George Ivins, 80, died peacefully in his sleep Oct. 30, 2019 at his home in Seven Mile. He was born Feb. 22, 1939, to Phillip and Lillie (Hall) Ivins in Whiteriver.
George lived with his blind grandmother, Irene Hall, until her death. His grandmother taught him the importance of traditional Apache cultural values and belief, moral integrity, hard work, faith, prayer and respect for all of God’s creation which included all people.
George was raised in Upper Cibecue and White Springs. Regardless of the weather, he walked more than 5-plus miles to attend the Cibecue Day School. He used to say he enjoyed the school principal’s wife’s home cooked meals more than the school lessons. He also attended Theodore Roosevelt Boarding School in Fort Apache, until his father gave him a choice-to continue his education or to find a job. He chose to work and began working as a tree cutter with an axe and earned .25 cents an hour.
George also worked at the Snowflake Sawmill for over five years before beginning his lifetime career as a timber faller. He worked for several logging companies: Earl’s Logging Co., Canyon Creek Logging, Webb Ways Logging and Fort Apache Timber Company (FATCO), etc. George was designated as FATCO’s Saw 01 for cutting the most logs (over 100 timber/day) and his record still stands today.
George had retired as a timber faller to become a caregiver for his wife, Lula Ann, whom he loved very dearly and eternally. George completed his training and was a certified caregiver. George and Lula Ann were sealed for all time and eternity in the Snowflake Temple.
George and his eternal wife, Lula Ann, owned and operated their Tree Faller Business, Arts & Craft, and Chain Saw Repair Shop. George enjoyed the challenges of repairing and rebuilding all types of chain saws. His wife had taught him how to bead, make traditional Apache buckskin outfits and moccasins. He made the most beautiful necklace and earring sets, key chains and drawings. He continued his tree faller business after his retirement and cut many trees, timber, etc. for private and public businesses and landowners throughout Navajo County.
George was passionate about landscaping around his home and cooking. According to his family and friends, he made the most delicious biscuit and gravy, golden frybread, beans, traditional stews and soup.
George considered the mountains as his second home and was an outdoorsman. He was an avid hunter and fisherman. George and his brothers were taught and trained to be the “strongest men of integrity, cowboy, hard worker, horse trainers, and devoted family men” by their father, Phillip Ivins. These characteristic made them all unique in their own ways. George was a timid and private man but he shared his treasured teachings and trainings to those who were willing to learn and listen to him.
He touched the lives of many people with his compassion, kindness, love, jokes and storytelling. He was named, “the good looking man.” George told his friends that he tried to enlist in the military many times but he was denied on the basis that he was, “the Good Looking Man.”
George and his late wife, Lula Ann, had co-sponsored two Sunrise Dances and one traditional Apache massage. He loved and was proud of his god-daughters: Marlo Noline, Timothea (Tia) Nozie and the late Jodie Dillion.
George will be brought back to his home at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 8, for a one night wake. Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, at the The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints in Fort Apache. George will be laid to rest at the Cedar Shade Family Cemetery in Seven Mile.
He was preceded in death by his eternal wife and love, Lula Ann, parents, siblings: Phillip, Jr., Ferdinand, beautiful sister Josephine, and his best friend, Ambrose. His children: Jacob Walker, Gerald Leon Ivins, Vernon Anthony Ivins, Casey Ivins, and Marvin Ivins.
George is survived by his children: Lydia (Terry) Dosela, Diana Kinney, Darvin Kinney-Ivins, Irvin Jake Longknife, Kyra Kinney, Robert Ivins, Ricky Dean Ivins, Josephine Haven, and his adopted son, H. Chris Baier; his brothers, Cecil and Andrew Ivins; sister Mary (Wallace) Thompson and many grandchildren, great children, nieces, nephews and friends.
Owens Livingston Mortuary of Show Low handled arrangements. For those who have special memories and would like to send private condolences or sign an online guest book, visit www.owenslivingstonmortuary.com.