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The Cole Family moved to Coolidge in 1939 from Globe, Arizona, where Dalton was born in 1935. Dalton began kindergarten in 1940 in the old South School. He continued in the Coolidge school system until he graduated from high school in 1953.
During his high school years, he lettered in all four major sports, football, basketball, baseball, and track. When he graduated in 1953, he was Co-Valedictorian of his class and Student Body President.
Dalton attended the University of Arizona on an athletic scholarship and lettered as a quarterback on the football team in 1954, 1955, and 1956. He was also the Wing Commander of the AFROTC program and had the rank of Cadet Colonel. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business and received the Freeman Medal as the outstanding male graduate in 1957. Upon graduation, Dalton received his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. During his five-year tour of duty, he served with the 13th Bomb Squadron in Japan and Korea. He was also the quarterback for the Johnson Air Force Base football team that won the Far-East Championship in 1959. He separated from the Air Force in 1962 with the rank of Captain.
Dalton returned to Coolidge and began his farming career. During the 1970s his farm was chosen by the Department of Energy and the University of Arizona, to build what was then “the largest array of solar collectors” in the United States. This was a demonstration project to showcase Solar Energy for agricultural use. He spent eighteen years on the Board of Electrical District #2 and served as its Chairman. He was co-founder and Director of the HoHoKam Irrigation District. He also served as its Chairman. He was a board member of the Central Arizona Project that delivers Colorado River water to Maricopa, Pinal, and Pima counties. He was appointed to the State Board of Directors for Arizona Community Colleges by Governor Symington where he served a term as Chairman.
Dalton is currently serving his second term on the Arizona Power Authority as one of five commissioners who govern the distribution and marketing of the HydroPower from Hoover Dam. He was appointed to the Arizona Power Authority by both Governor Hull and Governor Napolitano. He has served the Commission as Chairman.
Jimmie D. Davis was born on September 2, 1927, in Sherman, Texas. He was one of eleven children born to James and Laura Davis. In 1939, Jimmie’s family packed up to move to California and their car broke down in Coolidge. It was about two days before Christmas and no one was available to fix the car, so they stayed and made Coolidge their new home. His brother Jack recalls a time when the two of them sat on top of a building so they could see the lights of the football field in town and Jimmie said, “Someday I’m going to play on that field.” It turned out he was right. He played on the Varsity Football Team his four years at Coolidge High, and still holds the running back record to this day. He played on the Football All-State First and Second Teams and was Pinal County Player of the Year in 1944 and 1945. Jimmie was a member of the Bear Tracks Newspaper, FFA, Track and Field, Baseball Team, Yearbook Staff, Student Council, and served as Student Body Class President. He worked as the Coolidge Ice Man and as a soda jerk at the fountain in Hines Drug Store during his high school years.
Upon graduating in 1946, he received a football scholarship to play at The University of Arizona in Tucson. After one year of college, he was drafted into the military, where he reached the rank of Staff Sergeant in The United States Air Force. He was stationed at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. Before being discharged, he was transferred to Williams Air Force Base in Chandler, Arizona.
In 1954, Jimmie married Gloria Kenworthy. They had four children, Debbie, Dawn, Steve, and Tracey. During the following years, he was employed by Barq’s Distributing and Pepsi-Cola before getting into the insurance business. He worked for Prudential for several years before he and his brother Jack opened Davis Bros. Insurance Agency, where they were in business together for six years. He then joined Don Mahoney Insurance Agency, retiring from there after 30 years. Jimmie and Gloria also owned Central Drive-In Liquors on Main Street. He was very active in the community and served on the Selective Service Board, Kiwanas Club, and the Coolidge City Council. He felt very blessed to help the youth and volunteered his time as a Pop Warner coach. He also ran the chain at the high school football games for 20+ years. In the summers, Jimmie played first base for the Coolidge Boosters Softball Fast Pitch Team. The Boosters entertained the residents of Coolidge for about ten years while winning local and state championships. The team took second place in the world tournament held in Long Beach,
California. In his retirement years, he worked for Bohlen Construction as the demolition crew. He loved to golf with his dear friends Chuck McHugh, Larry Bohlen, and Archie Edge. They met every morning for coffee and Jimmie adored Gloria, his children, and eight grandchildren. Family was everything, nothing made him happier than spending time with them. If you were lucky enough to know Jimmie, you know that he truly cared about people, he was forever a Coolidge Bear at heart, and he always had time for one more joke.
Raul Garcia was born in McNary, Arizona in 1930 to Adrian and Maria Garcia. Adrian worked in the lumber mills at McNary and Flagstaff, Arizona for thirty-six years. The family moved to Flagstaff in the early thirties. Raul started playing in the men’s city softball and basketball leagues, The Northern Arizona Semi-pro Baseball League, and American Legion Baseball when he was fifteen years old.
Raul attended Flagstaff High School from 1945 through 1949. During his time at Flagstaff High School, he excelled in four major varsity sports including three years each in football, basketball, and baseball, and two years in track and field. Raul received several athletic honors including: “All Northern” First Team in football, Honorable Mention All Arizona “All-State” in football, Flagstaff High School “Most Athletic” award, Flagstaff High School’s “Most Valuable” football player, and “Most Valuable” baseball player awards. Flagstaff High School Hall of Fame.
Raul attended Northern Arizona University from 1949 through 1953 and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education. He also played one year of football and two years of baseball for NAU. He was drafted into the army in 1953 and served for two years attaining the rank of Corporal and was honorably discharged in 1955. While he was in the Army, he also coached the company basketball team and played baseball.
