Remembering my Hometown of San Manuel Arizona

Update: I’ve reopened the comments section for readers to leave their thoughts. FYI, users will have their comments moderated for any strong or inappropriate language.

My morning commute is usually pretty uneventful, it’s a short 15 minute drive in which I usually spend most of my time wrestling with the sunshade in a futile attempt to block out the early morning sun. This last Wednesday’s commute was markedly different. As I listened to NPR I heard a name called out during the broadcast that only lived on in childhood memories, that name was “Magma Copper Company”. The broadcaster went on to say that the huge, 500ft twin smelter stacks that acted as an iconic beacon for both the copper company and the town of San Manuel were to be demolished at 1:00PM that same day, January 17th 2007. Immediately I called my family in Tucson and told them about the news, of which they were already aware of. I went about the rest of my day as usual, not really thinking much about what was to take place in San Manuel later that day.

BHP's Magma Copper Company

You see, San Manuel was the place where I grew up and Magma Copper Company was at the very center of it’s economic heart and soul. The rich copper veins of the mine provided the residents of San Manuel, and neighboring residents of Oracle and Mammoth with more than enough to enjoy a nice and comfortable living. It was one of the few remaining places where generations of Baby Boomers and their children could make more than $20 an hour with just a High School education, and this was back in the early 1990’s just to put it into perspective. Truth be told, that fact alone gave many graduating High School seniors the incentive to not think twice about furthering their education and remain in San Manuel to settle down and work. Unfortunately, that all changed in the years to come.

In 1996, BHP Billiton purchased Magma Copper Company for $2.4 Billion. In 1999, BHP pulled the plug on the San Manuel copper facility based on the continually falling price of copper. What was once one of the largest underground copper mines in the world ceased to exist and in the blink of an eye, an entire community lost it’s identity and lifeblood. It was hard on my parents to just pick up and leave. My father had worked as a locomotive mechanic for more than 15 years, and now there was no other option than to train in another field and find job opportunities elsewhere. Luckily, my parents had provided my Sister and I with the financial means of getting a college education, yet it was sad to think about all the families that were left with nothing but a final paycheck and a thank you.

I think I avoided learning more about the demolition because I just wasn’t ready to see the smokestacks go. I left San Manuel in 1994 to attend Arizona State, and although I’ve lived in Phoenix for more than 10 years now, San Manuel is the only home I’ve ever known. My family and I owe so much to that copper company and that small town, and I guess the demolition is one final act of closure that’s been missing ever since the copper mine was shutdown.

As a small tribute, I’ve attached 2 videos (RSS feed readers – please visit the site to see the videos). The first shows the demolition of the twin stacks; you can actually hear one of the onlookers weeping after the stacks fell. The second video gives a mini-documentary of the copper company and the Dell E. Webb designed town that was built exclusively for it. You can also read more about the financial decisions that ultimately sealed the copper company’s fate here: Town’s last copper relics to pass into history.

The Closet Entrepreneur

» This entry was filed under General


  1. John Olson

    Hey Steve, I am so happy to here that your mother is still around. I thought she was my second mom when you and I were running around together back in grade school. Give me a call when you come back to Arizona – its been a long time!

    John Olson

  2. Kelly

    Shirley Olson! Shirley was my second grade teacher. I will always remember her kindness and beautiful smile, definitely my favorite teacher! She gave me my first kitten, a little gray and white cat that I named Miss Kitty and had until I was about 16. Very fond memories of Mrs. Olson!

  3. Shirley Olson

    Kelly, I remember a cute, sweet, smart, inquisitive sweetheart. I have very fond memories of you too. Kids? Grandkids? what do you have? John and I have 4 grown children and 12 grandkids. We now live in Tempe and have been retired for two years. Up until retirement, I was still involved in the school, tutoring kids in math and reading. I do remember the kitten. I would love to see you again sometime or even talk to you on the phone. I can be reached at 480-838-8351.

