Lucreta (Creta) Marie Mabery, 65, died Monday, January 19 while receiving treatment for a brain hemorrhage in Phoenix.
Before suffering a debilitating stroke in 1995, she had worked as a receptionist, veterinarian's assistant, mortgage loan processor, country club manager, cook and evening barkeeper, and played a key role in developing the Blazin' M Ranch on the family farm in Cottonwood.
She was born May 26, 1943 in Basin, Wyoming to the late Virginia and Delmar Hendricks. She received some elementary education in Wyoming and when the family moved to Arizona, she completed that education in St. Johns and graduated from St. Johns High School in 1959. While attending school, she also assisted her mother in operating a popular restaurant and helped run the primitive White Mountain phone system.
While married to Robert Watts, she was a construction wife and lived in several parts of Arizona including Cottonwood, Camp Verde and Lake Montezuma. Following her divorce, she married Chuck Mabery in 1984 and together they grew organic vegetables until a Verde River flood wiped out their irrigation system. One of their major crops was garlic, which inspired Creta to get involved with Arizona's Own Garlic Festival. She served one year as president of the sponsoring organization.
She and Chuck also sold sports calendar advertising throughout Arizona and other western states and developed long lasting friendships with couples who shared their passion for fishing at Lake Powell. When unable to go to Powell, their favorite recreation was fishing in the Verde River adjacent to the farm.
Survivors include husband Chuck, Brother Ed Trumbull of Cottonwood, daughter Vikki Church of Cottonwood, son Earl Watts of Camp Verde, stepsons Dan and Tim Mabery of the Verde Valley and Rick Mabery of Prescott, two grandsons and numerous step-grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
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