Milton McRae

Milton McRae was born at St. David, Cochise County, Arizona, 8 May 1888. He was the seventh son and tenth child of Joseph and Maria Taylor McRae.

When he was just a baby, his mother made a trip to Utah by train to visit her old home and see some of her old friends and relatives. His sister, Mary Jane "Mamie", went along to be baby-tender and also his brother Charles went as he wasn't very well at this time. They stayed from November until March of the next year. A good deal of the sister's time was spent taking care of him.

At the age of five, Milton and his brothers, Parley and Orson, went with their parents to Salt Lake City to purchase a home, as the Pioneers had been released from their Arizona Mission and his father thought his family would have more advantages there. They also planned to stay for the dedication of the Salt Lake Temple. Before the purchase of the home was completed, word was received of the serious illness of his brother, Charles, who was ill with typhoid fever, so the family returned home.

Milton was baptized the day before his eighth birthday, on May 7, by Winfred Moody and confirmed by Samuel Claridge.

When he was twelve years of age, his mother passed away and he went to live with his sisters, Annie Goodman and Mary Jane McGuire. He also lived with his brother Charles.

His schooling commenced at Thatcher, Arizona. He didn't have the opportunity for much education as he made his home from place to place, with different relatives.

His boyhood days were not very happy as he missed the love and the guidance of his dear mother.

On 9 November 1909, he received his endowments in the Salt Lake Temple and the following day left on a mission for the Western States. He filled an honorable mission and returned 4 January 1911 to Thatcher, Arizona, where he stayed with his brother Charles.

It was here at Thatcher that he met and married Hattie Josephine Williams, daughter of George W. and Harriet Thurston Williams on 25 September 1912. They were married by Andrew Kimball.

They went to Bisbee to live where he worked as a miner for some time. Later they moved to Mesa, Arizona, where three children were born: Eleanor Margaret, on 25 January 1918 (and died October 28); Dorothy Evelyn, on 19 January 1920; and Melba Corrine, 23 August 1922. Finding it hard to obtain employment and with his wife being ill a good deal of the time, the family decided to return to Thatcher where his wife could be cared for by her mother. It was here on 31 May 1924, that their son, Milton Lamar, was born. When he was four days old, his dear mother passed away, leaving a very sad family. Confused, and not knowing what to do for the best good of the children, Milton took the advice of the family and returned to Bisbee to work in the mines there.

Dorothy went to live with her aunt and uncle, Mary Jane "Aunt Mamie" and John McGuire, of Pomerene, Arizona. Melba was taken to the home of her uncle and aunt, John and Pearl McRae, of St. David, where she lived for some time and then went to live at the home of her Aunt "Mamie" and Uncle John McGuire and made this her permanent home. Dorothy went to Thatcher to live with Grandma Williams. Lamar, being very frail and not expected to live, was cared for and nursed by Mrs. Ketura Baker of Thatcher, who saved his life by her faith and tender care. He lived with her until her death and will always remember her as a mother to him. She was only a friend of the family, but was willing to give service to others.

After working in Bisbee for some time, Milton returned to the Gila Valley where he was caretaker at the Gila Valley Milling Company at Safford. He worked here for two years as night watchman.

After the mother's death, the family had never enjoyed the companionship of each other until 17 December 1939, when Melba had her father and brother come to live in Mesa, Arizona, where the three of them made a home. A very happy home was had here, at this time, through the efforts of his daughter, Melba. She not only took a mother's place in this undertaking, but financed the family as well. Melba always had a great love for her father and missed his companionship throughout her lifetime.

On 4 December 1945, Milton married Roxie Judd of Pomerene, Arizona, in the Arizona Temple. They continued to live at Mesa where they did endowment work in the Temple. He also assisted with the baptismal work, acting as Witness many times. He was very faithful in attending to his Church duties and had a strong testimony of the Gospel. He was a great reader and many hours were spent studying Church literature.

In the fall of 1949, he suffered with an infection in his toe. It grew worse until finally the leg had to be amputated. It seemed as though, after the amputation, he lost his desire to live, as he hated to be a burden on any one.

On 20 February 1951, he passed away at his home in Mesa, Arizona. He was buried February 22 in the Thatcher cemetery.