    Shirly Olson

  4. Donald Clark

    My sister has pic’s of the train that went off the end of the track’s

  5. Ann (Thomas) Ross

    Here’s a link to the website for the October 2011 SMHS Multi-Year Class Reunion:

    San Manuel High School Class Reunion in 2011

    Ann (Thomas) Ross
    Class of ’74

  6. Ann (Thomas) Ross

    Corrected website for the multi-year SMHS Class Reunion in October 2011:

  7. T. Craig

    This is amazing to see the love and the wonderful memories most of you all share. I was not raised in San Manuel, in fact up until a couple of years ago did I live here. I was however aware of it and visited SM as a young adult with my ex husband. He worked for Magma for many years. I am a resident now because I married Larry Craig, who was born and raised here. This is truly his home in every respect of what home should be. I love to hear the fond memories he and his family share along with going around town to show me where things use to be. But at the same time it saddens me greatly to see such a wonderful place turn out to be such a eyesore now. Businesses closed, buildings all boarded up, and no sense of belonging in any sense. I am going to make this my home for many years to come and will stay anywhere just to be with my husband. I will, but not without trying to do something to make a difference. I am a ordinary person, working to make a living but have a deep passion to do whatever it takes to make this town home again to those who stayed and those who have come to make this town their home. My first passion is to find out how we can make a beautiful playground for the children that live here…they deserve that as every child does. I believe BHP owns whats left of the play areas and has not maintained them what so ever.This upsets me because many great people worked their whole life for them. In doing so many generations have stayed here as they always felt this was home. But its just not fair that the company could not have took care of the people here as the people did all that they could to take care of the company. If anyone knows who I should contact and they would like to help me or has any suggestions for me please contact me.

  8. Tina

    Web Surfing today. I went from Perkins Canyon volcanic dome, rhyodacite, Chiricahua National Monument in Arizona and then down the rabbit hole to San Manuel, Arizona where I grew up.

    Google earth is amazing. I was able to find my old school (Ave. B) and follow the streets I used to travel home. I found my old house. (Why was there so much garbage across the street? Why was the view of the mountains not what I remembered?) Well, a few more excursions to sell where old friends houses used to be, the dime store, pool, etc. All the while I kept wondering what happened to this place? I wanted to show my kids the town but I had to figure out what happened?

    Your blog post has answered that question. Those smoke stacks were the landmark that defined the town. They were what I would see each time I walked out my front door. They were what was missing from my “remembered view”. They say smells create some of our strongest memories too. The smell of sulfur and the image of those smokestacks will always be San Manuel for me. It was unexpectedly sad for me to watch the video of them toppling. I left San Manuel as a teenager and never looked back (or so I thought). That was over 30 years ago.

    It was also happy to see Frank Valenzuela in the video. What a wonderful man with an awesome rock and mineral collection. (and family too!) Funny how things work out. I was looking for information about a rock and I ended here watching a video that included the first person I ever knew with a rock collection.

    I also think I see my sister’s alias in one of the comments above.

    It really is a small world. I like that.

    Thank you for putting San Manuel in your blog.

  9. Cathy Caraway-Fiihr

    We moved to San Manuel in January 1956. I went from first grade through high school (1968), as did my four siblings. What a great place to grow up. Everyone knew you, you could walk to town, walk to school, go to little league games in the summer, swimming at the community pool, play hide and seek but remember to come home when the street lights came on, cruise town, go to the drive-in movie, burgers at Mels! There aren’t many places like that anymore to grow up, and that’s really sad. We were family. We survived without 200 cable channels, without cell phones and computers, without helmets. It was just as childhood should be; safe, fun, best friends, and memories to last a life time. I only wish more kids could have the childhood I did in San Manuel.

  10. Tom Peyatt

    Donna and I had been hearing for years how San Manuel had died off and was becoming a ghost town. The houses were in bad shape, the parks were being let go and the shopping centers were empty. We decided to visit it one last time in September. What a shock it was. The town was far from dying. Most of the houses looked great. The new pool was set up for a swim meet. While there were some empty stores, most seemed to be in business. We saw a few empty houses on McNabb, but almost none on other streets. We were sad to see that our 1st house at 305 Ave A had burned down and had not been rebuilt. Our second house at 319 Ave A looked good.

    We came to Maryland in 1989, right after I was layed off. I came out to help reopen the old Kenncott refinery in Baltimore and have lived in the area ever since. We have recently bought another place in Liverpool, Pa. I think we just missed small town living too much.

