caldwell Funeral Home. Survivors include his wife, POLLY (WADKINS), three daughters VIOLA and CATHERINE both of Safford, and MRS. BARBARA NORTON of Gilbert, and six sons, BUEAFORD Jr., EDWARD, ALVA, ROBERT, JAMES and JACKIE, all of Safford.

Published in the Graham County Guardian on Friday, March 2, 1956.

Safford: Funeral services for ROY L. RHINE, 68, who died Jan. 25, 1982, will be conducted at Caldwell’s Chapel of the Valley. Bishop’s Counselor DANIEL JOHN of the Seventh Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will officiate. Concluding services and burial will follow in the Safford City Cemetery.

Mr. Rhine was a native of Nebraska and had been a resident of Safford 15 years. He is survived by his wife POLLY (WADKINS / WATKINS), stepsons EARL GOOD, EDWARD GOOD, JAKE GOOD, ROBERT GOOD, JIMMY GOOD, and JACK GOOD; stepdaughters VIOLA FARLEY, BARBARA NORTON, and CATHY MALLETT; 44 grandchildren and 39 great-grandchildren.

Published in the Eastern Arizona Courier on Wednesday, January 27, 1982.

More articles about the family of Alexander Wadkins and wife Stella Goodwin Wadkins Huckaby.

The Casa Grande Dispatch
Casa Grande, Arizona
Friday, October 9, 1942
Coolidge Man Sees Action
Sgt. JOHN D. WADKINS Jr. of Coolidge was one of the three Arizonians who were among the American Airmen who took part recently in extensive raids over northern France. Sgt. Wadkins is the 19 year old son of Mr. and Mrs. JOHN D. WADKINS Sr., who enlisted in the Army Air Force last December.

Wednesday, January 10, 1973
Dale Jennings
Coolidge: Services for DALE PAUL JENNINGS, 20, son of Mrs. ALMA (nee WADKINS) JENNINGS HAUGHT, clerk of Pinal County Superior Court, were at 10 a.m. today in the First Church of the Nazarene. Burial was in Valley Memorial Park. Mr. Jennings died in St. Luke’s Hospital 12 hours after being injured in an auto accident in Casa Grande Saturday night. He was born in Florence and had lived in this area all his life. He attended Coolidge schools. While a student in Coolidge High School, he received honors in athletics and other scholastic events. After graduating in 1971, he enrolled in Central Arizona College. Surviving, besides his mother, are his father, MART JENNINGS of Florence; two brothers, BOBBY JENNINGS, a student at Texas A. & M., and KEVIN JENNINGS of Coolidge; his maternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. JOE WADKINS of Coolidge; and his paternal grandfather in Oklahoma.

October 23, 1963
Gossip Column
Mr. and Mrs. LLOYD LEE returned to Coolidge after a brief stay in Las Vegas, where they were married October 2. Mr. Lee, formerly of Prescott, is employed by Blakely Service Station in Coolidge. The bride, formerly JOELLA WATKINS / WADKINS, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. JOE WATKINS / WADKINS, is a former graduate of Coolidge High School and is presently attending a business school in Phoenix.
Wednesday, March 4, 1987
Michael McHugh Selected as Coolidge Fire Chief
Coolidge: MICHAEL ‘MICKEY’ MCHUGH is scheduled to take over as chief of Coolidge Fire Department when current chief WILL WADKINS retires next month. Wadkins announced his retirement last month at the annual Coolidge City banquet where he was honored for 25 years service to the fire department. Wadkins joined the Coolidge Volunteer Fire Department in 1962, worked his way through the ranks from fireman, engineer, captain, assistant chief and was appointed chief in 1875.
Thursday, June 22, 1995

Coolidge: Visitation for CLARA M. WADKINS, 85, of Coolidge will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at Simes Mortuaries Coolidge Chapel. The funeral will be held there at 9 a. m. Saturday. Burial will be in Valley Memorial Parl. Mrs. Wadkins was born Sept. 15, 1909 in Ada, Oklahoma and died June 21, 1995 in Chandler. An Arizona resident for 60 years, she was a member of the Church of God in Coolidge. She is survived by two daughters, ALMA HAUGHT of Florence and JO MANCINIE of Sierra Vista; two sons, WILL WADKINS of Casa Grande and DAVID WADKINS of Anaheim, California; a sister IVY SPARKS of Oklahoma, 10 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

Thursday, September 28, 2006
At the head of the list was JOHN ‘J.D.’ WADKINS, Jr., who was singled out in the report. Wadkins was born in Drumwright, Oklahoma on September 11, 1922. The oldest of 13 children, Wadkins moved to Coolidge at age of 6 with his family.

As legend has it, when Wadkins received word of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, he stood silent for a moment before declaring, “I think I’d better go.” He enlisted in the Army Air Corps just days after the Pearl Harbor attack and received his training at Sheppard Field, Wichita Falls, Texas. Wadkins attended gunnery school and made a name for himself as an excellent shot. He was awarded a Distinguished Service Medal for his action in battle.

“Down in the ball turret, Sgt. Wadkins was having difficulties,” the report reads. “The door of his turret had been shot off, and for an instant or two, he was virtually suspended in space. He could have crawled up into the turret, instead he turned the turret so that air pressure would hold him in it and kept firing.”

Sgt. Wadkins was killed Jan. 10, 1943 in the North African Theater. He was the first Coolidge local to die in services during World War II. He was honored with an Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Order of the Purple Heart, and a Silver Star citation reading, “Awarded by the commanding General of the Fifth Bombardment Wing to Technical Sergeant JOHN D. WADKINS Jr., Air Corps, for outstanding gallantry at the time of an enemy dive bomber attack upon an airdome in Africa on 10 January 1943.”

About two years later, Wadkins received further honor when on May 13, 1945, the Coolidge VFW post was founded in his name. According to auxiliary member POLLY HARPER, Wadkins’ parents accepted the honor and donated a picture of their son to hang at the post. But the gift came with a stipulation—deeply religious, Wadkins’ parents asked that the picture not be hung in the canteen section or drinking area. Today, the photograph hangs above all other pictures in the main gathering room. ..

In a sense the tragedy of Pearl Harbor was the foundation of the Coolidge VFW; Wadkins provided the spiritual foundation, and the internment camps provided the literal foundation.

“People forget little things like that,” explained VONNA WILLIAMS, an auxiliary member who runs the kitchen at the VFW. So Williams, along with HARPER, HORLACHER, WEAVER, MATTIE FORSYTH, and DENISE WILLIAMS, concocted a plan to help Coolidge residents honor the history of the community. In conjunction with Patriotic Day on Sept. 11—which would have been Wadkins’ 84th birthday—the VFW decided to develop placemats containing a history of Wadkins’ exploits during World War II…

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