Celebrating our Local Women's History
Stories from Women Living in the Southeast Valley as told by CGCC Students in partnership with Gilbert Historical Museum
Brief Biographies of Narrators

All collected interviews are permanently housed at the Gilbert Historical Museum (480) 926-1577

Dianne Mack Maynard interviewed by Jon Lutz
Born in 1954, Dianne spent her whole life growing up and living in Gilbert. Her mother was Elsie Lee Massey, who was raised in Gilbert as well. Her father, Nolan Mack, was a farmer and served as the last Presidential-appointed Postmaster.

Barbara Clare Bohannon interviewed by Ben Treadway
Barbara grew up in Gilbert in the 1930s/1940s. Her father was Forrest Clare, who owned Clare's Sheet Metal shop and Clare's Theater (which is now Joe's BBQ, a well-known Gilbert restaurant).  

Joanne Cornwell Wiley interviewed by Sylvia Valenzuela
Joanne Wiley was a New Yorker who grew up in Gilbert in the 1950's. She embodies many of Gilbert's most cherished memories through her childhood stories. Joanne also is the owner of The Chandler-Gilbert Beauty Mall.

Gerlinde Kleiser Damon interviewed by Kayla Damon
Gerlinde was born in Czechoslovakia and grew up in the World War II era. She married a military policeman and moved to the United States. Gerlinde trained as a dental assistant and worked in that field both in Europe and America.

Sylvia Golden Baldock interviewed by PollyAnna Crum
Sylvia grew up during the Depression and learned many hard, useful lessons as a farm girl. Although she was not formally educated, she became a successful businesswoman in Maricopa.

Lois Ellis Williams interviewed by Emily Smith
Lois Williams is a wonderful woman, full of warmth and friendliness.  Growing up in Gilbert, she has seen the changes the area has gone through.  She has many stories about the past and the way life used to be.  

Geraldine Johnson Emmett interviewed by Jessica Hilleboe
Geraldine Johnson Emmett is a woman with vibrancy and spunk. She grew up in one of the hardest times our country has ever seen. Although times were hard during The Great Depression, Gerri was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship in 1932 to attend Arizona State Teacher's College. Her dedication and commitment to success is what drove her to achieve many accomplishments.

Dawn Cooper Knight interviewed by Eric Ringler
Dawn Cooper Knight is a very outspoken woman with many stories of the past. Growing up in the early years of the twentieth century wouldn't have been easy for anyone, but Dawn and her loving family made it through. She says that Gilbert was a wonderful place to grow up in and the Depression only brought everyone closer together.

Edith Beck interviewed by Mikayla Lewis
Edith Beck was originally born in Germany and was in training as a baby nurse when World War II broke out. She married an American soldier and eventually moved to Gilbert, Arizona. She shares many wonderful memories about life with her husband Clifford and his work in Gilbert as a police officer during the 1960s.

Jane Gaitan Carrasco interviewed by Cassie Otero
Jane Carrasco moved to Arizona when she was in the third grade. She recalls stories of growing up in Gilbert during the 1940s and 1950s, including her experiences attending Gilbert's segregated school system. Jane recounts the many changes she's seen in the Southeast Valley.

Dorothy Nunn West interviewd by Ariana Barone
Dorothy West moved to Gilbert in 1957. Since her father was in the Air Force she ended up attending 13 different grade schools before settling in Gilbert. She graduated from ASU with a degree in Biology,and she used her to degree to work for pharmaceutical company for 20 years. When interviewing Dorothy, she came across as a very educated and intriguing woman.

Dena Nichols Eoff interviewed by Richard Martinez
Dena Eoff is a strong, self-motivated woman which she attributes to the influence of her family. Living in Gilbert, Arizona all of her life, she reveals what it was like to grow in a small farm town with one major street which grew to become one of the nation's fastest developing cities. The obstacles she has had to overcome make her the wonderful woman she is today.

