Etta Ruth Amerson
Presented to a Chamber member who has given SERVICE to the Eloy Chamber, has actively PARTICIPATED to the fullest ability, has been properly ORIENTED as to the intent and purpose of the Chamber of Commerce movement, has acquired and shown KNOWLEDGE of the community, pride and service, has promoted our community and ideas with sincere ENTHUSIASM. Former honorees have been: Allan Gramando (2004), Paula Lambert (2005), Jose Garcia (2006), Joe Blanton (2007), Paula Lambert (2008), Terry Strain (2009), Golden Eagle Distributors (2010), Marie Lorona (2011).
Etta Ruth was the fifth of eight children born to Roy and Frankie Awbrey. She was born in Carrizozo, NM in Lincoln County where Billy the Kid roamed.
The Awbrey family moved to Arizona when she was three months old. They lived on the Roland Curry Ranch, which is near the Silver Bell Estates. The old corrals are still there and she remembers her daddy branding cattle and doing all the thing cowboys do. They had no electricity and she still has one of the coal oil lamps they used.
She started school in a one-room schoolhouse at the age of four. About a dozen kids made up the first through eighth grades in the Sawtooth Schoolhouse that was from an old CCC camp built during the depression. One of the teachers, Ms. Garrett, was a niece of Pat Garrett from Billy the Kid fame.
The family moved to Eloy to be closer to Casa Grande where her older sisters could go to school. Sunland Gin Road did not exist then and they traveled via Pearce Road, Green Reservoir Road to Sunshine Blvd. and SR 84 to Casa Grande.
Etta attended the Eloy Elementary School and Santa Cruz High, graduating in 1957. Through the years, she would take classes at CAC.
As a teenager, she worked as a soda jerk for Hodges Pharmacy and a sales lady at Fabricant’s Dept. Store. She was employed at the Arizona State Children’s Colony for three years before being hired as a night radio dispatcher for the Eloy P.D. She then went to work as a clerk in the Eloy Justice Court and retired after 26 year of service. For three years, she held the position as the city magistrate. She is presently a part-time clerk for Judge Marie Lorona. She has accumulated many hours of judicial education during her tenure with the c ourt system.
Her life has been very busy and interesting. She will tell anyone that Eloy has been good to her and she is proud to have been a resident of Eloy for 65 years. She was married to her husband, J.C., for 45 years before his death on Easter Eve, 2011.
In her younger years, she played softball and played against teams from Phoenix metropolis, Tucson and Prescott. Eloy had the only women’s team in Pinal County at that time. Playing the Compton Cuties, a men’s team from Calif. brings back many fond memories.
After softball, she became interested in bowling and belonging to the local association in Casa Grande for over 20 years. She was also a member of the Arizona State Ladies Classic Bowling Association, which required you to be an “A” bowler with a 165 average and above. They competed in tournaments all over Arizona. In 1972, she won the Pro-Am Bowling tournament for the State of Arizona. She was told she was the first woman in Arizona to receive this honor. The prize were cash, jacket and an all expense paid trip for two to Winston-Salem, NC to compete in the nationals. Out of the 50 states represented, there were only seven women who competed in the National Pro-Am. Being seen on national television for several hours during the men’s tournament was a big thrill.
Etta was always competitive in nature. She also was known to play in pool tournaments and she played golf when the Arizona City course first opened. She took about a 30-year hiatus and started golfing again when Eloy opened its course. She was on the council and got to tee off and be a part of the grand opening. She considers golfing as one of her favorite sports.
She is a past member of Beta Sigma Phi, Women’s Eagles Auxiliary, Women of the Moose and Toltec Ladies Club. Serving on the Eloy City Council since 1992 and different boards including Parks & Recreation, Cemetery board, and along standing member of the Chamber of Commerce, has kept her busy. She has also served on the Sunland Visitor Center board for 20 years. Being a charter board member of the Santa Cruz Valley Historical Society that was formed in 2003 gives her much pride. One day the doors will open for the public to visit and learn about Eloy and its rich and colorful history and cultural heritage
H.B. Christy Award
Presented to a Chamber business member contributing above and beyond for the growth and betterment of the Chamber, the city, and the Eloy area. Former honorees have been: Fidelity Title (2004), Leonor Burruel (2005), APS (2006), Linda Gibson (2007), CCA (2008), Ed Robson (2009), HASA (2010), Pinal Hispanic Council (2011)
Sun Life Family Health Center, Inc. (Sun Life) was founded in 1976 with one full-time and one part-time provider. From these simple beginnings, Sun Life has grown to be the largest primary care provider in Pinal County, operating seven offices in six Pinal County communities, with each Sun Life office as unique as the community it serves.
