Originally published Wednesday, July 11, 2018 at 06:01a.m.

William “Bill” McGrew, a simple man who lived a simple life, died quietly and peacefully on July 8, 2018.

He was born in Leitchfield, Kentucky, in 1923 to John Robert McGrew and Fanny Ann Bozarth.

From his earliest years, Bill wanted to be a cowboy. In 1941, he moved to Arizona. By 1943, he got his first ranch job in Superior as a cook, though he didn’t know much about cooking. As he describes it, he was taken to the bunkhouse and introduced to the cowboys, who were told that if they wanted to eat good food, they had to tell him what they wanted and how to do it right. He also worked for a time on the Babbitt ranch in the Flagstaff area and, over the course of his life, worked several ranches in the Yavapai County area. In his words, he had fun living life as a cowboy and let the ranchers have all the ranch headaches.

In 1948, Bill met Bonnie Arnett. She was working at the Paulden post office and grocery store, where he went to cash his paycheck. They celebrated their 70th anniversary on July 6, 2018, with family and friends. He team-roped competitively until he was 89 and worked in the ranching community until he was 92.

Final arrangements were handled by Research for Life, where he will continue to be of service to others.

Bill was predeceased by his daughter, Cheryl “Cathy” McGrew. He is survived by his wife and by his children, Vonda Stalcup, Sharon Thompson and John McGrew. He is also survived by 12 grandchildren, several great-grandchildren, three great-great-grandchildren, lots of nieces and nephews, and many, many friends in the ranching community.

Information provided by survivors.