George Dykes JR., 79, a resident of Pima, Arizona, passed away at his home on February 25th, 2023 with his family at his side. He was born on August 15th, 1943 in Needham, Alabama in a log cabin, to George Dykes and Edna (Turner) Dykes. He was the oldest of seven children. Once he finished the 8th grade, he went to work to help support the family. When he was about 16 years old he left home and started traveling out west with an aunt and uncle, they came to Arizona and California for work picking produce in California and coming back to Arizona to pick cotton (by hand). In 1960 he got a job working for a share cropper by the name of “Willie Grubbs” picking cotton. This is where he met the love of his life. Back then cotton would grow really tall, he thought he was working with all men until he got to the end of the rows and that’s where he met “Bonnie Grubbs”. They became good friends and talked a lot as he had that southern drawl and Curley red hair. For the next few years he would travel around working in different states but always returned to the Gila valley, back to work for that share cropper Willie. He’d go to the Grubbs home to visit Bonnie, and her mother “Marie” would try to run him off. As one time he backed out of the yard so fast, Marie came at him with a broom. He accidentally tore the hell out of her flower bed. She didn’t want him to see her daughter. Boy was she mad!
He traveled back to Mississippi and they corresponded in letters. He asked her to Marry him, she wrote back “yes” her mother said “no” she was just 18 years old. She ran away to marry him and that they did. They married in Butler Alabama on July 24th, 1963. They lived with some of his family at the time. They moved back to Arizona in 1964, and after more then 2 years of marriage they had “Mary” there first born daughter. About 2 years later “Dorothy” then several years later “Carla". They lived in Safford, Thatcher, Pima and finally having there own house built in Pima.
Throughout life he has done many different Types of employment, from farm work, driving semis, driving trucks for “Morris Sand and Gravel”, then going to work for CKC as a heavy duty mechanic. For several years he was a Decon in the First Southern Baptist Church of Pima. He loved his church(took care of the grounds) and getting out to visit others. For 20 plus years he distributed food share boxes and distributed commodities. He received many certificates of recognition and certificates of appreciation for volunteer work. He was a very active member of the “Odd Fellows Lodge” for many years, serving in various offices. He loved helping with the Toys for Tots, the annual(bike) motorcycle runs that the club house had. They always donated toys and money to the Odd Fellows each year for their toy give away at Christmas time. He also had the honor of being "Santa" for the Odd Fellows Christmas party.
His hobbies included fishing, hunting, camping, and teaching his daughters and grandchildren these things. He loved to fish, taking all friends, daughters, and grand children. He enjoyed reading, especially westerns. For many years he supplied the Gila Valley with fishing worms he raised. Including the old “Pinky’s Bait and Tackle” that was in Central. Every year for George and Bonnie’s anniversary they would have a huge fish fry at their home, with fish that they had caught. Inviting all family and friends. They were really a lot of fun.
In his early years he was friends with many of our local law enforcement officers and rode around with some. George never knew a stranger and always tried to help anyone in need from stopping on the road side to help a stranded motorist, to giving food to families in need. For many years he was a member of the “poor boy” CB club and even served as president. He loved talking to people all over the world and truckers throughout the years. They collected hundreds of CB post cards from all over the world. He was a great auto mechanic, teaching himself from an early age and buying mechanic books to learn from. many people would bring there vehicles to him for diagnose and repair. (He also taught his daughters) the basic auto repair skills. He grew a garden every summer and had lots of greens in the fall and winter. Many people from the area would come and get bags full of greens for their family’s to eat.
He is survived by his daughters Mary (Armando) Luzania of Pima, Dorothy Dykes of Safford, and Carla (Larry) Clark of Pima. His grandchildren Angela (David) Larson, Michael Taylor, Amanda (Billy) Jackson, Troy Partin Jr, Cody Taylor, Bridget (W.C.) McBeth of Blyth California, Kristen Luzania, Destiny Clark, Katelynn Clark, and Dominic Clark. Great Grand Children Gabriel Garcia, Jayde Garcia, Audianna Felix, Gunner Larson, Troy Partin III, Trenton Luzania, Lani Luzania and his great-great granddaughter “His little Angel” Jayda Garcia, and his little dog Mooch. Brothers Wayne (Debbie) Dykes, Ricky Dykes, sister Barbara Johnson, and many cousins, and nephews. He is preceded in death by his wife of 55 and a half years, Bonnie Dykes, parents George and Edna(Turner) Dykes, brothers Jay and Joe Dykes, sister Dorothy Mae Smith, nephew Jody Dykes and grand daughter Alicia Rector. He will greatly be missed by many. If there’s anything anyone could learn from him it’s to always be kind, help when you can, and try your best always. The family would like to say a thank you to Eden Hospice, especially nurses Shane and Amanda.
A viewing will be on Friday March 3rd, 2023 at 10 A.M. at the McDougals Caldwell funeral home in Safford Arizona, with the funeral to follow at 11 AM. Interment will follow at the Pima cemetery.
Click this link to view additional details about George's Services, including any available live streams: https://my.gather.app/remember/george-dykes
Services are under the direction of McDougal's Caldwell Funeral Chapel and Crematory. Online condolences may be extended at www.caldwellfuneralchapel.com/obituaries/