Sun Life first introduced our family practice services to Eloy thirty years ago in 1983. In 2010, Sun Life built the new Family Practice and Pharmacy located at 205 N. Stuart Boulevard, bringing the first pharmacy services in over 16 years back to the City of Eloy.
Sun Life ensures everyone, insured and uninsured, access to high-quality healthcare. Sun Life’s quality care is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations. Sun Life also has offices in Casa Grande, Coolidge, Maricopa, San Manuel and Oracle.
Good Neighbor Award
A good neighbor is a person who has contributed back to the community by volunteering, donating services or doing good deeds throughout the year. Former honorees have been: Irene Gamilis (2004) Ana Medina (2005), Dick Myers (2006), Coy Amerson (2007), Levi Jones (2008), Jerry Warren (2009), Rosie and Charles Coyle (2010), and Byron Jackson (2011).
Bill was born in the Eloy Medical Center on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 1960 at 11:59 p.m., and was raised in Eloy.
He attended the Eloy Head Start program at the Eloy Community Center, Curiel Elementary School, Central School, Eloy Junior High School and is a proud graduate of Santa Cruz Valley Union High School class of 1978. During high school, Bill was more of a technically oriented student enrolling in welding, drafting, electronics and auto shop classes in addition to the core curriculum. He was a three-year letterman in the band, worked at Skip’s Exxon on Frontier Street and drove endlessly up and down Main Street at all hours of the day and night in his blue 1970 Ford Mustang rather than do his homework.
He was active in scouting and was a Cub Scout, Weblos Scout and Boy Scout. He attended Central Arizona College before transferring to the University of Arizona where he graduated in December of 1995 with a Bachelor’s Degree in biology with a major in chemistry and a split minor in mathematics and physics.
In 1996, he went to work as a draftsman with James L. Merry and Associates, Architects in what he thought would be a temporary position, but enjoyed the work so much that he stayed. Over time, he was given greater and greater responsibilities for project development, coordination and management. Within seven years, he received his architectural registration, one of the few registered architects in the country that did so without the benefit of formal architectural training. From that point, he was elevated to the position of partner in the firm and in 2005, was elevated to president of the firm, the position that he still holds today.
Bill has worked on numerous unique and one-of-a-kind design, planning and construction projects, throughout the range of professional practice which has led him to be more of a general practitioner of architecture as opposed to specializing in one sector of the practice. He has worked on project ranging from small medical clinics to large medical office buildings, major league baseball training facilities for the Colorado Rockies, numerous scientific projects at the University of Arizona, including the Steward Observatory Mirror Polishing Facility, The Animal Sciences Building and Agricultural Research Complex and Arena Facility at the Universities Campbell Avenue Farm. He has also worked with several Native American tribes across the state in the design and construction of adult and juvenile detention facilities. He also has worked on over $200 million dollars worth of school projects, including the nearly $10 million in additions and renovations to SCVUHS and $1.5 million in renovations for the Eloy Elementary School District.
During his time back in Eloy, Bill was reminded what a great town Eloy was and still is. He is currently working with the Eloy Elementary School District on their bond project and working with the City of Eloy on the development of several exciting projects that will enhance the facilities for all the people of Eloy. He is an active member in the Eloy Lions Club, The Masonic Lodge and is a active booster for worthy causes at SC and EESD. Last April, Bill accepted the responsibility to become the reunion chairman for the SC classes of 1950 thru 1988 and is the founder and moderator of the Tales of Eloy on Facebook. In the fall of 2012, Bill was inducted into the SC Hall of Fame.
In his spare time, Bill enjoys reading, photography, puttering around the house and road cycling.
All three award winners will be honored and presented with their awards at the annual Chamber Banquet. Dress code this year is casual business
Cost of the dinner is $40 per person or $300 for a table of eight.
Reservations are required. Get your tickets today by contacting Chamber Director Belinda Akes at (520) 466-3411, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or drop by the Eloy Chamber of Commerce located at 305 N. Stuart Blvd. Payment is due by Friday, Jan. 18.