    Tom Peyatt
    Class of 1977

  11. John Olson

    I was just browsing through this neat site again and noticed that I had made a mistake with my E-Mail address. Shirley and I would love to hear from any of our old friends from San Manuel. We now live in Tempe (been here since 1973) and retired a couple of years ago.
    We can be reached at johnolson87[at] or give us a call at 480-838-8351.

    John and Shirley Olson
    class of 1963

  12. Jim Arrington

    My Dad was one of the first employees of Magma Copper Company. (Joseph Weldon Arrington) He hired on in 1955. Dad open the first and ONLY hamburger joint in San Manuels History. It was called WELDON’S DRIV-IN. We opened the doors on April 8th 1966. It is still in operation today, over 40 years later, under the name Mel’s … It is the only original store in existance. Every store or gas station has been closed , torn down, or turned into a different type of business. But not WELDON’S…. ( across from the High School.) Weldons was known for its Hamburgers,with a secret sauce that is still unknown but to a handlful including myself. Weldon (joe) invented the sauce.
    Jim Arrington

  13. sergio montes

    Absolute fact, another rich moment in Salmon Oil history unraveled. I, like many of you readers, also enjoyed the high level of cuisine at this fine dining establishment. ( Reservations never required) But, I’ll bet I have a historic fact that few are aware of. In 1972, Weldons was robbed by some dim-witted burglars that ransacked the “Joint” and made off with a bag of coins and many boxes of candy bars.
    Albeit, this crime was never solved, rumor ran amok of teens with stomach aches, and young girls flashing new jewelry from the Pratts fine drug emporium. I have it on good source that Coach Donaldson was hot on the trail of said culprits, but the forensic technology of the day could not help close the case. BTW, I hope you fellow readers get on board with the fund to erect a bronze efigy of the Zauzueta sisters in Mels parking lot. They are the true artisans that made Mels famous, Mexican labor exploited once again. Ernestina, if you ever want to open a chain of burger joints, please call me. PS Make sure you have a good alarm system!!!!

  14. Thomas Malone

    I was wondering how the reunion came out? I was unable to attend because of illness. Also copper town days?
    Thomas Malone


  15. john

    grew up in tucson and where we would drive through reddington pass and you would know you made it when you saw the smokestacks of the san manuel mine ,funny how time marches on…….

  16. John Olson

    Jim, I knew your dad very well since my family moved into San Manuel in January of 55 also. I have very fond memories of your Dad’s drive-in. It was the only place for teenagers to hangout in town. Your dad put a coin operated pool table in almost as soon as he opened. It was one that only returned the cue ball if you put a ball into a pocket. The kids got smart and started stuffing tissues or even half eaten hamburgers into the pockets to keep from having to pay for each game. One day I stopped by for a coke and saw that the pool table was covered. I asked Joe what was going on and he said he was tired of the hassle of constantly removing the trash from the pockets so he just put a cover over it. I told him that I would give him a $100 for the table if he wanted to sell it but he declined. I went on home and the phone was ringing as I walked in and it was Joe telling me to come and get the table. To make a long story a little shorter, I still have the table after all of these years. It is presently in my 38 year old daughter’s game room and it is still a great table, slate top and all. Oh yeah, when I tore that table down to recover it, I found over $35 in quarters still in the drawer. I bagged them up and took them back to Joe but he wouldn’t take them since he said that I bought the table as is.

    Great memories of a neat drive-in and even nicer owner. I was very fond of Joe Arrington.

    John Olson

  17. Dean Mead

    We lived in San Manuel many years ago, and now we’re retired. We’re visiting right now, and are considering buying a home here. Some of our old friends are still here.
    What do you all think? Should we do it?

  18. Larry Sullivan

    Lived in San Manuel twice in my life. Arrived for the first time during the MAGMA Copper strike. You can read about it in RAISING MAMA: A MEMOIR by Larry Michael Sullivan. I had an employee in my former job in California from Tucson. He and I used to laugh about the back road from Tucson to San Manuel that came out through the garbage dump. Chuck Johnson, my former insurance agent in Silver City, New Mexico is a San Manuel native. He told me my book was spot on about San Manuel. He has an autographed copy. I’m still curious about the mining community east of Mammoth that I visited when I was a kid. That community disappeared before the great depression. The old road leading up the mountain from Mammoth is now fenced off. I’d love to know the history of that place.

