Except for 10 years in Byers, Colorado where they farmed and ranched with her parents and brothers, Pete and Loretta made Graham County home. In 1962, Rex Ellsworth traveled to Byers and offered Pete the position of ranch manger on the Hackberry Ranch east of Safford. They soon left Byers with two young boys, three mares and all their worldly belongings in a bob-tail truck and returned home. The only thing she ever missed was the Colorado snowy winters and the wonderful friends she made while there.
For the next 50 years they would call the ranch home. Until the kids could drive themselves, she made sure they got to school each day. Most days putting in 120 miles taking them to school, returning home to cook lunch for the cowboys and then going back after school and sports to bring the kids home. While she was an outstanding cook, seamstress and overall homemaker, everyone knew when the kitchen was closed, it was closed. She could hear the cookie jar open from anywhere in the house and in most case knew who it was. One of her greatest loves was watching at dusk the changing colors of the Peloncillo Mountains. The best of times for everyone were when family would come home, play board games, girls playing dress up and boys playing cowboys. Get together dinners were never a problem even if it meant 30 to 40 people. Mom’s hobbies included, arrowhead hunting, ridding her 4-wheeler, sewing, and her special one-of-a-kind hand sewn Christmas stockings that for years each child, in-law and grand kid would receive. Her habit of having desert after every meal was always a challenge for her daughters-in-law to measure up to. Family remembers her home-aid bread that she would share with friends and family exemplifying her selflessness. Raising a family of four on the ranch was no easy task but to the end neither her, dad nor the kids would have changed anything.
Loretta was preceded in death by: her mother and father, Eula and Harold John; a brother, Terry Lee (lost shortly after birth) and her eldest brother LaMell (Madge) John.
She is survived by: her eternal companion, Pete; her youngest brother, Stanley (Ann) John of Buckeye AZ; her four children, Lee (Paula) Brawley of Green Leaf, Idaho, Brad Brawley of Phoenix, Mark (Dawn Brawley) of Safford and Cami (Wes) Hutchins of Eagle Mountain, Utah. The light of her eyes has always been her 16 grandchildren, 58 great-grandchildren and 4 great-great-grandchildren. She always said, “if the Lord would have given me 100 babies, I would have taken them all”.
Funeral services to honor and celebrate Loretta’s life will be conducted Friday, October 6, 2023, at 3:00 p.m., at the Safford Stake Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Bishop Jay Curtis of the Safford 1st Ward. Concluding services will follow in the Safford Cemetery.
Family will receive friends Friday afternoon, October 6, 2023, from 1:30 p.m. until 2:45 p.m., in the Safford Stake Center Relief Society room.