William J. ‘Bill’ Merrifield
William J. “Bill” Merrifield was born Aug. 20, 1926, to Cyril and Florene Merrifield in Globe, Ariz. He died Friday, Oct. 18, 2013, in Cortez.
He grew up in Globe during the Depression, and the family did many things to make ends meet just as other families during that time. He had many fond memories of working as a youngster at Hill Street School and later Globe High School doing maintenance and repairs with the custodians and maintenance crew.
As a boy in junior high and high school he was active behind the scenes with the school plays, dances and other activities. Bill also served as a manager for the football team. With the outbreak of World War II, Bill left high school to join the Navy and served in the Pacific Theatre. He remembered fondly his war years and loved to share his stories with anyone who would listen.
Upon his return from the Navy, Bill went back to high school to obtain his diploma, and he met his future wife, Joe Ann Cochrane. They married on June 1, 1950, and they had three children, Gary, Earl and Janet. Bill and Joe Ann operated several businesses during their marriage, including The Toy Store, The Rag Shop, and he worked as an agent for New York Life Insurance Company.
Bill was civic-minded, serving on the Globe City Council and the Globe School Board. He was also instrumental in helping to build the swimming pool at the Community Center recreation area. Many folks in Globe will remember the annual Fourth of July festivities with barbecue and fireworks at the Community Center that Bill and others in the community were involved with every year. He looked back with pride on those years of his life, especially being named Globe Man of the Year.
Bill was a hard worker and loved to garden, with roses being his specialty. His love for travel took him to Cornwall, England, where he was able to trace the family roots to Cornish tin miners. He also loved trains, and in his later years rebuilt a steam locomotive and operated the M&M Shortline Railroad in Cortez giving rides to young and old alike.
Surviving Bill are his children Gary Merrifield and wife, Stacy of Cortez, Earl Merrifield of Prescott, Ariz., and Janet Ochoa of Stafford, Ariz.; two granddaughters, Page Merrifield of Cortez and Gia Sasser of Safford, Ariz.; one great-grandson, Brayden Sasser; his sister, Elizabeth Fye of Globe, Ariz.; his nephew, Robert Fye of Lakewood,; and by his niece, Kathy Montague of Globe, Ariz.
Cremation has taken place and no services are planned. Donations may be made in Bill’s memory to the Alzheimer’s Association. Arrangements are being made through Four Corners Funeral Chapel.