  19. Val

    Wow, looking for something entirely different and I come across this. First, Kudos to you Tomas. Always interesting to see what someone you know has done. I am the gal who no one remembers so no biggie but you were a senior when I was a junior at SMHS.

    To this day it is rare to find anyone who knows of San Manuel so it was kinda cool to read through some peoples comments. I haven’t been back in years. My dad still lives there but visits me in the valley now a days. My grandparents still live in Mammoth. There are still people who live in the tri-community that I know. I sometimes think of going down there but it is kinda depressing sometimes.

    I think the good ole’ glory days of FM, Mormon pond and cruising uptown were gone shortly after ’95. But I still do remember the days of walking for a slice of pizza for lunch, getting chased by Principal Donaldson on Senior ditch day (because we weren’t seniors) and it getting close to summer so time for water balloon fights (only to get it bad because a windshield or two became casualties of the war).

    Once the mine closed everyone truely had to go their own way and it is just sad to go back and see a place that at one time seemed so alive with families, pranks (yes I do know of pumpkin stealing on Halloween) and just the bustle of a small town seemed to vanish.

    I am just glad I got to be a wild teen in a place that meant being wild was at most getting caught underage drinking. In an era where now anyone could be the wrong person to walk up to, most people are amazed that I grew up somewhere where people didn’t always lock their doors and stay at home moms were the norm.

  20. Linda (Eberle) Pondrom

    I continue to enjoy this blog/site, and appreciate the opportunity to reconnect with friends from the past. Received today a great e-note from Don Lee, and would like to respond to him. However, there was not a return address with which I could contact Don. So Don, if you are so inclined, would love a chance to ‘talk’ via e-mail. Linda

  21. +Don Lee


    I have no idea who you are, but thanks for hosting this site so that former and present tri community residents can share a common link.

    In telling my wife about this site I had to explain why I didn’t “know” most of the posters which made me realize I don’t know the entire history of Magma, and the surrounding towns.
    I started the third grade in San Manuel in a house across from First Avenue because both grade schools hadn’t been finished yet and the upper arcade was also still being built which made me wonder about the state of the high school at that time. There has been mention of busing to Florence (long haul) and the barracks. I vaguely remember the barracks being old wooden buildings out at the trailer court but that could be a faulty memory.

    That’s my point. As a third grader I wasn’t too concerned about the bigger world so even though I was there I can’t recall what the older kids were doing for schools. Who can remember the first class and graduating class of SMHS and where was the the very first school of any kind in or near the San Manuel townsite.

    What was it like as a San Manuel, Mammoth and Oracle student before the three red brick schools were completed?

  22. Nancy

    Posted on the SMHS website:

    John Hernandez10:34am Apr 17

    The San Manuel Miner wants me to begin writing a series about growing up in San Manuel. It would be something along the lines of a where are they now, memories of the town and the people, etc. What I am asking is for everyone on this site to begin sharing stories and memories about San Manuel, your favorite teacher, coach, friends, experiences, etc. I would also like to hear about what you would like to read about concerning growing up in San Manuel. You can contact me at or on this site.

  23. Tom Peyatt

    I lived in San Manuel with my family from 1976 through 1988. During that time, my daughter Michelle was born there in 1981. In March of this year she passed away after an 11 year battle with leukemia. In talking to others in the area, several of our children have physical, mental, and learning problems. If you have experienced any of these, please contact us at ChildrenofMagma[at]

    Thank you

  24. Michele MacDonald

    Hi, I’m searching for info on Charles and Red Wilson who lived in San Manuel in 1957. Charles was a mining engineer there. I was born in San Manuel Hospital in April 1957.
    I may have brothers or sisters and I want to try to connect with them.
    You can e-mail me at mimacdon[at]

  25. i lived in san manuel when i was around 15 born in globe, we moved there cause my dad was a copper miner in san manuel. went to san manuel high. i too remember the stacks as being a symble of san m. when ever we visit fam. in phx i always new we were almost home because of the stacks i havent be bk there sine 1963 always wanted to but never did. now im in calif thinking of moving to superior next yr when i marry again and then i shall visit all the old memories of my past. sorry to hear theyre gone. even though i was born in globe my memories r in s.m.

