|Prescott Valley’s first mayor, Richard Addis, is shown with his wife of nearly 51 years, Patricia.|
Special to the Tribune
When Richard Addis was mayor, residents of the fledging town called him at home to complain about barking dogs, his daughter, Penny Minear, recalled.
Minear said there was "not a lot" her father could do about barking dogs, a problem that persists today in Prescott Valley and elsewhere.
Life was simpler and Prescott Valley was much smaller when the Addis family arrived from Prescott in 1974.
"It seemed like every kid was friends with each other," said Minear, who has lived here most of her life since 1974. She added she wants her father, who died Sunday at age 76 from Lou Gehrig's disease, to be remembered as a "great, great guy" and "fantastic father."
Addis became perhaps the accidental or reluctant first mayor of Prescott Valley in 1979 after the Yavapai County supervisors appointed him to head the newly incorporated town. He said during a phone interview four years ago that he was "not really" involved in the successful incorporation campaign in 1978.
He said he stepped down as mayor in 1981 because YCSO determined that his position constituted a conflict of interest. Prescott Valley, which has its own police force, contracted at the time with YCSO.
Addis recalled that the only amenity in Prescott Valley at the time was the community center on Highway 69, now Olivas Mexican Food. Council members at the time flagged traffic as roads were being paved.
Portraits of Addis and other mayors who succeeded him adorn the wall on the third floor of the Civic Center. Addis Avenue, a residential and commercial street located immediately south of Highway 89A, bears his name.
Current Mayor Harvey Skoog, who formerly lived at a duplex on Addis Avenue, said he last saw Addis about six months ago while Addis was in a hospice in Prescott.
"I have only had a few contacts with him," Skoog said. "I understand he was a good guy, got the town to a good start. He gave some good leadership. I wish I'd got to know him better.
Similar accolades came from retired Sheriff Buck Buchanan, who knew Addis for a number of years.
"He was a good guy, very solid," Buchanan said. "(He) Worked for me for years. (He) Worked in detention services, moved prisoners around, from jail to the court and back."
Addis was "very community minded," Buchanan said. "He cared a lot about the community and the people."
Addis was dependable as an employee, said Buchanan, who retired in 2005 after serving 16 years as sheriff.
"He was just always there. He did his job. He did it quietly. If you needed something done, he would get it done."
Addis retired from YCSO in 1998, according to information provided by his family.
He was born Jan. 10, 1936, in Altona, Ill. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict.
Addis moved his family to Prescott in 1962. He coached and umpired the Prescott and Prescott Valley Babe Ruth and Little League baseball.
He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Patricia; two daughters, Minear and Sue Tabor of Phoenix; a son, Dan, of Filer, Idaho; six sisters; three brothers; eight grandchildren; and 22 great-grandchildren.
He chose to donate his remains to Science Care in hopes of helping researchers find a cure to Lou Gehrig's disease.
A memorial will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday in the home of Minear and her husband, Tad, at 3633 N. Christine Drive.
The family requests donations be sent to Hospice Family Care of Prescott at 100 E. Sheldon St., Suite 100, or to the Richard Addis Memorial Fund at az.alsa.org.