Village Says Goodbye To Two Great Guys

Fourth of July fireworks

Photo by Andy Towle. |

Fourth of July fireworks


Tonto Village is in mourning this week since learning of the passing of one of the Village’s longtime residents, Charles “Charlie” Terry.

Charlie leaves a void with his passing — he was always ready to stop work at his welding shop and sit down and chew the fat, so to speak, with his friends and neighbors. His family and friends and neighbors gathered together this past Sunday at the Tonto Village Chapel to remember the good times and reminisce about the good old days.

Charlie was fire chief two times for the Tonto Village Fire Department and also served on the fire board two times.

Chief Gary Hatch of the Hellsgate Fire Department, which includes the Tonto Village Fire Department, recalls a day when the firefighters were training on how to use SCBA’S. Charlie was not happy with it. He kept saying that, “Old guys just ain’t going to do this” — but he did it. The next day he fired the chief and resigned from the board and became the chief for the second time.

“I understand what he was saying about a bunch of 70-plus-year-old guys doing this kind of training.”

“He will be missed in this small community,” says Chief Hatch, “as I think everyone there knew where Charlie was and could almost see him every day standing out in his front yard unless a Diamondbacks game was on.” Internment for Charlie was held on Wednesday morning at Mountain Meadows Memorial Park.

Not only have we lost a former fire chief, the Hellsgate Fire Department has lost a fire board member — Richard Pinkerton. Richard held the position of chairman of the fire board for many years and was a staunch supporter of the Hellsgate Fire Department and the Hellsgate Auxiliary, the Fireflies. His passing is a great loss to everyone who knew Richard. He was always ready with a story, he had a wide range of knowledge and he loved to pass that on to everyone.

A flag raising ceremony was held on Tuesday morning in Richard’s honor. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Prayers and condolences to the Terry family and to the Pinkerton family.

New residents

Chuck and Lynn Olinger, along with their son Charlie and wife Amy, have now moved into the former home of Linda and Chuck Stailey. Coincidence, wouldn’t you say? Another Chuck and Lynn. The family comes from the Mesa area and are thrilled to be a part of the Tonto Village family. They also have seven grandchildren and another on the way, which means that Tonto Village is growing. Lynn has been house cleaning in the Valley and she would be free to help anyone around the Village on Fridays or Mondays. Call me at (928) 478-9935 and I will pass your name and phone number on to Lynn. 


Fourth of July fireworks


The Double D Bar and Restaurant will be hosting a big 4th of July party, parade, and ice cream social on Saturday, July 6. Years ago, the Village would hold a “Kids N’ Critters” parade and this year it is back. Not only will the kids and critters be part of the parade, but also quads and golf carts will participate, all decorated for the 4th of July. Call Ethel at (928) 478-4332 for more details on the parade. Any critter can be a part of the fun, so be thinking of costumes for the animals and decorations for the quads.

Another event that was popular a few years ago was the “chicken drop” contest. Harvey Poyner and John Watson will be manning this unusual and popular event. John is donating the chickens.

There will also be live music on the patio provided by the popular Lynda St. John all afternoon.

The restaurant will be serving hot dogs, and cool ice cream treats, banana splits and root beer floats. All the activities will start at noon. See you there!

Birthdays, anniversaries

Jake Garrett will add another candle to his birthday cake on July 2. Jake will be a young 70 years old! Here’s wishing you a wonderful birthday.

Marie Coley of Tonto Village II will celebrate her big day on July 3. Remember Marie, the importance of birthdays is not how many you’ve had, but rather how well you’ve celebrated. 

Ethel Cain will celebrate her birthday on July 7 along with Roger Boyington.

On July 11, Laverne Belcher of Bear Flat will add another candle to her birthday cake along with Payson firefighter and Tonto Village III resident Travis Kilbourne. Happy birthday to all of you.

A very special happy anniversary to a very special couple, our fishing buddies, Rick and Theresa Meeker of Tonto Village II. They will be celebrating 40 years of marriage. May your love for each other grow stronger with each passing year.

July 4th is a great day to have a wonderful time with family and friends, have a picnic, and watch the fireworks at Green Valley Park, but it can be a dangerous time as well. Since our area is bone dry this year, everyone needs to be extra careful of any type of sparks, from smoking, to sparklers, to cooking food outside. Please be extra careful this holiday so that we don’t lose our precious ponderosa pine forest or lose any homes to careless actions.

Happy 4th of July!


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