  26. Susie

    (Reference Bob Bowerman), you responded a few years ago to my post searching for Bob Bowerman. I had stopped receiving notifications from this page quite a while back and just noticed this. Not sure if you monitor this thread, but I’m still searching and would appreciate any information you have.

  27. Kathy Jones Shaw

    I really enjoy reading these posts. Brings back a lot of memories. I laughed when I read one back from 2007 or 8. It asked about the Triple X. She didn’t know it was a cafe. My dad didn’t want me going down there, from high school, to have lunch. My friend and I liked the 10 cent cokes and fries. He didn’t like the idea that the bar was right next door and that there was a connecting door between the two. Funny what you remember.

    I am a long way from my childhood home of Oracle, but still have lots of memories. I married David Shaw there in 1976. He was a dry chemist for Magma. I was a fourth grade teacher in Oracle, in the same room I’d had middle school English.

    We built a house at 96 El Paseo. Then in 1985 we started our journey. First to Chula Vista, CA, a short time in El Cajon, then to Eureka, CA. We left there in 1990 to move to Virginia. David was computerizing a company that wanted to move, so we went along.

    We’ve been here for the past 24 years. We’ve had many ups and downs with Dave’s health. Shortly after moving here he had a stroke. Disabled him that he couldn’t work, but could still drive and get around. Did like working on his computer. Then in Nov. 2005 he had a heart attack that led to triple bypass. This left him more disabled in mind and body. We traveled a lot, when I wasn’t working. He enjoyed life. Loved his pizza and jelly donuts.

    In May 2013 I retired so we could spend more time together. Sadly I lost Dave July 30, 2013. It’s been hard, but the dogs and I are making it. This April 17th will be our 38th wedding anniversary.

    I love and miss you, Dave Shaw. I think of you always.

  28. Dean Mead

    FYI, if anyone’s interested, we moved back to San Manuel. Can’t think of a better place anywhere to spend the winters. Houses are well-built and inexpensive; and without the Smelter smoke the air is as healthy as possible. Our sons, David Mead (Class of 87) lives in Minnesota, working for Mayo Clinic, and Dustin Mead (Class of ’91) is in Washington, working as a banker- Loan officer.
    Didn’t know this Blog was still open, accepting mail; but glad it is.

  29. cris moreland

    My dad Omie Moreland worked at magma from 1960-1965. we lived
    at 902 w 5th ave . i visit the town often and i love seeing our old house. the current owner has done her well

  30. cris moreland

    My dad passed away in december 1965 at the san manuel hospital

  31. Ann Thomas Ross

    What: San Manuel High School (Arizona) ’70’s Reunion 2014

    When: October 17-18, 2014

    Where: “Meet and Greet” gathering from 7:00 PM-10:00 PM on Friday, October 17th at the Fox and Hound, 7625 N. La Cholla Blvd., Tucson, AZ. No charge to attend, food and drink available from the menu on your own.

    Dinner dance party on Saturday night, October 18th at the Hilton El Conquistador Hotel, 10000 N. Oracle Rd. from 6:00-11:00 PM. Cost is $75 per person, includes buffet dinner and DJ music. Cash bar available at the dinner dance party. Photo booth provided. Drawing will be held for hotel room give-away.

    Who: All SMHS Classes from 1970-1979 are invited to join the Class of 1974 in celebrating our 40th Reunion!

    How: Early registration and payment for the Dinner Dance party will reserve your spot as seating is limited. Please send the number of guests, your contact information and your check/money order for $75 per person, payable to “Lydia Verduzco or Laurie Santamarina” to:
    SMHS ’70’s Reunion
    P.O. Box 90599
    Tucson, AZ. 85752

    Please include a brief written update of yourself, important people in your life and special times you’ve experienced and want to share when you mail your check/money order.

    Old photographs, current pictures and military photos can also be sent or emailed to: along with information for each photograph (who, what, where, when).

    Please note: All travel, hotel and other personal expenses are on your own. We have fifteen (15) rooms on hold at the Hilton El Conquistador at $129/night, first come first serve, book your room directly with the hotel.

