Robert Franklin Crose "Bob", 95 of Cottonwood, Arizona
A Little about Bob
Robert Franklin Crose, known by family and friends as Bob. Was born October 5, 1919 in Prescott, Arizona to the late Otis and Mary Crose. As a child and young man he spent his life in the Verde Valley, visiting small ranches owned by family members. He had many fond memories of the Apache Maid Ranch and time spent in Altman, where the 1927 photo was taken.
Bob worked as a ranch hand until his induction into the Army on April 4, 1941. After the usual post-induction training at Fort Bliss, Texas, he was shipped overseas to North Africa. There he served in Algeria, French Morocco, Tunisia, Naples-Foggia, and Rome. Bob received his honorable discharge from the Army June 22, 1945. He received many metals for his bravery. Those four years and two months of military service during WWII were the only years that he lived away from the Verde Valley.
When Bob returned from the war he returned to his work as a "cowpuncher", working for Kel Fox at the 2 Bar Cattle Company. He met the love of his life, Erma, at the English Kitchen in Jerome, where she was waiting tables. Even though her parents were not too keen on him, the handsome young cowboy won the young waitress’s heart, they married, and shortly thereafter their first son, Little Bobby, was born at the old Cottonwood Hospital. As soon as Erma was released from the hospital, the family returned to the ranch. Kel Fox located the 2 Bar Cattle Company in what was called Big Park, now known as the Village of Oak Creek. There the family spent 6 months of winter, had a spring roundup, drove the cattle up the canyon to graze for about 6 months on leased land at Woods Ranch, followed by a fall roundup and a cattle drive back to the Big Park area. The Family was one of four houses in Big Park and they had no close neighbors at Woods Ranch.
When Little Bobby was old enough to go to school, Bob gave up the cowboy life and the family moved to Sedona. Little Bobby entered 1st grade and that year the youngest son, Steve, was born.
Bob found work with the Arizona State Highway Department and Erma waited tables and cashiered at Nelson's market. She worked part-time and later full time at the Sedona Post Office. She retired from the Post Office and Bob retired from the Highway Department after years of plowing snow off the road from Sedona to Flagstaff, Oak Creek Canyon- 89A.
In his retirement, Bob got back into his greatest love of playing old time fiddle music. He won many awards and prizes, but only cared about the music. He and Erma enjoyed their travel trailer and hit most of the old time fiddle event’s in the western states. Bob’s other interest was his boat; the family had many memorable times exploring Lake Powell.
As the years went by, life got a little more difficult. In 2008 Erma had a stroke from which she never fully recovered, and it became clear they could no longer live without assistance. They left their home and lived at Cottonwood Village. In January of 2011 Erma passed away, and Bob was "lost" at Cottonwood Village. A few months later he moved to Carefree Assisted Living Center.
One of the most difficult challenges for him in his last year was the death of his younger son, Steve, who was killed in a train derailment, November 30, 2013, near Silver City, New Mexico. Bob never could quite get his head around Steve's death, and often asked if "something bad had happened to Steve?" He worried that he knew he was no longer able to remember recent events.
Bob passed at the age of 95 on February 11, 2015 at Carefree Assisted Living Center in Cottonwood. Bob would tell you he had a long and happy life. He and all who went before him are now reunited and at peace.
He will be missed.
A celebration of life and luncheon will be held 1 1 A.M. on Sunday, March 1, 2015 at Thousand Trails Family Center, 6400 E Thousand Trails Rd. Cottonwood, Arizona