Gerald “Pudge” Padgett, of Thatcher, passed away Dec. 17, at the age of 75. He was born Dec. 24, 1942, in Conway, Arkansas, to Leonard Earl and Sidney Inez Padgett, with siblings Bob and Debi.
The family moved to Morenci, where Pudge went to high school and then enlisted in the U.S. Navy. After leaving the Navy, he went to work as a crane operator. Pudge married Kay Nelson, and the couple was blessed with two daughters; Sheila and Jerri Padgett. That marriage ended in divorce, and Pudge later married Jeanne Williams, adding her sons, Brian and Mark Williams, to the family.
Pudge enjoyed watching NASCAR, hot rods, racing cars, riding in his sandrail, and fishing. He loved telling jokes and having a beer with friends.
Pudge is survived by his wife, Jeanne; two daughters, Sheila (Andrew) Romero, and Jerri (Steven) Bryce; sons, Brian and Mark Williams, and Mike Cranford; eight grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; his dog, Bridget, and his goats, Beavis and Butthead.
A viewing will be held Saturday, Dec. 29, at 10 a.m. at the McDougal’s Caldwell Funeral Chapel, with the Celebration of Life following at 11 a.m.
Arrangements are under the direction of McDougal’s Caldwell Funeral Chapel & Gila Valley Crematory. Online condolences may be extended at www.caldwellfuneralchapel.com.