    Invitation announcement by: SMHS Class of 1974 Reunion planning team 4.5.14


  32. Odie Johnson

    @ Rodney Johnson
    Hey Rod, hope you’re doing well. pretty crazy to stumble onto this site and see your post. My dad’s name is Chuck and his nickname is Junie. My mom’s name is Liz and you had my name right (Mostly) I remember hanging at your mom’s house and playing football with you when we were kids. Time sure does fly. So many great memories of S.M, really sad to see it now days, even Gordon’s shut down. One of my fondest memories was eating popcorn on our roof and watching movies at the drive in via binoculars. Take care buddy.

  33. Don Conyers

    I lived in San Manuel from 71-74. Next door to Jeff, Jaime, and Jay Osbourne. Fine people and great neighbors. I remember Jeff fixing my little motorcycle after I stuck a garden hose in the tailpipe cause I thought it would shoot out water when I revved it up. Of course I had a ten year olds crush on Jaime. Couple years later it was Sandy Acosta that I would dream about. Most of my memories revolved around playing golf with Tony Grimes, Mike Lee and a kid whose father owned a Jaguar. A band teacher who had the original comb over. Being friends with Steve Jonason and Raymond Rael. As I recall, I was a horrible person, and DD Hall punched me in the chest one time when I said something stupid. I so deserved it. I remember a poem DD had written for the school paper. “Little boy up in the tree, won’t you come down and play with me. Down by the ocean, down by the sea. Little boy up in the tree, won’t you come down and play with me.” Maybe I got it wrong, but it’s always stuck with me. I thought it was very good for what, 11 years old or so. I wish I could remember more but it was so long ago and I left there way too soon. Tracy Bunch, Danny Turner come to mind, but I can’t remember why. I hope it’s cause we were friends. Oh yeah, La Casita and it’s juke box in Mammoth. Best wishes to all.

  34. jim i lived in sm from 55-57 my dad and uncle worked in the smelter mill and uncle loyd worked in the mine. i now live in ca. stummbled on this blog , when i heard about the stacks going down.brought back lots of memories, al davis store in mammoth, and the drug store with the soda fountain that serve the ice cream dish called the spudnik after the russian sattlite that was send up that year. does anyone remember my old teacher mr. hammer? does the old house on 101 ave. A still exist? have not read any comments from Geneieve or Vic lately ?

  35. Vance DeHart

    WOW! I lived and worked in the area in the 70’s. Worked underground and the smelter and the refinery for Magma and made many memories there. I think I still carry much of that time in my soul and it defines me to this very day. I’ll have to make the trip and see the “New Look” of the once booming mining town. Don’t think I’ll miss the smell of the smoke or the burning of the lungs! I had plenty of that back in the day….back when the music was great, CB’s were the means to stay in touch and find out where the desert party was going down and the girls were fine! Oh yes….I still remember all of you! Hehe

  36. Kathy Shaw

    Vance DeHart, you must have known my dad, Dean Jones, who worked at the mines. You probably knew my brother-in-law, Doug Shaw, who was a ware house foreman. My husband, Dave Shaw, worked in the xray lab. All three are now gone, but there are some good memories.

  37. Dennis Erwin

    I worked there during the all of the 90’s, I still dream about it.

  38. Don and Sue Harris

    Hi folks. My wife Susan and I grew up in the state of Maine and have lived here all our lives. We’re grown up and ready for retirement and bought a home in your lovely town. We plan to spend Winters’ there starting in the Fall of 2015. The desert and its beauty has fascinated us ever since childhood. I love the old westerns and the tales of mining, gunslingers, adventure, and discovery of new places. The little boy [that still resides somewhere inside this old body] wants to guard the stagecoach, rescue the damsel, and generally save the day. Sitting here at this computer I look outside the window and see nearly two feet of snow on the ground. The weather man says another twelve inches or so will fall in the next twenty four hours. At the risk of not sounding adult about the current situation….this really sucks. Big time! I just called the dog over to pat him and he wouldn’t even budge. What a fink. He can bet that the weather guy won’t likely be coming by to feed him. Brother, when it rains it pours…or in this case, it SNOWS. To tell the truth, Maine is a wonderful place to live. We pray that San Manuel, Arizona will be a good place for us and our two dogs , Lester and Jayden, to live in the Winter.

  39. Mason c. Hogan

    Does anybody remember the Hogan boys?