Genobeba (Esperanza) Martinez-Escobar conducted by Tina Olivas
Esperanza is the very definition of a strong woman. Raising five children on her own, and working hard in the farm fields of Arizona, she proves that with ganas (will) you can accomplish anything.

Doris Gregory Lane interviewed by Catherine Blanco
Doris Lane is an amazing, strong-willed woman who enjoys helping others in need and who only sees the positive things in life rather than the negative. She also discusses her life growing up in the city of Gilbert and how much it has drastically changed in the past few decades.

Hannah H. King interviewed by Lindsey Morris
Hannah King is a strong-willed, independent, honest woman.  She came from a very small town, but was determined to get out, see the world and experience life.  Hannah is a mother of four, grandmother to eleven and great-grandmother to one.  She has battled three bouts of breast cancer yet still refuses to give up.  Hannah has lived a full and wonderful life and is an inspiration to everyone she meets.

Joyce Ross Hill interviewed by Ashley Stack
Joyce Hill was an amazing woman with an amazing past. Originally from Texas, the family moved to Arizona after the Dust Bowl destroyed their family farm. Joyce continued her education in Arizona until she met her husband Gerald Hill. She has since raised two children, and now has ten grandchildren, twenty great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren. Her life has been full of both tragedy and joy.

Flora Bell Davies interviewed by Danielle Johnston
Flora Bell Davies is a strong independent woman who was ahead of her time. She was an amazing softball player, inducted into the Softball Hall of Fame. Flora Bell was a single working mother, who loved her three children. Now living in Scottsdale, Arizona, she spreads her love amongst her 25 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Doris Harmon Farnsworth interviewed by Brittney Harmon
Doris Farnsworth is an amazing individual; she has eight children. Doris was born in Gilbert and attended ASU for a year. Then after having her childern, she completed college at MCC and became a nurse practitioner. In addition, her father was one of Gilbert's first police chiefs in the 1930s.

Carmen Bernal Timm interviewed by Jen Amodei
Carmen Timm was born in January of 1946 in Mesa, AZ. She had 6 brothers and sisters who all shared a farm with her two parents while growing up. Carmen was very goal-oriented. School was very important to her; she kept attending during her journey through marriage, having kids, and living in Germany. Carmen's dedication is admirable and she continues to do the unexpected.
The photo at the beginning of the web page features Carmen's mother and her seven grown children.

Mary Helen Olgin Valenzuela written by Cassie Otero and Marlene Busani
Mary Helen was born and raised in Gilbert in Sonora Town, which was a little Hispanic community along the side of the canal at Gilbert and Warner Roads. She shares many memories about growing up in Gilbert.

Sue Crater Dunning interviewed by David Sherwood
Sue grew up in Gilbert when it was surrounded by cotton fields and agriculture. Sue recounts many memories regarding social events in Gilbert during the 1950s. Balancing single-motherhood, work, and school responsibilities, Sue became an elementary school teacher and served her community for many years.

Sally Madril interviewed by Claudia Cordova
Sally grew up in Gilbert during the days of the segregated school system. She remembers stories of her childhood and education. Sally went on to become a teacher in Phoenix and the Southeast Valley.

Yvonne Clonts Everett interviewed by Kailea Brandt
Yvonne was raised in Gilbert and married her highschool sweetheart. Yvonne remembers old landmarks in Gilbert and many special social events when the town was still small.

Sandra Yachnin Schmalzbach interviewed by Shelly Boshes
Sandra grew up in a time when women faced many educational challenges. Although she was unable to finish her higher education, she went on to work for the federal government. Sandra became involved in the group Federal Employed Women and helped others achieve equality in the workplace.

Marji Perguson Scotten interviewed by Micah Timbrook
Marji is an Arizona native who grew up in the Southeast Valley in the 1940s/1950s. She remembers stories about Gilbert when it was still a small town. Marji was married at Williams Air Force Base and lived abroad with her husband before moving back to Gilbert.

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