Raul returned to Flagstaff, Arizona, and NAU from 1955 - 57 and he worked on his master’s degree and Administrative Certification classes. While at NAU he was assistant Varsity Men’s Basketball Coach and Assistant Athletic Trainer for varsity football.
The most important thing that happened in 1955 at NAU was that he met his wife, Celia Mae Wooldridge when they both attended the same church and same classes in anatomy, physiology, and biology. After they married, they had five children: Karlos Thomas, Leo Alan, Jon Paul, Marvin Raul, and Linda Janette. They all attended Coolidge schools and graduated from Coolidge High School.
Raul served the Coolidge School District for thirty-two years and spent the first fifteen years at Kenilworth School as a seventh-grade teacher, boys’ Physical Education Teacher, and coach for all boys’ sports teams. In 1972 Raul went to Coolidge High School where he was Principal for two years, Assistant Principal/Athletic Director for seven years, and Guidance Counselor for eight years. He coached several athletic teams and retired from CHS in 1989.
The Arizona Interscholastic Association presented Raul with an Honorary Life Time Pass is given for recognition of thirty years of exemplary service for the youth of Arizona. Coolidge High School also awarded him a Lifetime Pass.
Susan Unger Price’s family moved to Coolidge from South Dakota in 1936. Susan was born in Florence, Arizona in 1956. She began her education at South School attending kindergarten through 12th grade in the Coolidge Unified School District. She graduated from Coolidge High School in 1973.
Susan was active in a variety of activities at Coolidge High School. She was a member of Future Homemakers of America and Future Business Leaders of America. She was the state representative to the National FBLA conference in Washington, D.C. in 1972, participating in the National Spelling Bee. Susan was a member of the dance line her junior year and played volleyball and basketball her senior year. She was voted “Best Personality” in her senior class yearbook.
Susan worked at the Arizona Training Program while attending Central Arizona College where she earned an Associate Arts Degree in General Studies. From there she took a position at the Arizona Training Program in Tucson, Arizona, and attended the University of Arizona, graduating in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Special Education.
Susan signed a contract with Coolidge Unified School District for the 1979-1980 school year to teach in the junior high school resource classroom. She started working on her Masters in Educational Administration, attending classes at San Diego State University during the summer months. She did her Administrative Internship at McCray, serving as a Dean of Students in the 1983-1984 school year. Upon graduating from San Diego State University in 1984, Susan became Assistant Principal at McCray. In 1986, Susan took Principal position at Coolidge Central School and at North and Intermediate Schools, grades 4-6. She continued to work as Principal for a variety of sites and programs, including McCray Junior High School, grades 5-8, Success Center, and the Alternative to Suspension Program through the 2006-2007 school year. She retired in May 2007, after 28 years of service.
Susan married her husband, Charly Price, in December 1988. They were happily married for 20 years. Charly passed away in May 2008, after a short illness. Susan continues to live and enjoy her life in Coolidge. She thinks often to the great people she has worked with over the years and the students on whose lives she made a positive impact.
Born in Belle Plaine, Iowa, Tom Shope arrived in Coolidge, Arizona, at the age of 4 and has lived here ever since. Shope grew up in a home on the corner of Main Street & Elm Avenue in Coolidge and was raised in that home by his parents, Russell and Anna Shope, along with his sisters Pat, Jennifer, Mary, and Beth.
During his time in the Coolidge school system, Shope attended South School, North School, Intermediate School, Coolidge Junior High School, and then Coolidge High School. During his high school years, Shope played basketball and baseball for the Bears. Upon graduating from Coolidge High School in 1966, Shope enrolled at Eastern Arizona College in Thatcher, Arizona, and later attended Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona finishing six credit hours short of a bachelor’s degree in Accounting at Arizona State.
It was during his time at Arizona State University that Shope truly embarked on his lifelong commitment to Coolidge High School and Coolidge, Arizona, when he began his 40-plus year tenure as the “Voice of the Bears”, broadcasting for radio stations KCKY, KQEZ, and TV Channels 11 and 19. During that time, Shope painted the picture for the fans at home for 7 State Football Championship Seasons and 5 State Basketball Championship Seasons while broadcasting games that featured numerous players from Coolidge and their opponents who would later go on to have collegiate and professional careers in athletics.
Shope assumed control of his family’s business, Shope’s Market, in 1970. He oversaw the completion of his father Russell’s dream of a larger building for the market, now called Shope’s IGA. From the time of assuming control of the business, Shope has been active in the Coolidge Chamber of Commerce, Retail Grocers Association of Arizona (now Arizona Food Marketing Alliance), and the National Grocers Association. Some of the highlights of that involvement include being selected as AFMA’s Arizona Retailer of the Year in 1999, IGA’s Arizona Retailer of the Year in 1990, and the winner of NGA’s Spirit of America Award in 1988. He has also served as the Chairman of IGA- Arizona, and RGA as well as serving a term as President of the Coolidge Chamber of Commerce.
Shope’s political and community involvement began in 1973 when he fills out a term on the Coolidge School Board after being defeated in the year’s election. Since then, he has served as the Mayor of Coolidge for eight terms as of 2012 and for many years was the only Republican Mayor in what was then a solid Democratic Pinal County. Shope attends St. James Roman Catholic Church in Coolidge, where he has resided for all but four of his years and is active in the St. James Knights of Columbus. Shope is married to Luz and has four children: Cyndi, Zandra (CHS Class of 1995), Kelli, and Thomas “T.J.” (CHS Class of 2003).