  40. Judy (Thomas) Hagler

    Dr. Lew and Shirley Bayba’s oldest son, Lewellyn James Bayba, passed away on February 10, 2015. A memorial service is planned for Saturday, March 28, 2015 at El Camino Baptist Church in Tucson AZ. The church is located at 7777 E. Speedway. That is just west of Pantano Road on the North side of Speedway. (Across the street from the Fry’s Shopping Center.) All of the family is planning on attending.

    I know Lew and Shirley would be encouraged if those who knew and loved them would join them in celebrating Lewellyn’s life.

  41. John Olson

    As I have written in this forum before, my family moved into San Manuel in January of 1955 my father being transferred from Superior to construct the railroad from the mine to the concentrator and from San Manuel to Winkleman to connect to the Southern Pacific RR. As a sophomore at SMHS, I had the luck to meet a cute little Redhead named Shirley Dahms. We became good friends and used each other as a crying towel when we had boy/girlfriend problems. This all changed on November 13th when I realized that I had fallen in love with her. I promply offered her my class ring which she accepted and I then kissed her for the first time. We went together the rest of the year and made the commitment that we wouldn\’t get married until at least one of us graduated from college. We attended EAJC together for two years and then on to the universities. She to the UofA and me to ASU. I transferred to the UofA after one year. Shirley graduated in 1967 and we were married that summer. I graduated the following year since I had changed majors. We then entered a wild and fruitful life together including four children and 16 grandkids. With great pain, I have to tell you that my life mate and reason for living went to live with the Lord last month. We did have 47+ years of love, adventure, heataches and military separations but I miss her like life itself. My memories of my dear wife always include the many wonderful years we spent in San Manuel and the friends we made there. Your prayers for our family during this period of grief are certainly appreciated. The Lord now has one cute little redhead to laugh and probably argue with now.

  42. Nancy G. Hough

    I also went to SMHS and remember the two girls, Shirley and Sharon Dahms. We had biology together for a semester. I am very sorry to hear of your loss.

  43. Nancy G. Hough

    I went to SMHS and had a semester with the girls. Shirley and Sharon, and I remember you as well. Am so very sorry for your loss.
    Nancy (Cardell) Hough class of 64.

  44. Kathy Shaw

    Sorry to hear about your loss, John Olson. Having lost my husband, I know it isn’t easy. I am just glad I have many happy memories to draw from. Reading your post lets me know you do, too.

  45. Mary Allison James

    Thank you John, for sharing. I loved your post, and have many sweet and sad memories from that little peace of heaven too. God bless you, and know that your little red headed sweetheart will be waiting for you, and yet still around, looking out over your beautiful family.

  46. Nick Cocavessis

    While studying engineering at the UoA, I ended up working as a “weekend warrior” chute tapper at the copper mine between 1973 and 1974. Needless to say it was an experience I will never forget. I recall fondly being looked after by the professional, union miners as if we were their children. The experience taught me to appreciate those who toil daily and makes it possible for the rest to have comfy office jobs. My hat goes off to those proud, hard working folks and their loved ones whose lives were enriched by the mine and smelter.

  47. Judy (Thomas) Hagler

    Dr. Lew and Shirley Bayba’s oldest son, Lewellyn James Bayba, passed away on February 10, 2015. A memorial service will be Saturday, March 28, 2015 at El Camino Baptist Church in Tucson AZ. The church is located at 7777 E. Speedway. That is just west of Pantano Road on the North side of Speedway. (Across the street from the Fry’s Shopping Center.) All of the family is planning on attending.

    I know Lew and Shirley would be encouraged if those who knew and loved them would join them in celebrating Lewellyn’s life.

  48. just want to say,i was born here in tucson.i could always see the smoke stacks when being-driving up mt lemon.old days where the days it is about the push of the finger-to get a call-to me every one had to what they had to do-every it how fast things can get done.but as every one can see now,know has the time to get anything busy… is not about the rich about who made them rich——-

  49. Nancy Cardell Hough

    Still enjoying the postings. We lived in Mammoth, San Manuel and Oracle since 1957, grasuated in 1964. great days and great memories!

  50. Nancy Cardell Hough

    New email address….old one missing the 22. nhough22[at]gmail[dot]com

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