The first sentence in the closing paragraph of her recent autobiography says, "Some people say they would not like to do this life over again, but I would in a heartbeat." After watching her live a full and complete life, and after 62 years of separation and watching from above, on July 10, 2012, baby Cathy came and took our beloved mom and "Nema" home.
Dollie Mary was born on Oct. 18, 1928, the second of three children to Leroy and Ruby Mae (Yates) Ward in Standard, Ariz. (a mining community near Show Low which no longer exists). One of her many character foundations happened four days after Christmas, on Dec. 29, 1939, when at only 11 years of age, and three days before Social Security benefits were established, her father died in a tragic mining accident. The three children and their mother traveled the Southwest looking for opportunities and ways to survive in a time when the country was pulling itself from the Great Depression.
These settlements included Kingman in 1940 and again 1945, where they finally settled in the community she always called home. The kids of the time would play on the courthouse grounds, and she would talk about how she loved the summer evenings and the smell of the fresh cut grass.
She remembered Kingman's early days to include "Front Street," where people would gather to watch "What was happening, who was out on the town," the gambling cards and slot machines; a time when the community worked together to create the Locomotive Park; and a time when a town of 2,500 people acted like "one big family who supported each other and lived off each other by buying locally." Her first jobs included kitchen work at the original hospital, and as a "soda jerk" at the Kingman Drug.
To avoid chivaree, at 6 a.m. on April Fool's Day, 1948, she married E.J. "Charlie" McCarthy and together they had a 32-year journey, which included her serving eight years as Kingman's "First Lady" (Charlie was Kingman's mayor), ownership in the Kimo Shell (Now Mr. D's) and Texaco (now Canada Mart) service stations, and in 1959 opened McCarthy Motors, which began as the Studebaker franchise, and over the years carried International, Ramblers, GMC Truck, Mercedes, and in 1967 became the Ford Lincoln & Mercury dealership which they proudly operated until Charlie's death in 1980.
While she was so proud of the positive involvement in the lives of so many friends, customers, employees, business and political associates, she was most proud of the involvement in her family, and the many children she was a godmother to. While a horrible void was created when their 15-month first child Mary Catherine died, their lives and Grandview home were filled with joy and happiness of Susie and Jake, their special nieces and nephews as well as many community children who became family.
She began another chapter in her life when she married Bob Lightfoot in 1984, and moved to Chandler, then to Prescott in 1987. During their 25 years of marriage, they enjoyed a retired life of gardening, camping, fishing, traveling and spending time with family and friends. Dollie became ill two months after Bob passed away in 2009, and in February 2010 began living with Susie and Richard in Flagstaff.
Dollie is survived by her children, Susie (Richard) Rucker of Flagstaff and Edward J. McCarthy Jr. (Robert Bohn) of Cathedral City, Calif.; her close sister, Bobbie Jane (Albert) Morphew of Kingman; grandchildren, Brad (Peggy) Rucker of Kingman, Casey (Antonia) Rucker of Flagstaff and Trisha (Justin) Wilks of Kingman; 12 great-grandchildren and many dear and special nieces and nephews.
Services will be at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 20, at St. Mary's Catholic Church, with a Rosary Thursday from 6 to 7 p.m. at Sutton Memorial Funeral Home. She will be laid to rest at Mountain View Cemetery in Kingman, with a celebration of life reception at the Kingman Elks Lodge, 900 Gates Ave.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Mohave Museum or Hospice Compassus, 1000 N. Humphrey's St., Ste 220, Flagstaff, AZ 86001.
And if I should go before you
Know that part of me still remains ...
You will not see me, yet I will be there walking beside you.
You will not touch me,
Yet I will live in your heart and memory always.
Have faith that we will one day walk hand in hand in eternity.
Until then, live your life for life is good ...
And know that I am with you.